What it feels like to read Icelandic

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A bit of a surprise to see this on Daily Kos - just a few weeks away from the election on the front page is a diary about the composition of Icelandic vocabulary, and why long joined words are not particularly scary.

One small part from the post:

In the morning, sun-canes (sólstafir, "sunbeams") shine out between the cushion-clouds (bólstraský, "cumulus") and so you get into your car, step on the gasoline-gift (bensíngjöf, "accelerator") and head out to see the natural-pearls (nátturuperlur, "natural treasures"). Over the next few days you see Assembly-Fields (Þingvellir), Falling-Falls (Dettifoss), Water-Glacier (Vatnajökull), even the famous Island-Mountain-Glacier (Eyjafjallajökull). It takes you from Five-Day to Three-Day (Fimmtudagur to Þriðjudagur, "Thursday" to "Tuesday"), but you have a blast. So far the trip is turning out to be a real whale-expel (hvalreki, "beached whale", or figuratively, "godsend"). Both of you had been so down-dragged and heavy-tempered (niðurdreginn and þunglyndur, "depressed") before the trip, but now you're both love-arrested (ástfanginn, "in love") again.

For two posts on a similar subject, see my attempt 1 and attempt 2 at writing a post without any non-Germanic words in the spirit of uncleftish beholding.


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