Top critical review
One person found this helpful
This terse book requires too much effort from the reader to be of good use as a learning tool.
on 16 August 2017
I am a native English speaker trying to learn Danish (for two years now). I bought this book because I thought it would be more helpful to learn the Danish grammar in a language I could understand instead of Danish. After a year with the book, I'm not very happy with it.
The problem is that it is trite and doesn't explain many observations and is missing many examples. The result is that I become confused and frustrated. I found a Danish grammar book that helped me understand Modal verbs almost immediately. (Grammatikken by Barbara Fischer-Hansen & Ann Kledal, ISBN: 978-87-7607-311-4)
The final straw was the book's explanation on modal verbs (section 6.3). The author provides tables for the modal verbs, but doesn't provide examples or usage suggestions for all tenses. For example: må (present), måtte (past), måttet (past participle). He only gives examples for "må". I have a hard time understanding how I could possibly use måtte or måttet because I don't think there is an English equivalent. As further explained, må is used to describe Logical Necessity ("she must have left her bag here."), Hope/wish ("may he soon be at peace."), Permission ("you may (not) walk on the grass."), or Command ("you really must go now."). However, in the previous page, må is used as something that doesn't fit any of those ("I will have to go home now.")
Maybe my frustration is also brought on by this infamously difficult language. But I don't think this book is helping and that's kind of the reason why I bought it. At this point in my path to Danish proficiency, I think this book distracts from the feel of the language. I feel like this language can't be learned in using academic methods because there is no consistency and therefore must be felt.
The book is impressively packed with information, but it reads more like a technical specification than a guide. I wasn't expecting a For Dummies style writing, but this book is nearly the opposite extreme of that bloated style.