Learn Icelandic Vol. 3

Learn Icelandic Vol. 3

Hello, again language lovers!

It is definitely time for an update. I spent two months in Iceland and it is time to share a little more of what I learned. My skill level is still pretty low, picked up a few words and usually guessed the topic of the conversation from the from the context. 

Written by Laura Hundersmarck

So far, I can count to ten. I watched a two year old do it and realized it was time to learn my numbers. Although they are not something people usually care about, I’ve already surprised myself with how many times I can pick them out in a sentence. At the counter of a coffee shop, I hear: “tvier kaffi, takk!” and I realize I have successfully translated an entire sentence. Go, me.  

Numbers: one → ten

I decided to avoid the phonetic alphabet and go with my own interpretation so bear with me. The accents mean you should put a stress on that syllable

 Icelandic

 English

 Phonetic Prounciation

 Einn

 One

 Ay-tn

 Tveir

 Two

 T-vheir

 Þrír

 Three

 Threer (roll those “r’s!”)

 Fjórir

 Four

 Fyó-rir

 Fimm

 Five

 Fim

 Sex

 Six

 Zex

 Sjö

 Seven

 Syu

 Átta

 Eight

 Ow-tah

 Níu

 Nine

 Nee-u

 Tíu

 Ten

 Tee-u

Now, on to those pesky pronouns so you can pick out who is talking about who ;) 

Pronouns

Icelandic / Phonetic

English

Icelandic / Phonetic

English

Ég  / yeair

 I (first person      singular)

Við  / Vithe

We (first person pl.)

Þú   / thu

You (2nd person singular)

 

 

 

Hún  / hoon

Hann  / han

She (3rd person singular fem.)

He (3rd person singular masc.)

 

Þeir / thayr

Þær / th-eyer

Þau  / thur

Það / thathe

Third person pl. (mas)

Third person pl. (fem)

Third person pl.

Third person inanimate

If you’re still having trouble with pronunciation, remember to take a look at the Wiki Phrase Book. It will help you with all the major vowel sounds and a few diphthongs (two vowels together).

Also to leave you with some inspiration, here is a link to the ethereal sounds of Samaris (a local band from Reykjavik). The song repeats the first verse of an old Viking poem called 'Good Moon' by Steingrímur Thorsteinsson. The vocalist will have you melting under the beauty of ancient Icelandic words! Soon enough, you will be uttering the Icelandic with the same poise and elegance.

“Góða Tungl”

Icelandic Verse

Inga’s Direct Translation

Poetic Translation 

Góða tungl um loft þú  líður ljúft við skýja silfur  skaut

 Eins og viljinn alvalds  býður eftir þinni vissu  braut

 Öllum þreyttum, ljós þitt  ljáðu læðstu um glugga  sérhvern inn

 Lát í húmi, hjörtun þjáðu

 

 

 Good moon around the air you  pass soft with the cloud's silver  horizon

 Like the will of the almighty  power offer after your certain  path

 Everything is tired, your light  ignites sneak into the each  window

 See the shadow, the miserable  hearts

 Kind moon, you glide across the  sky, Sweetly at the silver lining

 As the will of the almighty power  offers, According to your steady  path

 Lend all the tired ones your light  Tiptoe in every window

 But leave the suffering hearts in  darkness

Did you miss Learn Icelandic VOL I or II.

We want to know what your experience has been with Icelandic, so far. Why did you choose Icelandic? How difficult is it compared to your native language? What is the hardest part of learning Icelandic? 

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