Icelandic Language Blog

Archive for 'Icelandic grammar'

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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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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Stigbreyting Exercises, As Promised Posted by on Jan 21, 2018

Today, I’m going to post some exercises for stigbreyting that may be useful in practicing the techniques we went over in my blog in late December. Let’s jump right into it.   These questions are all drawn from the practice book accompanying Islenska fyrir útlendinga, which is an excellent resource (though in Icelandic – so best if…

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Good, Better, Best: Comparing Things In Icelandic (Stigbreyting) Posted by on Dec 27, 2017

Let’s kiss the trials and tribulations of 2017 goodbye by returning to grammar – specifically, adjectives, which are called lýsingarorð. The Icelandic term is somewhat more apparent than the English one; it contains the word for to describe, or perhaps even illuminate, within it (að lýsa), so it’s easy to remember. Today, specifically, I want…

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A Polyglot’s Feast: Tips For Language Learners (Polyglot Conference 2017) Posted by on Oct 31, 2017

This past weekend, I had the privilege of attending the 5th annual polyglot conference, which was hosted here in Harpa in Reykjavik, and organized by the absolutely spectacular Richard Simcott and Alex Rawlings. There are obvious reasons that I’d go to a Polyglot Conference- which is, Richard emphasizes, for all language lovers: I’m an intermediate…

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Me Talk Pretty One Day: A Few Basics of Pronunciation   Posted by on Oct 18, 2017

Today, lets talk a little about Icelandic phonology and pronunciation. In order to do that, we have to start with one basic assumption: the letter does not equal the sound. Not always.   Sometimes, for example, we write two letters, but those two letters comprise one sound. Hj, kj, gj, hn, hr, hl are all…

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Reading Exercises, oh my! Posted by on Sep 30, 2017

I was recently asked to start writing book reviews for Icelandic children’s books. So for the past few days, I’ve been reading a number of novels for youngsters. One of the authors, Ævar Þór Benediktsson, is also Ævar vísindamaður, whose tv program I highly recommend for practicing your listening. So I’ve been thinking quite a lot…

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