Learn Icelandic Vol. 3 with Tiny Iceland
Hello, again language lovers! 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
|Þrír||Three||Threer (roll those “r’s!”)|
Now, on to those pesky pronouns so you can pick out who is talking about who 😉
|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.
|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?