Adventures in Danish Apartment Searching

Alternate title: weird translations of Danish apartment ads.

I’ve had my fair share of adventure so far looking for jobs. One particularly fruitful search brought up a requirement: “We expect you to be communicated in English.” This kept me laughing and thoughtful long enough – “That’s… what? Ow. Sounds painful. How could you…?” – to forget that the much more important thing is not to criticize English but just to find a job!! I’m not officially an English teacher anymore, after all.

Finding an apartment in Odense hasn’t been easy either. Around this time, the housing market is swamped with desperate students trying to find last-minute accommodation. And apparently, lots of scamming happens! (I thought Scandinavia was perfect?) We have already gotten a scam email but it’s nice to have it happen once or twice so you can recognize the signs…

Another apartment search challenge is that, like I’m sure it is in most countries, the options outside of strictly student housing are on websites in the local language. You kinda get the feeling they want to exclude us pesky foreigners 🙂 This means – no Danish, no go. Or at least: No Danish, Google Translate to the rescue!

I have started learning Danish on Duolingo and WHEW that language is not easy…

danish duck

But of course all of my new animals and colors and basic verbs are not going to help me write an apartment request 🙂

I have to say, Google Translate is actually amazing. Even with its silly mistakes (mainly missing subject and passive voice use), we couldn’t get along without it. It is the type of thing that makes our Tower of Babel world a little less distant. However, language matters, and if it were based purely on these funny translations, we’d get quite the strange impression of our potential future landlord/roommates…

short term rent danish

So I don’t have to… paint the apartment? Or can I just vacate and run away before my responsibility kicks in?

And, if I’m still in the building on January 9th, I’ll get built on? It always was my dream to be a Lego. Probably why I’m moving to the Land of Lego.

i and my cat danish

I like how that cat is an active part in the search. Of course, since the cat cleans up after him/herself, we have to as well.

type danish

I’m interested, but I don’t know if it is. But okay, let’s try it: “It has an interest.” Have I got an apartment yet?

sambo danish

The cats are always a big part of this happy roommate equation, but a samba, until now, has not. Ondra and have to start working on our ballroom dance skills again.

I(t) has interest! I(t) has interest!

This next one is a real doozy!:
villa danish

Which parts of the kitchen are there? Please tell me it’s at least a refrigerator. And… what parts of the toilet?! What, pray tell, is the “Chamber […] of time”; can I choose a time machine room? And there we go again with the passive voice, damn those unknown objects that just start smoking without our permission.

At this point, having already gotten a scam email, I remarked to Ondra:

“Ondra… This guy ‘Luk’ is writing a lot of ads. I bet he doesn’t exist and the apartments don’t exist either. This is probably a scam.”

Well that just goes to show how good my basic Danish is, because “Luk” means “close” (as in, read less information).

Now for the best one:

livestock danish

WASHING WITH COINS?! Of course, this is what I envision:

gold coins

If only! In Denmark, we are going to need it…

And what’s with that last part? I mean, it’s reasonable to expect your tenants not to be livestock; don’t get me wrong, I totally understand that. But who are all the people who are moving in with chickens and cows? Just seems a funny piece of information the writer of this ad felt was an absolute necessity to include.

Update: I saw another more logical sentence, “Livestock must not be kept.” Maybe they mistranslate “pets”?

Have you ever had to job search in a foreign country, and how did you deal with it?


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