Desperate to Learn English

I told you about our English friends visiting our family in 1962 in Copenhagen. I was 11 years old and at that time school children only started to learn English from the fifth class that would begin after that summer holiday.

I missed the family and especially their boys from the moment they left, and I wanted to write a letter to express my feelings. Instead of asking my mother for help, I found a Danish English dictionary and wrote a letter. I am glad Josey didn’t keep it. I was ashamed already when I wrote it as I knew it could hardly count as English.

Old dictionaries like the one I used

Old dictionaries like the one I used


Every word I wanted to write was looked up in the dictionary and put together without any kind of grammar. This photo was taken at the time of the “letter”.

Helsingor, Kronborg 1962

Helsingor, Kronborg 1962 with my parents

Eight years later in 1970 after school was finished,  I moved to Manchester for a year. It was my first time away from my family, and I had to write home every day to tell especially my mother all the new things I experienced. I had dreamt of going abroad to find out that I was homesick. I know that my English family found it strange that I was writing all the times because my mother had saved all my letters. I went home after less than six months only to feel restless at home in Denmark. The transition to adulthood was not easy for me. I know my English family was disappointed with my untimely departure.

Some of my letters from that time in Manchester

Some of my letters from that time in Manchester

One day I will have to look again at the letters from that time abroad. I glanced at the first letter where I tell my parents that I was going to get Nana’s bedroom. She had died the day before I arrived and nobody in the family was sad.











Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s