I bought this on the strength of the other positive reviews here, but I am fast reaching the conclusion that I made a mistake (and once I have finished typing this review, I plan to buy the Complete Danish book instead).
Having made it now to the end of the 4th chapter (out of 13), I am discovering that although, at first glance, it looks like a well-designed course, in fact, it is very difficult and frustrating to use. To give just a few examples:
- neither the vocabulary lists in each chapter nor the main vocabulary list at the end of the book contain all the words used in the dialogues. (Fortunately, I've bought a separate dictionary, but I shouldn't have had to.)
- the exercises seem to be either blindingly obvious (turning statements into questions by reversing word order - hardly something which needs 10 iterations) or really difficult (translating lengthy sentences involving quite complex verb constructions by the end of chapter 4 - which essentially, one can only do by finding and copying the relevant sentence from the dialogue transcript). There is nothing much in between.
- the exercises (and dialogues) require you to know grammar which you haven't been taught yet. For example, one exercise in Chapter 3 asks you to translate superlatives - but this area of grammar isn't covered until Chapter 4 (and there is no grammar reference section, so you have to either hunt through the book or find and copy the relevant wording from the dialogue transcript). Similarly, one exercise in Chapter 2 asks you to insert the correct form of the adjective "lille", but adjectives of this kind (which don't vary according to the gender of the noun they are describing) aren't covered until Chapter 3. And again, one exercise in Chapter 4 requires you to translate a sentence using the perfect tense - which isn't formally covered until Chapter 7!
- the answers to the exercises in some cases expect you to know vocabulary which isn't in the chapter or the vocabulary section. For instance, Chapter 3 asks you to translate "She eats the good roll". In the vocabulary list in the chapter, a "roll" is translated as "bolle" - but the answer key says the 'proper' answer is "Hun spiser det gode rundstykke".
- the dialogues contain all kinds of grammatical constructions which are not explained in the grammar sections in the chapter (eg. the dialogues I have covered so far include various past tenses and various forms of plural nouns, but these are not covered until much later in the book).
- the audio CD for Chapter 1 includes pronunciation of numbers, which isn't covered anywhere in that Chapter - it's actually dealt with in Chapter 9.
I could continue. Against that background, I cannot believe that the book was actually tested on genuine beginners (particularly those who are attempting to learn without the aid of a teacher), because if it had been, all these errors should have been picked up and eliminated before it was sent to print.
In summary, I'm ending up learning some Danish, but that is largely in spite of, rather than because of, the book. Effectively, the author's approach appears to be to throw a lot of Danish dialogue at you with an English transcript, and to expect you to pick up the language through some kind of osmosis. It might work for some people, but it doesn't for me. (And I should add that I have learned at least 3 other languages to a fair degree of fluency via self-teaching books, so it's not the case that I'm afraid of grammar or unused to learning languages without a teacher.)
I'm not a beginner at all, though I feel like one, certainly so far as speaking myself and understanding others speaking are concerned. I haven't had time to go through it all yet, but my impression is that it is excellent, perfectly complementing 'Colloquial Danish' and 'Teach Yourself Danish' (my personal favourite has to be the original 'Teach Yourself Danish, but most people these days would hate that!). The grammatical explanations are clear and simple; they sometimes come after one has already encountered the construction, but that has its advantages. The treatment of the pronunciation, incomplete as it must be in a book of this kind, is really good and matches what one hears but some other books seem to ignore. The recordings are excellent - would, however, that there was space for all the dialogues to be recorded (at least, I assume that it is a question of space). This textbook is absolutely fine on its own, and even better used alongside other textbooks.
A very informative book, great amount of content. The reason for giving this a 3 rather than higher is based on a few reasons. - pronunciation, the danish language is not a 'say what you see' language, the words in the book would be improved with a 'how it would be spoken' piece beside the words, even if only in the dictionary area. Example started to do this with vowels but does not do this through out the book. - layout, alphabet, numbers, basics like 'my name is' are not in order. The book jumps from the alphabet to conversational pieces. I would say this book is for more advanced level of danish speaking rather than beginners. - cd, you have to have the book and cd together, I usually learn from listening repetitively from a cd, this cannot be done from this one which is predominantly done in danish only. Some of the other reviews had mentioned this but as you don't get a 'taster' you cannot quantify what they necessarily mean, now I know.
A very good introductory lesson guide to Danish, the two audio CD's help a lot and the exercises are clear and precise. The hardest part is pronunciation but the lessons flow well, and build on one another so you're seeing familiar words in ever chapter.
I have had a couple of Danish for beginners classes in the past but had to pull out due to work constraints. This course is really brilliant and easy to understand. I am happy to learn on my own and the attached cd makes it easy to follow up.