Icelandic Language Blog

Archive for September, 2012

Drop it like it’s Ð, G, H, Þ or a vowel. Posted by on Sep 30, 2012

The most confusing part of Icelandic may not actually be the grammar – although difficult – nor the spelling – it will eventually make sense – but the way Icelanders pronounce it during everyday conversations. Depending on the speaker the language may be riddled with words borrowed from English, severely mumbled or shortened to unrecognizable…

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Our pools are hotter than yours. Posted by on Sep 25, 2012

“I would like to point out one aspect of our trip which left us (the majority of our party) feeling… well… a bit violated. It is the practice of having your guests strip nude in front of other people in order to swim in the geo-thermal pools. …I am a clean person, who bathes regularly…

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A landslide, aurora borealis and more! Posted by on Sep 22, 2012

My, what an interesting week it has been for Iceland. After the storm we’ve had earthquakes, the colour of leaves has changed almost overnight and the first aurora of the year was seen over Reykjavík on the 19. September. Topping it off today’s haustjafndægur (= equinox) which means that Ásatrúarfélagið (= Asatru Association) will be…

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Autumn is here and so are the ravens. Posted by on Sep 19, 2012

Every year, as if heralding the oncoming autumn, ravens fly into towns in Iceland. They’ve lived all summer far away from humans but as the air grows cold they come back to live with us for the whole dark season. (A quick warning to begin with: this post will be full of raven photos.) There…

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S.O.S. – save our sheep! Posted by on Sep 14, 2012

Up north the rescue units have been hard at work for the whole week. The storm may be over but it brought along a lot of snow for the north part of the country and it could not have come at a worse time. Icelandic sheep are let out in the spring after which they…

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The waterfall that flowed into the sky. Posted by on Sep 11, 2012

Búast má við stormi (= a storm is expected) is a sentence that makes me immediately a little bit worried whenever I see it at the Icelandic Met Office‘s webpages. It tends to mean it’s soon going to be impossible to walk outdoors and if going out cannot be avoided it’ll be a very uncomfortable…

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Ready, steady, recite! Posted by on Sep 5, 2012

Did you know that the world tungl (= moon)* has been said to be the hardest word of Icelandic to rhyme? According to a story by Jón Árnason there’s only ever been one man capable of finding a rhyme for it, a famous skáld (= poet) called Kolbeinn Jöklaskáld (= Kolbeinn glacier poet). One time…

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