Icelandic Language Blog

Gotta catch them all! Posted by on Jul 21, 2016 in Icelandic customs, Uncategorized

“I caught it! I caught it!” screamed a boy of maybe 10 year old outside my workplace today. I quickly stuck my head out of the door to congratulate him because his joy was just too sincere to ignore. We had a quick chat about his catch and then he went on his way to catch more, you guessed it, Pokémon.


Go Pokeball! by Shannon at Flickr.

Pokémon Go has really taken over Iceland, in fact it did so long before it was even released here. Come to think of it this country is about as perfect for Pokémon hunting as possible. Iceland is a very safe and pleasant country to aimlessly walk around at any time of day (as long as the weather’s good), and where else will you find ideal locations for various, nearly opposite Pokémon types sitting right next to each other? The nature here can offer fire, ice, water, rock and grass -typical finding spots within a small-ish area. Even if you don’t venture outside of the cities Reykjavík downtown seems tightly packed with Pokéstops, which just might be related to the fact that downtown Reykjavík is full of art of various kinds, statues, landmarks and houses decorated with colourful graffiti murals.


Pokemon Go by Darren Mark Domirez at Flickr.

Of course it’s not only children that are playing it, Icelanders generally believe that any fun game is and should be available to everyone. People are walking around with their heads bowed down and occasionally do react with just as much loud, sincere happiness as the boy outside our shop did. The game’s wonderful side effect is that you get a lot of exercise while at it, as I recall a friend of mine mentioned she accidentally walked over 10km when she first began playing the game… and of course it’s a wonderful way of sightseeing if you’re a tourist. You’d never find as many of Reykjavík’s hidden little wonders as you do while walking around with this game practically guiding you to them.


2016-07-09 Pokémon hunting in the city by Robert Couse-Baker at Flickr.

So as this week’s become a complete Pokémon week here in Iceland I thought it a perfect time to learn to sing the opening tune in Icelandic – always a fun way of learning both language and pronunciation!

Ég vonast til að verða sá
Besti í heimi hér
Að læra, að fanga og þjálfa þá
Mitt æðsta takmark er

(I wish to become the / Best in the world / To learn, to catch and to train / is my highest goal)

Ég ferðast yfir fjöllin há
Leita hátt og lágt
Mig dreymir um að þekkja þá
Og þeirra töframátt

(I travel over tall mountains / seek high and low / I dream of knowing them / and their magic power)

Pokémon, þarf að fanga þá
Þú og ég
Sú vinátta er ódauðleg
Ó, ég er vinur þinn
Okkar þarfnast heimurinn*

(Pokémon, need to catch them / you and I / such friendship is eternal / Pokémon! / Oh, I’m your friend / the world needs us)

Pokémon, þarf að fanga þá
Við vinir
Við leggjum hvor öðrum við**
Þú kennir mér, ég kenni þér
Þarf að fanga þá
Þarf að fanga þá!

(Pokémon, need to catch them / with friends / we’ll help each other out / you teach me, I teach you / Pokémon! / Need to catch them! / Need to catch them! / Pokémon!)


WILD PIKACHU APPEARS by Sadie Hernandez at Flickr.

*Okkar þarfnast heimurinn sounds a bit weird, but that’s because at some point poetry happened and messed up the word order! 😀 The sentence in basic form would be Heimurinn þarfnast okkar instead.

**Leggja is one of those verbs that have a billion different meanings all depending on prepositions added. This might be a good idea for a whole post, but here it just means supporting each other.

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About the Author: hulda

Hi, I'm Hulda, originally Finnish but now living in the suburbs of Reykjavík. I'm here to help you in any way I can if you're considering learning Icelandic. Nice to meet you!


  1. Helen:

    Hæ, hæ!
    My daughter loves this game. For once it’s getting the geeks out to play 🙂
    Just a little question, ” to catch and the train”, is this part correct? “og þjálfa þá” = train, exercise them ?
    Thank you again for your blogs.

    • hulda:

      @Helen OOOOOPS thank you so much for catching the typo! I fixed it, it’s “to train”.

      It’s a great game, really, and the weather’s been really nice, a perfect combo of walking outside catching Pokémon!