Saga Shop Winter 2019

Icelandair Stopover 7 Fewer than 400,000 people speak Icelandic, a Germanic language that developed from Old Norse, the language of the Vikings. Listening to it is like traveling through time—due to the nation’s geographic isolation and conscious preservation, it has changed remarkably little in the past 1,000 years. Preserved ancient texts— which are still largely intelligible to modern readers—are studied at all school levels, and young and old still enjoy the Icelandic sagas. n In Iceland, creating new words for techno- logical innovation is a national pastime, especially since the 19th century. Usually they are based on existing ones. • The word for telephone is sími , from an ancient word for long thread. • The word for computer is tölva —a fusion of tala (number) and völva (prophetess). • The word for helicopter is þyrla , from a verb meaning twirl. n The Icelandic alphabet has 32 letters, including: • Æ/æ (sometimes written as “ae”) is pronounced like the “i” in tide. • Ð/ð (sometimes written as “d”) is pronounced like the “th” in there. • Þ/þ (sometimes written as “th”) is pronounced like the “th” in think.  n Of course, Icelanders have selected their favorite word in a national referendum: Ljósmóðir (mother of light) is the Icelandic word for midwife. n Icelandic contains approximately 50 words describing different types of snow. These include skæðadrífa , kafaldsmyglingur , él , snjóhraglandi and hundslappadrífa . For some reason, the most popular one is snjór . n Unlike most European languages, there is no formal and informal version of the word you. Simply use þú regardless of whom you are addressing. And make sure to address Icelanders by their first name, even if they’re a music icon (Björk) or the world’s first female president (Vigdís). In fact, our phone book is listed alphabetically by given names. n Iceland has a strict government-run committee that decides which names are appropriate for giving to newborns. Above: A view of the frozen Tjörnin pond in central Reykjavík with landmark church Hallgrímskirkja towering over the capital. Hello Sæl (seyel) for addressing a woman Sæll (seyetl) for addressing a man Hi Hæ  (hai) Good morning/afternoon Góðan daginn (goh-than dai-yin) Good evening Gott kvöld (goht-kvohld) Good night Góða nótt (goh-tha noht) Goodbye Bless (blehss) Bye Bæ (bai) See you later Sjáumst  (syaumst) Thank you very much Takk fyrir  (tahk fe-reer) You’re welcome Það var ekkert (thah vahr ehk-kert) Yes Já (yau) No Nei (nay) Maybe Kannski (kahn-skee) Okay Allt í lagi (allt ee lai-yi) I love you Ég elska þig (yeh elska thih) My name is Ég heiti (yeh hay-ti) One hot dog with everything please Eina með öllu, takk (ay-na meth oddlu takk) Where can I find… Hvar finn ég … (kvahr finn yeh…) I don’t speak Icelandic Ég tala ekki íslensku  (yeh tah-la eh-ki ees-lensku) ICELANDIC 101 1,000 years, under 400,000 speakers and 50 words for snow. The Icelandic language is something else. ICELANDIC FOR BEGINNERS n Reykjavík

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