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Mohamed Adam in the Intro Cafe. Photo: Hala.

Mohamed learns Danish by volunteering in cafe

Mohamed Adam has found his own ways of learning Danish language and culture fast and effectively

By: Hala

Mohamed Adam is a refugee working hard to integrate in the Danish society. We met him volunteering in a cafe in Sorø. He is 36 years old, he came from Syria, and he lives with his wife, Haya in a nice apartment in Sorø. He came to Denmark in 2012 and applied for asylum.

Trying to stay active in the asylum center
Mohamed Adam remained in the asylum center for about one year and three months. ”I tried to be an active person”, Adam says and continues: ”I was spending my time in the asylum center with the staff members there and I was trying to learn english and danish. Sometimes, I helped the other asylum seekers by translating for them”.

A special way to learn Danish
He speaks about his own special way to learn danish. He wrote 5-6 danish words in a small paper and kept it in his pocket for around one week, and when he took the bus or train or when he just had the time – he read it, and repeated it throughout the week. In this way, he made sure that he would not forget it. In addition, he watched Danish TV – to hear the pronunciation.

Practices and practices
“After I got the Dansk 3 certificate, I started to do practice”, Adam says. ”Now I want to use my language, that I learned in school and not forget about it. I went to school a year and half ago”.

He speaks about how he practiced his Danish. He started as translator in the asylum center for about 2 months. But he thought that this would not help him, because all asylum seekers he was in contact with, could not speak Danish. So he was afraid, he would forget the language, that he had just spent 8 months to learn.

Then, he decided to practice with Danes.

He found a cafe called “Intro”, with the help from someone he knew. He is still in the same cafe now, more than one year later. 

”The owners are very kind and patient persons. They love to help me, teach me, and to let me be in contact with the customers. This is what makes my language become stronger and stronger. Sometimes, they invite me to visit their houses”, Adam says.

Adam with Anne in the cafe. Photo: Hala
Adam with Anne in the cafe. Photo: Hala

Integration in community
“Whenever there is a meeting or party happening, where both the Danes and the refugees are invited, I try to sit and speak just with the Danes – to know how they live, to be one of them and to try to live like them”, Adam says.

Dreaming of life as a bus driver
“My dream is to be a bus driver, like my father. Therefore, I work now to get my drivers license to become what I want”, Adam says.

Tip for refugees
He want to give the new refugees a tip: “If they want to begin a new life in Denmark, they must start to learn Danish. Then they must try to find a place to practice – like a job. Every person can help himself by arranging his own life”, Adam says and continues: ”I believe in the Danish wisdom that says, ‘En klog mand, han keder sig aldrig’, which means, that a clever person is never bored if he know how to live, and how to spend his time”.

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