What the Icelandic language sounds like

Saturday, May 16, 2009

When looking for information on a language you are considering learning it can be surprisingly difficult to find a video or sound file that gives the prospective student an idea of how the language sounds, as videos online are usually inappropriate in some way - too much yelling (hard to hear), too much slang, too slow, people talking over each other, etc., and there's almost never a script either. Because of this I often post when I find a video perfectly suitable for someone interested in a language, and I found one for Icelandic today. It's a folk song called Krummavísur, which is apparently about a hungry crow looking for food. It's short (1:30), easy to hear, and has the lyrics as well.



Lyrics:

Krummi svaf í kletta gjá, -
kaldri vetrar nóttu á,
verður margt að meini;
fyrr en dagur fagur rann
freðið nefið dregur hann
undan stórum steini.

Allt er frosið úti gor,
ekkert fæst við ströndu mor,
svengd er metti mína;
ef að húsum heim ég fer,
heimafrakkur bannar mér
seppi´ úr sorpi´ að tína.

Öll er þakin ísi jörð,
ekki séð á holta börð
fleygir fuglar geta;
en þó leiti út um mó,
auða hvergi lítur tó;
hvað á hrafn að éta?

Sálaður á síðu lá
sauður feitur garði hjá,
fyrrum frár á velli.
Krúnk, krúnk! nafnar, komið hér!
krúnk, krúnk! því oss búin er
krás á köldu svelli?
There's also a heavy metal version.



Finally, you might also like this song by Seth Sharp called Móðir mín í kví kví:



Lyrics:
Móðir mín í kví, kví, kvíddu ekki því, því; ég skal ljá þér duluna mína duluna mína að dansa í, ég skal ljá þér duluna mína duluna mína að dansa í.
Oh, and one more note: there's been a fair bit of news recently about Icelanders immigrating to Manitoba, specifically to Gimli, and I found a blog here in Icelandic that I think is by someone originally from Reykjavik who has moved to Canada...and I think her friends and/or family are going to move there too. Thanks to Norwegian I can make out Icelandic to a certain extent, but a lot of it still goes over my head.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Godan daginn !

I learnt some Icelandic many years ago; it's a very hard language (but the pronounciation is regular; thanks to these videos, I can check that mine is relatively good !). For the sonority, this language really gives me the impression to hear the blows of Thor's hammer !
I especially miss the absence of a serious dictionary on-line for translations into Icelandic.

Olivier

데이빛 / Mithridates said...

This is the one I use:

http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/IcelOnline/IcelOnline.TEId-idx?id=IcelOnline.IEOrd

One thing I really like about Icelandic is that the pronunciation is regular as you mention, and the fact that there are no regional variants. You just learn Icelandic, and that's it.

So when do we get to see a sample Icelandic-Sambahsa comparison? There's some Old Icelandic here too:

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odin

that would be easy to translate due to Spanish being on the right as well.

shima said...

More Icelandic here: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category:Icelandic_language

And here's a website for learning Icelandic: http://icelandic.hi.is/

And some learning games here: http://www.digitaldialects.com/Icelandic.htm

Antonielly said...

A guide of Icelandic for Portuguese language speakers
(grammar notes and glossary)
http://www.4shared.com/file/105367186/25dd6149/Guia_elementar_de_lngua_islandesa__islands_para_brasileiros_.html?signout=1

It was written and made available by the owner of this blog:
http://mensvasconica.wordpress.com/

Antonielly said...

A guide of Icelandic for Portuguese language speakers
(grammar notes and glossary)
http://www.4shared.com/file/105367186/25dd6149/Guia_elementar_de_lngua_islandesa__islands_para_brasileiros_.html?signout=1

It was written and made available by the owner of this blog:
http://mensvasconica.wordpress.com/

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