I wish to register a complaint (Danishly)

<span>Photograph: Donald Cooper/Alamy</span>
Photograph: Donald Cooper/Alamy

Cultural differences in complaining are vital to understand, whether that’s in court or working across borders. Learning the words, grammar and intonation of a foreign language is only a tiny part of being able to speak it. The rest is conduct, level of directness, body language etc (Just like Eva Green, I’m French and I’m rude. And no, I don’t care what you think, 31 January).

My husband moved to the UK from Denmark at the age of 20, and has thoroughly British-ised himself, despite still speaking Danish with a relatively strong Jutlandic accent. He was recently woken at 6am by a Danish environmental health official complaining to him about issues at his dad’s farm. His dad is in the last weeks of his life, and was no longer capable of attending a planned meeting. My husband’s very British response was: “So sorry, but my dad’s plans have changed and he can no longer attend.” Danes are more direct than Brits and this one was annoyed, while my husband couldn’t understand the problem and found him rude. All the while I’m hissing: “Just say he’s on his deathbed!” in Danish.

Eva Green needs to be taken as the French person she is by English courts, but can my husband please be given UK citizenship? He’s totally failed at responding Danishly to complaints.
Heather Storgaard
South Queensferry, Edinburgh