Just a further comment about Mary learning Danish.
I am Australian..but grew up in three countries as my father was in the Army..and we travelled because of it. I was lucky I suppose to meet and hear many different people from many different countries..I used to say.."it sounds like music!" to hear their accents!
As a child..I learnt Maori ( native tongue of New Zealand Indiginous people) and as a teen..I learnt some German.
Then..I had a romance with a Norwegian man last year
and I began to learn Norwegian to talk to him..I wanted to learn about his life..his ways..his country and his langauge.
In Australia, we have a very fine education system ( I know because I am a teacher lol)
but we dont have a huge push here in schools to learn a language...generally because we only use English as communication.
As a adult, in my travels I have noted that people often like the Australian accent.
I think its a very different sound to other English speaking countries, and even compared to our close neighbour New Zealand, its definitely unique.
Our vowels are defined sounds, and the 'er' endings on words are soft..the 'r' is very soft...almost an 'a' sound.
English is a widely spoken language, and it comes with different accents from different native speakers, an Englishman sounds nothing like an Australian and an Australian is not close to an American in the way we speak.
I dont quite understand the comments about Marys accent speaking Danish.
EVERYONE who learns English..speaks it with an accent!
When Europeans come here, they all have distinct accents!
But to us, its not a big deal. We understand them and I appreciate how hard it is to learn, yet I am usually very impressed with the skill of Europeans speaking English.
I was in Germany visiting my friends and they commented on my accent.
I was PROUD of it!
I said..you speak English with a German lilt and I guess everyone speaks a new language this way..
For me, I can read German much better than I can speak or understand the spoken word, the same happened again with the Norwegian I was learning.
As a child, I learnt Maori whilst in school there ( working holiday for my parents)
and it seemed so easy to learn, yet the vowels are a little different and they have less consonants in the alphabet.
"Haere Mai" is a Maori greeting and the words are said...."Hiree myy" with the 'r'
Well...thankyou, I am glad you did not fall asleep Theilmann!
OK..now..back to what I was trying to say :-)
Learning language comes much easier to small children, they arent afraid of making mistakes and learn from them when they do. But for someone like the new Crown Princess Mary, making mistakes with her Danish is going to be very criticised, and I dont think we will ever hear her speak it without an "accent".
Should an accent matter? I dont think it should ( unless its sooooo strong you cant even understand a word!). My point is...English is spoken very well by a variety of nationalities, English is English..regardless of the way the accent affects it. Its the words spoken, and the grammatical structure that count.
All language is about COMMUNICATION...thats it, period!
I think accents are interesting, and I love to hear an accent, its an invitation for me to find out something new and interesting about where this person comes from!
I think for Mary, the hardest thing will be learning the grammar, as it is this that separates the good from the not so good.
When you have only learnt English, learning the grammar of another very different language is hard. Its why we Australians can sound a little silly when we use another tongue, because we can sometimes be incorrect how we put the words together! And of course, in Danish..there are even new letters and sounds to learn!
But to end my discussion here, I will make reference to something Mary herself said, ( I will endevour to find the quote) but she made mention of the fact Danish wasnt easy for her..that she worked hard to learn it..and was STILL learning it.
That for her..it was something she had to train her ears to listen to, and her tongue to say..as it is so incredibly different to her mother tongue. :P
To end, I will simply say, I have always envied those who speak more than ONE language well. Its a talent. Its a skill. Its very clever and its something I am jealous of, because for all of my early meanderings with languages, I have not really ever had the chance to practise them, so..I lost them.
I live in hope of marrying a foreign man who will spend his days teaching me new words and new things, he doesnt even have to be a Prince..just a decent man who is patient and has a penchant for Australian girls :-)
Good evening to you all!