Icelandic Language Blog

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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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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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Passive Part III: Strong and Weak Past Participles Posted by on Jul 31, 2017

Welcome to part III of our passive voice lesson. Today, we’ll take a look at constructing the past participle and using –st verbs to convey passive voice. It’ll all lead into a future lesson on lýsingarháttur þátíðar, where we’ll go into even more detail (horray!) on the various uses of past participles. Unfortunately, I underestimated…

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Making Up Words: Let’s Talk Compounds Posted by on May 15, 2017

In my experience, Icelandic has no especial proclivity for succinctity, but it does have some words and phrases that are executed so elegantly that they work like swift brush strokes in a sentence. And compound words are in many cases the key to this eloquence through brevity. Plus, you can use the to your advantage…

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A Gray and Hairy Handful of Stories About Drangey, While on Haitus in the North Of Iceland Posted by on Feb 20, 2017

Yesterday, I headed up to Sauðárkrókur, the biggest small-town in all of Iceland, with a population of around 2,000. I came here because I’ve found that I’m at my best after a respite from work – or, rather, I find that I work best when I am away from home to work. The quiet up…

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Escaping the Mid-Winter Doldrums with the Winter Lights Festival Posted by on Feb 8, 2017

So, here in Reykjavik, we just blew through the Winter Lights Festival (simply, Winter Festival vetrarhátið). Unfortunately, I was a bit under the weather and wasn’t able to make it to many events, and, apart from large-scale displays in the city itself and a tour of the arboretum/botanical gardens, I don’t have much to share…

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New Year, New Blogger, and Some Icelandic Poetry Posted by on Jan 10, 2017

Hi everyone! I’m Meg, and I’ll be taking over the Transparent Icelandic blog in the new year (by the way, [síðbúið] gleðilegt ár!). And I decided I’d start this new blog with an introduction – a little about who I am and how I ended up in love with Icelandic. I’m currently on Fulbright in…

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