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Tag Archives: grammar

Icelandic language starter pack. Posted by on Aug 4, 2016

So you’ve just now decided to learn Icelandic? Looking for sources online, helpful tips and tricks, how to pronounce a certain word or maybe just looking to see if learning it would be worth the trouble? I’m here to help – but the problem is that I’ve been here for a long time. I started…

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Icelandic names’ gender rules. Posted by on Jan 21, 2016

A new girl’s name has been accepted by the naming committee (link)! Although the word “new” there does not quite describe the name itself, it’s in fact so old it can be found in some of the oldest texts written in Iceland. Everyone knows the lady, she’s a key figure in Norse mythology… but up…

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New words for Icelandic Posted by on Nov 19, 2015

On the 4th August this year Samtökin ’78 declared a competition to find new words for the Icelandic language called Hýryrði, Gay Words. By this they meant it was time to find Icelandic equivalents for words that were only used as loanwords from English because – well, as many of you readers probably know already…

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When women are men and men women. Posted by on Oct 8, 2015

Recently I found a question about feminine nouns in Icelandic: the person asking had found many masculine and neuter nouns that could apply to either gender, but no feminine ones that would have worked for non-females. Do they even exist? The short answer would be yes, they do exist and there’s plenty of them! The…

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Filling in your Icelandic. Posted by on Jul 21, 2015

The one big difference between written and spoken Icelandic it would probably be this: spoken Icelandic has more words. Well – non-words, actually, more like fillers and exclamations of various types. Some are used for the typical purpose of a filler word, to patch a pause in conversation while the speaker is thinking of how to…

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Icelandic kennings. Posted by on Jul 16, 2015

What is “a wave’s horse”? If someone’s talking of “Ymir’s skull”, what are they talking about? What or who is being called Hringaná in the old song Hættu að gráta Hringaná? And who is “the possessor of the fallen slain and the owner of Sessrúmnir”? Kennings, or circumlocutions, form a large part of traditional Icelandic…

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When Icelanders fail Icelandic. Posted by on Jul 2, 2015

I’ve often addressed the various problems a language learner might come across when learning the language, but sometimes it seems that Icelandic is not easy for the natives either. Despite all the efforts at preserving the language it just tries to change itself anyway, resulting in f.ex. þágufallssýki – the dative illness – where people will attempt…

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