Icelandic Language Blog

Archive for November, 2012

Snæfellsness, Iceland in miniature. Posted by on Nov 30, 2012

If you look over Faxaflói (= Horse mane bay) on a clear day you can see the white peak of Snæfellsjökull (= Snow mountain glacier) on Snæfellsnes (= Snow mountain cape) over a hundred kilometres away. It’s the tallest mountain of the peninsula, rising over 1400 m from the sea, and considered the most beautiful glacier…

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Star signs, Christmas preparations. Posted by on Nov 26, 2012

Today, according to the old Norse calendar, begins Ýlir, the second month of winter. It’s the month of Jól (= Yule) and some scholars have suggested that the month either gets its name from the holiday or possibly from old English month names Ærra Géola (= December) and Æfterra Géola (= January). Ýlir always begins on…

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How to order coffee in Icelandic Posted by on Nov 24, 2012

Icelanders are among the leading nations in the world when it comes to coffee consumption per capita. This means that no matter how small they are, every single town has at least three cafes, and that in Reykjavík there are so many of them that it’s hard to choose among them. Some serve a wide…

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A hundred names for snow Posted by on Nov 21, 2012

The days are getting shorter but at least it’s no longer as dark as it was only about a week ago. The first snow is here to help light up the streets a little. A local saying claims that Icelandic has over a hundred words for snow, and although this may be exaggerating the amount…

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Happy anniversary, Icelandic! Posted by on Nov 16, 2012

Today, on the 16th of November, Icelanders celebrate Dagur íslenskrar tungu, the Icelandic Language Day. Icelanders have celebrated their language since the year 1995. The date was chosen to coincide with the birthday of Jónas Hallgrímsson, an Icelandic poet often called “the most influential Icelandic poet of all times”. He was also a prominent figure…

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A long time ago on an island far far away… Posted by on Nov 14, 2012

Jóði hét maðr, sonr Gormóar. Jóði var maðr lítill, en svá sterkr, at eigi váru hans jafningjar. En er hann var á unga aldri, lá hann í víkingu ok herjaði. “The man’s name was Yoda, he was Gormo’s son. Yoda was a small man but so strong that no one was his match. When he…

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Icelandic proverbs Posted by on Nov 8, 2012

What taught the naked woman to spin thread? Or why does one become happy twice when one sits on a stone? Icelandic proverbs show how the people here think and view the world around them, and besides that they’re often very sharp and accurate to their point. Let’s look at some of my favourites! A…

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