Icelandic Language Blog

Tag Archives: useful phrases

Swearing in Icelandic. Posted by on Jul 24, 2013

Now for the blog post that some of you may have been waiting for! 😀 In fact the thing that prompted this blog post is that my SO has recently acquired new PS3 games, which means that our home is now filled with a steady stream of “Neiiii!!!” followed by something that would probably turn…

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The wonderful accident called Blue Lagoon. Posted by on May 27, 2013

Sitting in the middle of an empty desert of lava and moss somewhere between Keflavík and Reykjavík is one of the most interesting sights to see in Iceland. You take a turn off the main road and then another one, and all of a sudden you see a thick column of white smoke rising up…

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You say hello, I say excuse me I’m a woman. Posted by on May 8, 2013

Greetings and goodbyes – the simplest form of any language? Not always and definitely not in Icelandic! To begin with Icelandic has roughly speaking three different levels of formality in greetings. These overlap generously and often the level you should be using may be difficult to figure out, so let’s look at them and the…

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Getting understood in Iceland: pre-aspiration. Posted by on Apr 23, 2013

One way of describing spoken Icelandic is that Icelanders breathe it out. Take this literally: there are many “hidden” extra h-sounds in the language that aren’t written down but nevertheless are there, which give Icelandic its trademark whisper-like sound that’s unlike all the other Nordic languages. I already wrote about some of them in the…

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Traveling by bus in Iceland. Posted by on Mar 24, 2013

Remember how just two weeks ago we got so much snow we ended up stuck in our house? It’s all gone now. Spring seems to have arrived to Iceland all of a sudden. Days are growing longer, ravens are gathering in large groups (I hear it’s called “unkindness of ravens” in English) before they head…

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Gleðilegt nýtt ár! Happy New Year! Posted by on Dec 31, 2012

New Year is called  áramót, or nýár, in Icelandic. Whereas the latter needs no specific translation the former is rather poetic and means “years meeting” or “the meeting of the years”. New Year’s Eve is gamlárskvöld, “old year’s evening”, and New Year’s day nýársdagur, “day of the new year”. New Year’s celebrations in Iceland are…

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Gleðileg jól! Posted by on Dec 24, 2012

It’s the 24th and I’m glad to say we’re all still alive. Some door slamming activity has been noted and I’ve had to make piparkökur, gingerbread twice because they keep randomly disappearing, but other than that we may have managed to avoid luring in any of the local “Santas“. Let’s celebrate this by reading more…

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