Liam Jon Pilmore
From: Nottingham, England
The Danish language always felt fun for me, and learning it was a natural process. I started to teach myself back in 2010/2011 after I discovered my favorite band originated from Denmark. This band had a special place in my heart, and I needed more. Something was pulling me in a new direction. Sounds spiritual and wacky, right? I know…
So, I bought a cheap course from Ebay and started going through all the basics (whilst living in England), and I was amazed by the similarities with English. I was also amazed by how quickly I understood. I’d never focused on any other language before. But my natural curiosity and my musical ear helped me complete the course in a few weeks.
I bought some online lessons with a cool guy called named Henrik. He was the first person to introduce me to some awesome Danish movies like “De Grønne Slagtere” and “Blinkende Lygter.” We used scenes in our class to learn and I instantly fell in love with the dark humor and even darker landscapes in the movies. I can’t tell you how many movies I’ve watched over the years, but it’s a lot. Even before I understood much, I was already watching movies without any subtitles and soaking up the rhythm of the language. I wasn’t being lazy either. I was watching and listening intently.
After studying Danish every single day for a year straight, I decided it was time to fly to Denmark, but I didn't know how I could make it work. A friend of mine suggested working as an AuPair. I’d never even heard of it before, but it wasn’t long before I’d found a sweet family who decided to give me a chance. I arrived in Denmark, and everything I’d been listening to and watching became a reality. It felt great. It felt like home.
How I met Thomas.
So, at some point I decided to invest in some more lessons. I don’t remember the date. Thomas probably does: he’s good with that sort of thing. Anyway, I’d found one of Thomas’ “Walk and Talk” videos on YouTube. My first thoughts? “This guy is fucking crazy.” But that’s exactly what attracted me to him.
You see, I’d been teaching myself in a pretty unconventional way. After the first Ebay course, I pretty much went around studying without even opening a single traditional textbook: movies, music, podcasts, radio stations, children’s stories, online articles, you name it. Anything I found fun and interesting.
When I was a teenager I enjoyed making weird and wonderful videos with my friends, and Thomas’ sense of humor sparked my creativity: my inner child, if you like. So, I bought a package of classes with him and it was a blast. It didn't feel at all like a "class" in the traditional sense. It felt more like two friends hanging out and talking a lot of shit.
I always knew, even back when I was having classes with Henrik, that I wasn’t really looking for a teacher. Similarly, I’ve lived with two different families in Denmark: once as an AuPair and once as a WorkAway, but I was never looking for a job at the time. I was always looking for a connection. A family. Friends. I was looking to become a part of something new, something exciting, and something that made me feel alive. And that’s exactly what I found.
I'm still very close friends with the families I lived with those first years, and living with them deepened my understanding and appreciation of both the Danish culture and language. I guess it was easier for me than for other people. The English culture is not so different from Danish culture. We have the same problems, the same sense of humor.
So, Thomas and I started making videos together. It was tough for me at first. I had to loosen up and get used to the camera again, but before long, we went into high-speed and made a lot of videos. I learned a lot during 2017. I learned creative and technical filming techniques. I learned even more Danish, but I also learned how to follow my dreams, how to believe in myself, and how to create the life I always wanted to live.
A lot of that inspiration came from my good friend, Thomas.
How did I become a teacher?
I noticed people started to compliment my Danish... a lot. At first, I didn't really think it was a big deal, but then I started to notice that people were looking to me for answers. I went to one of language schools (out of curiosity) and was fast-tracked to the highest level. The teachers seemed to be confused- "why do you want to come to school?" ...
I knew there was some small grammar holes in my Danish, but it didn't take long to clean them up, and after that, the rest came pretty easily. I've always enjoyed teaching, or at least the idea of it. I tried teaching people how to play guitar for a while, but never really got into it.
With Danish, both Thomas and I have found a way to help people learn in a fun way. In the same way we learn and enjoy life...