Icelandic Language Blog

Archive for April, 2012

Differences between America and Iceland Posted by on Apr 28, 2012

These are things I had to learn by myself in most cases. I have mentioned similar things in my previous posts too. – Most Icelandic business’ webpages are just a homepage. A physical shop in Iceland very likely has no website that you can buy things from, you have to actually go there in person…

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The old Nordic calendar. Posted by on Apr 25, 2012

It’s finally summer, at least going by the old Nordic calendar! Last Thursday (19th April) was Sumardagurinn fyrsti, the first day of summer. Despite commonly using the Gregorian calendar just like everybody else, Icelanders still note certain parts of the year according to their old one, Norræna tímatalið, often called Germanic calendar in English. It…

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Post office Posted by on Apr 23, 2012

One thing you’ll probably be doing whether you’re a tourist or immigrant is going to the post office. The downtown (area code “101” – Icelandic area codes are just three digits) post office is one of the places I’ve found where they’re always friendly and we always have a completely Icelandic conversation. They don’t call…

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Noun Genders and A-mutation Posted by on Apr 17, 2012

I haven’t taught anything in a while, so today we have “genders of nouns”. Again this is taken partially from the textbook I’m writing. It’s very important to know the gender of nouns because how you change other parts of the sentence (like adjectives, which also have genders) depends on what gender the noun is…

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We all have an accent. Posted by on Apr 14, 2012

Here’s a small example set of different kinds of accents from my class. Try to hear which countries they say they’re from for a small language practice. (Note the man who walks past the camera – we all saw him but he doesn’t show up in the video. I’m suspecting he may be one of…

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English cognates and slang in Icelandic Posted by on Apr 14, 2012

There’s lots of English slang in spoken Icelandic, and a bit less in written. (EDIT: Please see Alex’s comment for notes about “cognates” and “false friends”, etc. as well as good examples!) In person Icelanders, when chatting with friends, might use straight English words for things that may not exist in Icelandic, that have a…

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Þetta reddast, þetta kemur. Posted by on Apr 10, 2012

One of the most Icelandic expressions I can think of is Þetta reddast, “it’ll work out”/”it’ll fix itself”. It’s used in any kind of a situation where someone’s facing a problem,  no matter how difficult. It can be anything ranging from a confusing schedule at work to a situation that’s so desperate it would take…

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