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Icelandic Language Blog

Icelandic Literary History In a Nutshell Posted by on Aug 31, 2017

As many of you know, I study Icelandic language in Reykjavik, and I am a translator by trade. I work with a number of languages, but Icelandic is chief among them. I lived in New York for several years, growing my talents as a translator and laying the groundwork for a fruitful life of literature.…

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Menntun, Menning, Minning: Education, Culture, Memory Posted by on Aug 25, 2017

Last Saturday, a friend and colleague (who I’d never met before) arrived in Reykjavik. Belgian by birth, she is a world traveler, entrepreneur, artist, and yoga teacher. She’d just returned from a trip to the desert, where she finds poetry, and was on her way to produce and direct an event in Antwerp called Poëziebordeel,…

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Passive Part III: Strong and Weak Past Participles Posted by on Jul 31, 2017

Welcome to part III of our passive voice lesson. Today, we’ll take a look at constructing the past participle and using –st verbs to convey passive voice. It’ll all lead into a future lesson on lýsingarháttur þátíðar, where we’ll go into even more detail (horray!) on the various uses of past participles. Unfortunately, I underestimated…

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Passive Voice Part II: Dative v. Accusative/Additional Cases Mingling With Passive Posted by on Jul 27, 2017

Last time, we went over the basics of the passive voice. That concept – when the object of the sentence becomes the subject of the sentence and takes the nominative case– is called nefnifallsþolmynd. As the name implies, it is the “nominative” passive. Today, we’ll take it a step farther. Then, in my next blog, we’ll…

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The Passive Voice: As Straightforward As It Seems? Posted by on Jul 18, 2017

That’s a resounding nei, but you can get used to it. You can’t be passive if you want to learn to use the passive voice (þolmynd) in Icelandic. From the beginning of my education in English grammar, my teachers taught me to avoid the passive voice at all costs. In university lectures, the passive was reserved…

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