Childrens’ books and comics in Iceland Posted by sequoia on Sep 11, 2011 in Icelandic culture
Here’s a list of comics and book series I’ve seen in Icelandic that have been translated, and at the end I have some examples of Icelandic children’s books. I’m missing a lot because I simply can’t remember all the ones that I hadn’t seen before (like the Scandinavian ones), so if you know of any let me know and I can add to the list. I am posting a copy of the first page from each book for educational purposes (you’re supposed to use these to increase your vocabulary and figure out what level of books you can read).
Tarzan (easily available at the flea market in Reykjavík)
The Smurfs (same, also at Eymundsson and nammi.is)
The Adventures of Tintin
Spirou and Fantasio (called Svalur og Valur)
The Adventures of Asterix (Ástríkur gallvaski)
Felix the Cat (probably no longer available, this is from the 70’s. Found at the flea market.)
Donald Duck (easily available everywhere)
As well as a number of other comics (Dilbert, Peanuts, etc.) that were translated in newspapers but may not have been published in bound format. Some of these you can find on timarit.is.
Most of the translated comics I’ve seen have been published by Edda, even if you can’t find the books anymore on their website. There are many comics that aren’t translated at all – in the past people would read Danish comics, and now people read English comics. There isn’t enough profit in translating many comics, so often there might be just one volume that was translated before they abandoned the project.
As for Icelandic children’s books, there’s three general categories. One is for very young children, probably first to second grade, and while it uses all the cases and past-tense the vocabulary isn’t much. The second level is for a bit older kids, this time there’s lots of text but not many made-up words and again more general/common vocabulary. After that there’s regular teen novels and adult novels.
“The Little House in the Big Forest”, part of the Little House on the Prairie series. Not sure if this is out of print but I got mine at the flea market, and have found six of the seven so far.
“Þjóðfáni Íslands”, available at Eymundsson but it keeps selling out so it might not be in stock right now. They have a nice website too.
Personally, I find regular books a lot easier to read than comics. This is probably because I’m far better at academic Icelandic than “casual conversation” Icelandic.
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