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How To Properly Use Articles: A Crash Course Posted by on May 15, 2018

I was recently reviewing some old class materials, and realized that I needed a refresher course in the proper use of articles. And what better way to learn than by teaching others? So today let’s look at definite and indefinite articles. A few notes before we begin: a definite noun designates a specified entity. In…

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Fringe Theater Flourishing In Iceland: An Interview With Rvk Fringe Festival Director Nanna Gunnars Posted by on May 1, 2018

For this week’s blog, I met up with the charismatic Nanna Gunnars, co-director of the 2018 Reykjavik Fringe Festival. We chatted about the nature of a Fringe festival, the Icelandic cultural scene, and some interesting words to know for the event! Nanna, what is a Fringe Festival?  A Fringe Festival is an art festival that…

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Icelandic Idioms, Idioms Everywhere! Posted by on Apr 18, 2018

Today, I thought we’d do something fun and build up some vocabulary. Let’s have a look at a few idioms that I recently learned, and see if you can guess what they mean! This phrase means simply to take on a difficult task, to struggle with something.  This phrase means “to have a full tree”…

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Can Folklore Express Iceland’s ‘National Soul’? Posted by on Apr 8, 2018

These past few months, I’ve had the interesting challenge of reading Icelandic folktales in Icelandic. The use of language is, as one might imagine, slightly different than reading a contemporary text – terminology and spelling conventions vary, as does prosody and phraseology. But those changes don’t preclude a deeper understanding of Icelandic culture through a…

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Icelandic Fisherwomen, Ruling the Sea One Pair of Trousers at a Time Posted by on Mar 18, 2018

Happy March, everyone! We´re just approaching the end of the old Icelandic calendar month Góa, and I thought it might be nice to pay tribute to a few Icelandic women. And not just any women, but women of the sea– so-called sjókonur. Many of you certainly know of the densely-populated Icelandic fisheries – mainly women…

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Expressing the Five Senses In Icelandic Posted by on Feb 28, 2018

In Icelandic, the “five senses” are called “skilningarvitin fimm,” which is, lovely enough, “the understanding/perception senses”.   The five senses are unchanged in Icelandic (although one might argue that the natives have a flair for seeing those pesky elves we talked about). They are: Sjónskyn – Sight Heyrnarskyn – Hearing, auditory Snertiskyn – Touch Efnaskyn…

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Would You Rather Kiss a Troll or an Elf? Posted by on Jan 31, 2018

When talking about Iceland, elves and trolls inevitably come up. When I went home over Christmas, I brought my mother jólasveinar (Jól – Christmas or yule + sveinn – plural – meaning boy or lad) collectables (I admit, I bought them at the airport) because she just loves those peculiarities of Icelandic culture. At the gate, while…

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