Icelandic Language Blog

Archive for January, 2013

A naked tourist on the Prime Minister’s lawn. Posted by on Jan 31, 2013

One of our current classes is now focusing on what makes written text difficult to read. The most obvious causes are very topic specific vocabulary (that can make the text hard even for the locals), proverbs and idioms that are impossible to understand unless you already know what they mean etc. Then there’s the word…

Continue Reading

Personal pronouns, or how polite can be rude. Posted by on Jan 23, 2013

Personal pronouns – something that should be among the easiest things to learn in almost any new language – take a surprising amount of time to learn when it comes to Icelandic. This is partially because of the many declensions they have, but also because there are two different sets of them in use depending…

Continue Reading

Getting understood in Iceland, part 2. Posted by on Jan 16, 2013

“It didn’t sound anything like Icelandic.” “What didn’t?” “Well, for example Thorin’s name isn’t really pronounced like that.” Roughly a week ago we went to see Hobbit, or There and Back Again and the discussion above happened right after the movie was over. We agreed that the movie itself was awesome, but the Icelandic viewers…

Continue Reading

Getting understood in Iceland, part 1. Posted by on Jan 9, 2013

A typical problem, when trying to use Icelandic to speak with the locals, is that for some reason they look at you quizzically and go “ha”* and you end up repeating yourself over and over again. Yet in the classroom or when talking with your teachers you never run into this same problem. Why is…

Continue Reading