Call us now : +354-497-5000

Total

€ 1255
Book now

Author

Áslaug Ellen G Yngvadóttir

Published

22.06.2016

Categories

Introduction to the Icelandic Language

Hæ! Learning and pronouncing Icelandic for many, has proven to be challenging. Traveling in Iceland means that you will be struggling with pronouncing strange names of people and places, but don’t worry, we are used to hearing many versions of words -so no shame. Trying is half the challenge. I have faith in you!

You might know that we made the world news with the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, not only because of the terrible delays in air-traffic but also because television broadcasters had a terrible time of pronouncing the glacier’s name. Furthermore, Icelandic is also monster of a language, so every noun has 16 different versions of it, depending on the context (so yes, Eyjafjallajökull also has a few different conjugations).

However, here I shall not focus on the impossible parts of Icelandic, but only on the deliciously simple things about the Icelandic language.

Good news #1:

Greeting people is super simple – Hello is halló or simply hæ! (pronounced hi). You can pronounce it with very many different types of tones of voice. Either with too many ”æ” or too friendly. Example:

”Hæ.”

or

”Hæææææ”

or

”Hæ!”

Good news #2:

As a nation, we are not so polite, which is one of the reasons we LOVE polite travellers, politeness is a breath of fresh air for us. An easy way to be polite in Icelandic is simply using the word ”Takk” after everything you ask for. Since our word for ”please” is very inconvenient or ”vinsamlegast” the use of ”takk” is a welcome entry. Example:

”Can I have the raisin at the end of the hot dog, takk?”

or if you’re feeling angry, but would like to express it in a polite manner:

”You are not being helpful, takk”

Good news #3

Mittens and kittens also rhymes in Icelandic. In Icelandic: Vettlingar and kettlingar.

So you remember that, it will come in handy.

Kitten mitten

Good news #4

Dish is Diskur. Fish is fiskur. These two words also rhyme sometimes.  Example:

”Can I have a disk of fisk, takk?”

This one will probably not be useful, since Icelanders will very likely not know what you are talking about. But hey worth a shot, no?

Good news #5

Puffin in Icelandic is exactly the same as ”Monday” in French. So if you took French in elementary school, or if you are indeed, French, this one is easy. If you did not, here is the word:

LUNDI

I don’t think that there is a connection between Mondays and Puffins, linguistically speaking. But who knows.

Good news #6

Goodbye is also simple. More formal version is ”Bless” (literally meaning, be blessed) or you can also say ”bæ” (pronounced exactly like the English bye) You can also mix ”bæ” up, like the ”hæ”. So here I shall say goodbye to you in different versions of bæ like the hæ.

”Bæ.”

”BÆ!”

”Bææææææææ!”

 

 

"Reykjavik Sightseeing"

We took the 8 hour bus trip to see as much as we could in a short period of time. The bus was modern and comfortable. The tour guide was informative and we saw some very different landscapes. Parts of Iceland are unique and there are opportunities for awesome pictures. A favourite was watching the Geyser erupt every 8-10 minutes. Very interesting.

- Kim K, May 2017

"South coast classic"

Just got back from the tour! We went on a large bus that was in pristine condition and always at a comfortable temperature. Though large, the tour felt more intimate than other large bus tours we had been on. The group may have been smaller and both the guide and driver reached out and connected with everyone on the tour. Both answered questions and were very happy to chat about Iceland and Icelandic culture. The audio guides were a nice addition

- Torra S, May 2017

"Wonderful waterfall tour"

We did the southern Iceland tour that included the glacier hike and visiting three waterfalls. The bus was smaller than other companies, but had free wifi and individual tablets with information about various sights along the way. Our guide was excellent and went with us through a stream into the hidden waterfall area. He also took many pictures of us. I would highly recommend this company and would book them again.

- cornell82, May 2017