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  #341  
Old 04-06-2011, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Royallyepic View Post
In my opinion, to assimilate is to convert. To completely change oneself, erase. IMHO.
Your opinion on assimilation does differ from the standard definition

as·sim·i·late/əˈsiməˌlāt/Verb
1. Take in (information, ideas, or culture) and understand fully: "assimilate the week's events".
2. Absorb and integrate (people, ideas, or culture) into a wider society or culture: "pop trends are assimilated into the mainstream".
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  #342  
Old 04-07-2011, 01:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Frelinghighness View Post
Your opinion on assimilation does differ from the standard definition

as·sim·i·late/əˈsiməˌlāt/Verb
1. Take in (information, ideas, or culture) and understand fully: "assimilate the week's events".
2. Absorb and integrate (people, ideas, or culture) into a wider society or culture: "pop trends are assimilated into the mainstream".
as·sim·i·late

   /v. əˈsɪməˌleɪt; n. əˈsɪməlɪt, -ˌleɪt/ Show Spelled [v. uh-sim-uh-leyt; n. uh-sim-uh-lit, -leyt] Show IPA verb, -lat·ed, -lat·ing, noun
–verb (used with object) 1. to take in and incorporate as one's own; absorb: He assimilated many new experiences on his European trip.

2. to bring into conformity with the customs, attitudes, etc., of a group, nation, or the like; adapt or adjust: to assimilate the new immigrants.

3. Physiology . to convert (food) to substances suitable for incorporation into the body and its tissues.

4. to cause to resemble (usually followed by to or with ).

5. to compare; liken (usually followed by to or with ).

6. Phonetics . to modify by assimilation.


–verb (used without object) 7. to be or become absorbed.

8. to conform or adjust to the customs, attitudes, etc., of a group, nation, or the like: The new arrivals assimilated easily and quickly.

9. Physiology . (of food) to be converted into the substance of the body; be absorbed into the system.

10. to bear a resemblance (usually followed by to or with ).

11. Phonetics . to become modified by assimilation.


–noun 12. something that is assimilated.

World English Dictionary
assimilate (əˈsɪmɪˌleɪt) vb (usually foll by into or with ) (usually foll by to or with ) 1. ( tr ) to learn (information, a procedure, etc) and understand it thoroughly 2. ( tr ) to absorb (food) and incorporate it into the body tissues 3. ( intr ) to become absorbed, incorporated, or learned and understood 4. to bring or come into harmony; adjust or become adjusted: the new immigrants assimilated easily 5. to become or cause to become similar 6. ( usually foll by to ) phonetics to change (a consonant) or (of a consonant) to be changed into another under the influence of one adjacent to it: (n) often assimilates to before (k), as in ``include'' [C15: from Latin assimilāre to make one thing like another, from similis like, similar ]



Assimilate | Define Assimilate at Dictionary.com

Maybe im interpreting the word differently. We have so many cultures and traditions within the U.S., its hard to say that everyone becomes completey assimilated. Some groups like the Amish don't completely integrate or absord into the society as a whole.
2. Absorb and integrate (people, ideas, or culture) into a wider society or culture: "pop trends are assimilated into the mainstream".[/QUOTE]
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  #343  
Old 04-07-2011, 02:22 AM
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Wow.....Was the above really neccessary? lol
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  #344  
Old 04-07-2011, 03:22 AM
Muhler's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Royallyepic View Post
I don't mean to jump on you...
I'm not too fond of the term assimilate/assimilation. A person can adapt but to assimilte into another culture, way of living is not very achieveable. In my opinion, to assimilate is to convert. To completely change oneself, erase. IMHO.
Mary is who she is not because she was born and raised in Denmark like yourself. Mary has adapted well into your country. Sure Mary is a Danish citizen, a danish princess and all that technical stuff. But what i'm trying to convey is that Mary, Marie, and Alexandra,and Henrik have all adapted, familiarized,and immersed themselves into Denmark and everything Danish.

I just wouldn't use the word assimilate.
It's a very strong word and has a strong meaning. I agree with you a 100% when you say national psycology is a complicated subject.
Also, I understand what you mean when you describe Danes and their view on aceptance and one-of-us. I'm sure everyone in other countries has a stance on that concept.
Well, I did use the word assimilate on purpose. - And I agree with the definition of Frelinghighness. Assimilate, as in conforming to and adapting to the standards of the "tribe". (What you do privately is considered nobody's business, but out among the natives, yes).
If you don't it'll be a lot harder to be accepted by the "tribe", if at all.

Mary and la Marie are on top of that in the unique position that they are supposed to represent the tribe they have married into. - So yes, they are expected to assimilate.
Once you are accepted, then you can allow yourself to act differently.
It's village mentality. And that may be difficult to understand if you come from a multi-ethnic and thus multi-cultural society.
Keep in mind that Denmark up until the mid 70's was an almost 100 % homogeneous society. The transition to a multi-cultural society is still going on.

Try turn the issue 180 degrees. You have a president, who is single. That president marries a Dane, during his first term of office (it's expected he'll run and win a second term in office).
How would the ordinary American see it, if the now first lady began to incorporate Danish costums in the White House?
Like dancing around the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve? Handing out presents on Christmas Eve, rather than Christmas morning? And letting the traditions on the 25 become secondary.
How about roast pork to the first lady on Thanksgiving, rather than turkey?
Celebrating halloween but letting that become secondary to fastelavn?
Spoke English with a very heavy accent and basic grammatical errors after say three years of marriage?
Seeing absolutely no sense in not wearing white after Labour day?
The president and the first lady are the official representatives of the American people. Would the Americans be tolerant enough to accept a first lady who is not conforming to old American traditions?
- I haven't got the answer to that.

I honestly and truly hate Explorer!
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  #345  
Old 04-07-2011, 04:22 AM
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I quite liked the comparison of Denmark and a tribal village. Sounds cozy - a bit like here in Upper Bavaria where you have at least be able to understand and even better: speak the dialect to be really welcomed.

Well, maybe it's even easier to become part of the fold in Denmark where the Vikings were known to bring in womenfolk from other cultures they had "acquired" during their travels.... while the Bavarians sat and sat and sat in front or on their beautiful mountains....
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  #346  
Old 04-07-2011, 04:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahtikavalentine View Post
I think she will never do, because you can not pretend to have any perfect accent when you passed your childhood and early life in a completly different country That's what I think
Agreed. I can speak Italian fluently, but I have an Australian accent when I pronounce. I saw this with the Crown Princess when she and the Crown Prince were leaving the hospital and her Australian accent does come out.

Also when she speaks Danish, she is thinking before every word. It's the same when Frederick speaks English; you can tell he is thinking what he is about to say.
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  #347  
Old 04-07-2011, 05:53 AM
Muhler's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kataryn View Post
I quite liked the comparison of Denmark and a tribal village. Sounds cozy - a bit like here in Upper Bavaria where you have at least be able to understand and even better: speak the dialect to be really welcomed.

Well, maybe it's even easier to become part of the fold in Denmark where the Vikings were known to bring in womenfolk from other cultures they had "acquired" during their travels.... while the Bavarians sat and sat and sat in front or on their beautiful mountains....
Well, at least you don't harm anyone by looking at the mountains.
Here in DK we haven't got mountains and that may have been an explanation for the Viking raids: "Hmm, nothing to look at, let's go raid someone".
(The Norwegians do have mountains, but that's all they've got, so they had to go and raid someone... Sorry, couldn't resist putting the knife in.
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  #348  
Old 04-07-2011, 07:27 AM
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What a long thread!

I wonder how I should take it all... Could someone here clarify for me what accent I should use when I speak English..? Being a Finn, people assume I would have the typical and very easily distinguishable Finnish staccato style accent (the one we lovingly call "tankero English" in Finland ) but unfortunately I don't. I really have to try to get even close and that takes work (unless I'm having a bad day language-wise). My accent is a combination of British, American and nowadays slightly Australian even (here's hoping I get to "Australianize" it a bit more in the future ). It depends hugely on who I'm talking to/with, where I am and even what TV shows (meaning from what country) I've been watching lately. So, you might call me a fake but I really don't have a very distinguishable accent and I don't know how I should sound for people to accept it.

The whole topic of accents and whether it matters is a bit silly if you think about it. As long as people can understand what you are saying does it really matter? The most spoken variant must be the "International" version with its' numerous different accents. I once had a hard time explaining to a native English speaker that you really cannot tell what kind of a school (meaning how 'good' of a school) one has attended in my country by the accent one has when speaking English. We learn some sort of a combination of British and American English and rarely have teachers who could teach us the 'correct' way to pronounce things (meaning native speakers). I've found having an absolute pitch helps with learning different languages a lot.

I realize this had very little to do with Crown Princess Mary, sorry! I admire her determination in trying to master the Danish language while still retaining her mother tongue. Accent IMO does not really matter.
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  #349  
Old 04-07-2011, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
Well, I did use the word assimilate on purpose. - And I agree with the definition of Frelinghighness. Assimilate, as in conforming to and adapting to the standards of the "tribe". (What you do privately is considered nobody's business, but out among the natives, yes).
If you don't it'll be a lot harder to be accepted by the "tribe", if at all.

Mary and la Marie are on top of that in the unique position that they are supposed to represent the tribe they have married into. - So yes, they are expected to assimilate.
Once you are accepted, then you can allow yourself to act differently.
It's village mentality. And that may be difficult to understand if you come from a multi-ethnic and thus multi-cultural society.
Keep in mind that Denmark up until the mid 70's was an almost 100 % homogeneous society. The transition to a multi-cultural society is still going on.

Try turn the issue 180 degrees. You have a president, who is single. That president marries a Dane, during his first term of office (it's expected he'll run and win a second term in office).
How would the ordinary American see it, if the now first lady began to incorporate Danish costums in the White House?
Like dancing around the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve? Handing out presents on Christmas Eve, rather than Christmas morning? And letting the traditions on the 25 become secondary.
How about roast pork to the first lady on Thanksgiving, rather than turkey?
Celebrating halloween but letting that become secondary to fastelavn?
Spoke English with a very heavy accent and basic grammatical errors after say three years of marriage?
Seeing absolutely no sense in not wearing white after Labour day?
The president and the first lady are the official representatives of the American people. Would the Americans be tolerant enough to accept a first lady who is not conforming to old American traditions?
- I haven't got the answer to that.

I honestly and truly hate Explorer!
I understand what your saying Mulher. Thanks for being more elaborate and understanding on my take on the word. (coming from a multi-cultural country) Assmilation can just be taken for... conforming to the norm to be accepted. I understand how Mary's has had to represent Denmark, which is expected of her but im sure she still has a few Australian "quirks" about her. Also, thanks for taking my post so well.
On the topic....
I have alway's been impressed by Mary's path to learn Danish. She seems very at ease when speaking it at this stage. And by the opinions of the Danes on this forum she has done a wonderful job with the language. Apparently, she has done a lot better at mastering the language than Princess Maxima. Who by some Dutch, has come to a stand-still.
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  #350  
Old 04-07-2011, 03:32 PM
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Look, you are who you are. You do not get to these positions when you are 7, you are an adult and have ingrained traditions, likes, dislikes and a cadance that you speak your native language in. Doing your best is better than faking. We have had all different type of first ladies. Many with their own craziness and traditions. Some pleople like some, others like others, and some are generally liked. We have gals who spoke with a distinct southern accent and some who spoke with a New England accent. That's how they speak. You are now part of a mutlti cultural world. Your princes have married women from other venues. Get used to it. Learn from them, too. Everyone has a gift to offer, be smart enough to accept it.
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  #351  
Old 04-07-2011, 05:49 PM
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I think Mary's danish is excellent considering that it's a very hard language to learn, my dad is Italian-American, moved to Denmark when he was 25, now 21 years later he still has an accent & isn't fluent at all. Mary has studied hard & I'm proud that she puts so much effort into learning our language & speaking danish almost without an accent. The little accent she has, is IMO very cute & I never have problems with understanding what she's saying.
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  #352  
Old 04-07-2011, 06:13 PM
Muhler's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COUNTESS View Post
Look, you are who you are. You do not get to these positions when you are 7, you are an adult and have ingrained traditions, likes, dislikes and a cadance that you speak your native language in. Doing your best is better than faking. We have had all different type of first ladies. Many with their own craziness and traditions. Some pleople like some, others like others, and some are generally liked. We have gals who spoke with a distinct southern accent and some who spoke with a New England accent. That's how they speak. You are now part of a mutlti cultural world. Your princes have married women from other venues. Get used to it. Learn from them, too. Everyone has a gift to offer, be smart enough to accept it.
I don't know if it's me or the Danes in general your are scolding. Whether you like it or not or whether it's politically correct is frankly beside the point.
I'm merely attempting to explain why Prince Henrik has had a hard time in DK and why Mary and Marie have been accepted.
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  #353  
Old 04-07-2011, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
Keep in mind that Denmark up until the mid 70's was an almost 100 % homogeneous society. The transition to a multi-cultural society is still going on.

Try turn the issue 180 degrees. You have a president, who is single. That president marries a Dane, during his first term of office (it's expected he'll run and win a second term in office).
How would the ordinary American see it, if the now first lady began to incorporate Danish costums in the White House?
Like dancing around the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve? Handing out presents on Christmas Eve, rather than Christmas morning? And letting the traditions on the 25 become secondary.
How about roast pork to the first lady on Thanksgiving, rather than turkey?
Celebrating halloween but letting that become secondary to fastelavn?
Spoke English with a very heavy accent and basic grammatical errors after say three years of marriage?
Seeing absolutely no sense in not wearing white after Labour day?
The president and the first lady are the official representatives of the American people. Would the Americans be tolerant enough to accept a first lady who is not conforming to old American traditions?
- I haven't got the answer to that.
I hesitate to speak for my neighbors to the south, but I would say that absolutely the majority of Americans would be fine with a first lady incorporating her own traditions into the First Family's life, as long as they didn't interfere with the political side of things and as long as she didn't try and replace the American traditions entirely, (and as long as she wasn't constantly saying how things are soooo much better in Denmark and she can't understand why Americans just don't get that). The US is the exact opposite of a homogeneous society and, at least with the American families I've spent time with, the sort of mix n match traditions you describe are very common.
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  #354  
Old 04-08-2011, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by camelot23ca View Post
I hesitate to speak for my neighbors to the south, but I would say that absolutely the majority of Americans would be fine with a first lady incorporating her own traditions into the First Family's life, as long as they didn't interfere with the political side of things and as long as she didn't try and replace the American traditions entirely, (and as long as she wasn't constantly saying how things are soooo much better in Denmark and she can't understand why Americans just don't get that). The US is the exact opposite of a homogeneous society and, at least with the American families I've spent time with, the sort of mix n match traditions you describe are very common.
But dropping Thanksgiving or the Easter-egg hunt etc. would most likely raise a few eyebrows, wouldn't it?
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  #355  
Old 04-08-2011, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by nwinther View Post
But dropping Thanksgiving or the Easter-egg hunt etc. would most likely raise a few eyebrows, wouldn't it?
Yes, but there's a large middle ground between not incorporating any of your native country's traditions at all and dropping all your adopted country's traditions.
Have any of the foreign members of the DRF - Henrik, Mary or Marie - ever tried to make Danes drop important traditions? Or is it merely that they have, to varying degrees, retained the customs and characters of the places they were born and raised IN ADDITION to taking part in Danish life? The first scenario won't go over well in any country, I imagine. The second scenario was what I had in mind with my previous post..
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  #356  
Old 04-08-2011, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camelot23ca View Post
Yes, but there's a large middle ground between not incorporating any of your native country's traditions at all and dropping all your adopted country's traditions.
Have any of the foreign members of the DRF - Henrik, Mary or Marie - ever tried to make Danes drop important traditions? Or is it merely that they have, to varying degrees, retained the customs and characters of the places they were born and raised IN ADDITION to taking part in Danish life? The first scenario won't go over well in any country, I imagine. The second scenario was what I had in mind with my previous post..
The point was to help illustrating why there may be limits to the tolerance people in a given country might show in regards to a person who has married into the position he/she has. And who now represent that country.
I used the US president and first lady as an example, because the one I was responding to happened to come from USA.
USA is, I think, a good contrast. USA is a country that can hardly be more multi-cultural and pride itself of being multi cultural. It's also pretty big as countries go...
In contrast to that, there is old Denmark. A small country, which has only recently become multi-cultural. And which has a very old culture and prides itself of that.

Another matter is that in the past couple of decades some US first ladies, without naming names, have got a good deal of heat! - And they were after all very much conforming to old American traditions.

And before we even go there. This should not evolve into a competition into which country and which people is more tolerant.
This is about learning why things are viewed differently.
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  #357  
Old 04-09-2011, 01:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
Prince Henrik is an interesting example.
He has lived in DK for more than 40 years, he is supposed to be good at languages, and yet his spoken Danish is poor.....To rub salt in the wound both Mary and la Marie speak a better and more correct Danish than Prince Henrik.
From the horse's mouth ( well the Prince Henrik biography by Stephanie Surrugue! ): Prince Henrik underestimated the importance of speaking the local language during his first few years in Denmark and the Queen admitted that she didn't do enough to assist because the couple regent were speaking French from day one, more or less!!
This attitude first surprised me, but on second thought: maybe life
behind palace walls in the 1960s was in more need of a reality check
than people thought at the time!

In Mary's and Marie's case the royal court has been adamant that this indifference towards Danish - or even arrogance as I happen to see it - was not repeated! Reminds me of the Danish Enlightenment author Ludvig Holberg (1684-1754) who ridiculed the aristocracy back then because they ' spoke French to each other, German to their servants and Danish to their dogs!'

Viv
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  #358  
Old 04-09-2011, 03:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viv View Post
This attitude first surprised me, but on second thought: maybe life
behind palace walls in the 1960s was in more need of a reality check
than people thought at the time!
You may be right.
From a pr point of view the DRF was pretty distant up to the arrival of Mary. It was for example Mary, who showed first Frederik, then QMII, that it doesn't hurt, nor detract from your status to approach the onlookers at various events.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viv View Post
Reminds me of the Danish Enlightenment author Ludvig Holberg (1684-1754) who ridiculed the aristocracy back then because they ' spoke French to each other, German to their servants and Danish to their dogs!'
Not only the aristocracy. Ludvig Holberg ridiculed everyone!
Ludvig Holberg and his plays were very much inspired by Voltaire and in fact a German translation of his plays were placed in the royal boxes in the theatre, othewise the courtiers and royals couldn't understand what was said.
To that can be added, that many of his characters speak "theatre-southern-Zealandic", which can be pretty difficult to understand for those who are not familiar with the plays.
Seen from Copenhagen around 1700, southern Zealand was far out in hillbilly-land! So far out that it was assumed that most of the locals only had two grandparents!

For a good part of the 1700's Denmark was de facto run by civil servants. They were predominantly of German origin.
You can discuss whether that is a good idea or not, as not much was happening in DK for more than 50 years. But it's also one of the most peaceful and proseperous periods in Danish history. - There was good money in sailing good to everyone, especially during the Seven Years War, and then there was the slave trade...
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  #359  
Old 04-09-2011, 04:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
You may be right.
From a pr point of view the DRF was pretty distant up to the arrival of Mary. It was for example Mary, who showed first Frederik, then QMII, that it doesn't hurt, nor detract from your status to approach the onlookers at various events.
I find that quite lovely.

Being accessible when you know people have made the trip to come and see you and that it's quite likely you would be a highlight of their day, or even the reason for the outing is deserving of such acknowledgement

Mary has done well to find the balance.
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  #360  
Old 04-09-2011, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viv View Post
From the horse's mouth ( well the Prince Henrik biography by Stephanie Surrugue! ): Prince Henrik underestimated the importance of speaking the local language during his first few years in Denmark and the Queen admitted that she didn't do enough to assist because the couple regent were speaking French from day one, more or less!!
This attitude first surprised me, but on second thought: maybe life
behind palace walls in the 1960s was in more need of a reality check
than people thought at the time!
Both QMII and PH have, before this book got published, told about that they were speaking french between the two of them. So it wasn´t that big a surprise
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