Icelandic Language Blog

Archive for July, 2012

Knit a puffin. Posted by on Jul 25, 2012

Things are not always black and white, not even if you’re a puffin. Quite the contraty in fact – there are many possible colours for puffins and Icelandic has a specific name for each type. The pufflings, pysja (also known as pésja, kofa and lundungi), are almost like adult puffins in colour by the time…

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Personal Pronouns Posted by on Jul 24, 2012

Here is a topic for complete beginners, something called “personal pronouns”. Words like “our”, and “yours” are also types of pronouns, but we’ll cover those later. *m (male), f (female), n (neuter). “Þið” is used as “you (multiple people)”, just as you would use “you guys/you all” in English. When talking to an individual, unknown…

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Road rage! Posted by on Jul 23, 2012

Welcome to Iceland where the roads may be passable for driving or not, depending on the season and weather conditions. There may also be sheep on them, ice, volcanic ash or as a worst case scenario a large section of a road or even a whole bridge may be swept away by a jökulhlaup, a…

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Stereotypes and Myths Posted by on Jul 21, 2012

When you read about Iceland or talk to Icelanders you often get a picturesque view, compounded by the fact that most things about Iceland easily available stem from the Icelandic tourist board. Many things about Iceland are only in Icelandic, or aren’t mentioned at all, and most Icelanders don’t know what it’s like from a…

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There once was a puffin, just the shape of a muffin Posted by on Jul 19, 2012

…And he lived on and island in the bright blue sea! ~Florence Page Jaques Few birds are as iconic to Iceland as lundi, Atlantic puffin. They live in large colonies all around the shorelines of Iceland but especially in the Vestmannaeyjar (= Westman Isles) where the largest puffin colony of the world is located. Often they…

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Everyday Icelandic Posted by on Jul 17, 2012

The most difficult thing to find when you don’t live in Iceland is the Icelandic for things that you would never talk to someone else about. You might be able to get some of this from reading a lot of varied books, but unless you have a friend in Iceland willing to take photos or…

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The trolls. Posted by on Jul 16, 2012

Perhaps the most variable of all supernatural creatures of Iceland is tröll, a troll. Stories of them describe their size alone ranging from the size of a mountain to something resembling a very large human. Their behaviour varies likewise from friendly and loyal to solitary, hermit-like sages to beastly and violent man eaters. Sometimes trolls…

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