I get A LOT of questions about Iceland and what it’s like living here. So today I have decided to not answer any of the useful things I could tell you and just make a big shitpost about the Icelandic language. 🔆
Pika- Okay. So keep in mind that Pikachu in Pokémon quite commonly says pika. Like a lot. Pokémon is/was on TV here just like most other countries. Okay so, wanna know what píka means in Ielandic. Vagina. Not even kidding a little. ⚡️🐱
Bra- No, bra does not mean anything related to underwear of any kind. According to us, it’s the sound that ducks make 🦆
Hjúkrunarfræðingur- I know you’re probably thinking that this must mean something very smart and complicated. Nope. This unneccessarily long ass word just means nurse. Yep. 👩🏻⚕️
Strætóstoppistöð- another unneccasserily long word. Simply means “bus stop” 👐🏻
Leðurblökumaðurinn- In almost every country in the world Batman is just called Batman or something very similar. Yeah.. we didn’t get the note. Leðurblökumaðurinn it is. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Kind- it does not mean anything related to kindness or any other emotional expression. It means sheep. And according to us it does not tell you “baah” it says “me”. If it happens two times it makes “meme”. Isn’t that just wonderful? 🐑
Geirvarta- it means nipple. The weird thing is that it is made from two words “Geir” which is a pretty common male name here, and “varta” which means “wart”. Imagine if the word for nipple would be “JasonPimple”?! Poor Geir..
Not language related but: we have an app here where you bump your phones together to see if you are related before you have sex with someone. You may have heard this somewhere before but I am here to confirm that this is true. There are only 300.000 people in the entire country so accidental incest is very much a possibility. ⚠️
In Iceland we don’t have just one Santa, no,we have 13. And yes they bring you small gifts each of the thirteen days leading to christmas, but they also are known for stealing hot-dogs and candles, eating all your skyr (fancy yoghurt), slamming doors, and other not so bad but mildly annoying things. But their mom is a hideous troll lady that lives in the mountains and eats children. Yikes.. 🎄💀
We have at least two letters that no other country in the world uses: ð (capital Ð) and þ (capital Þ) and also other rare letters that are only used here and in other Scandinavian countries: ö (Ö) and æ (Æ).
To make the sounds of Ð and Þ put your tongue between your teeth and blow. Softly for ð and hard for Þ (should sound like Th in Thor/thing/thunder/etc)
Asakusa in Japan Tokyo 日本東京淺草的小巷弄與晴空塔 I IMG_5493-12 by 銘俊 Via Flickr: Asakusa (浅草) is a district in Taitō, Tokyo, Japan, famous for the Sensō-ji, a Buddhist temple dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon. There are several other temples in Asakusa, as well as various festivals.
This is a subject that I frequently post about, and yet its basics have yet to be properly discussed. This post will help you to achieve familiarity with the Icelandic language, both in terms of written characters and their respective sounds. This guide may also be used as a method for pronouncing Old Norse. It is a lengthy guide, but that is because Icelandic, in all its beauty, is a bit difficult for most people to pronounce. In the end, this quite is only “basic” because it does not delve deeply into the linguistics behind certain sounds involved. Nonetheless, this guide should provide to be very helpful!
When working through this guide, try to avoid becoming overwhelmed. I strongly recommend working through only one section at a time.
-people saying McFucking or Mcfreaking or anything similar
-the word yikes
-unironically saying triggered when talking about someone
Example: “lmao ur triggered aren’t u haha fuckin sjw kek’d mlg I’m 12 and a half”
Schleswig-Holstein is a/(my home) bundesland in Germany and also the northernmost one. It has around 2.85 million inhabitants and an area of 15,763.18 km2 (6,086.20 sq mi). It borders on Denmark and is one the regions in Europe with the largest linguistic diversity. Historically, the North Frisians, Slavs, Danes, Jutes, Angles and Saxons (the last three peoples also migrated to England and formed the Anglosaxons) settled in Schleswig-Holstein.
Altogether, there are some 31 varieties (i. e. languages and dialects) spoken within the borders of Schleswig-Holstein. If you count only distinct varieties where there is reason enough to speak of languages, there are about 10-12 languages.
is the official language of Germany and, thus, of Schleswig-Holstein, too. There are not really distinct dialects of German in Northern Germany as it is historically a Low Saxon, Frisian and Danish language area and German colonised this area rather lately, starting in the 15th century.
is my mother tongue, the second official language of Schleswig-Holstein and an endangered language spoken in most parts of Northern Germany. Schleswig-Holstein is part of the urheimat of the Saxons, that spoke Old Saxon, the ancestor of modern Low Saxon and partly of English, too. In the Middle Ages, it was the lingua franca of the Hanseatic League and spoken throughout whole Northern Europe as a trade language. It has a lot of dialects of which the Nachrichtenplatt (the unofficial Koiné/Standard variety), Schleswigsch, Holsteinisch and Hamburgisch (the mother tongue of my maternal grandfather) are the most widespread. Other dialects in border areas to other bundesländer are Mecklenburgisch (the mother tongue of my paternal grandmother), Elb-Weser-Ländisch and Nord-Hannoveranisch.
A special case is Plautdietsch which is historically a dialect of Low Saxon but was seperated from it for several centuries due to migration out of Germany and is, thus, viewed by some as an own language. Plautdietsch speakers are mostly Russian mennonites and many of them went back from the ex-Soviet Union in the 90s to Germany of which some settled in Schleswig-Holstein. They are seen as a migration group while speaking a language that has its roots in Germany. Thus, they are neither autochton nor allochthon.
(This is a map of the Low Saxon dialects in Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands.)
The North Frisian language(s)
are the second group of endangered varieties. They are only spoken in Schleswig-Holstein, by about 10,000 people. The varieties can be divided into mainland dialects and insular dialects.
The first group consists of Wiedingharde Frisian (Wiringhiirder freesk), Bökingharde Frisian (Böökinghiirder frasch), Western- and Eastern-Mooring, Karrharde Frisian (Karrhiirderfreesch),Northern Goesharde Frisian, Central Goesharde Frisian, Southern Goesharde Frisian (Gooshiirder)and Halligen Frisian (Freesk). The insular dialects consist of Sylt Frisian (Söl’ring), Föhr Frisian (Fering), Amrum Frisian (Öömrang) and Heligolandic Frisian (Halunder).
Some North Frisian varieties have died in recent times. The last speaker of Southern Goesharde Frisian (Gooshiirder) died in 1981. Due to the Burchadi flood in 1641, the Strand island, where Strand Frisian was spoken, was destroyed. Many speakers died or were displaced. The language only survived until the 18th century. The Eiderstedt Frisian was only spoken until 17th and 18th century and was displaced by German and Low Saxon. The same happened to the Wyk Frisian.
is a minority language in Schleswig-Holstein. The border to Denmark is rather random and so on each side of it, there are German and Danish minorities. Danish is the teaching language in 46 schools, mainly in the Northern part (Schleswig) of Schleswig-Holstein. Between 50,000 and 79,000 people are assumed to belong to the Danish minority.
There are people of both, German and Danish origin, that speak Danish. In schools, they learn the Standard Danish (Rigsdansk). But due to contact with Low Saxon and German, the majority speaks the vernacular Southern Schleswig Danish (Sydslesvigdansk) that differs from Standard Danish in many features that it has borrowed from Low Saxon and German. A third variety is South Jutlandic (Sønderjysk) which is spoken by only some Danish people in Schleswig-Holstein. Theories differ a lot, some say it is an own Scandinavian language, some say it is a dialect of the Jutlandic language, some say it is a direct dialect of Danish and some, however, say it is a mixed language between Low Saxon and Danish. It differs a lot from Danish, shown in the often recited, quirky sentence „A æ u å æ ø i æ å.“ (I am outside on the island on the meadow.) South Jutlandic itself has and had some own dialects: Fjoldemål, Angeldanish (Angeldansk), Mellemslesvigsk and Vestligt Sønderjysk.
In Schleswig-Holstein are about 5,000 Sinti and Roma of which many speak the minority language Romani (in Germany often Romanes) which is Indo-Aryan and thus related to Sanskrit. They already live in Schleswig-Holstein since the 15th century and are, thus, by definition autochthon.
Before the genocide of the Jewish population, there were important West-Yiddish minorities in some Schleswig-Holsteinian cities. It is unknown how many of the current 2,000 people with Jewish belief still speak it.
There are two widely accepted mixed languages in Schleswig-Holstein that are to be seen as independent languages. As mentioned above, some other varieties are debated cases of either dialects or mixed languages. Missingsch is a mixed language between German and Low Saxon. It derived from the time where Low Saxon monolinguals were put into schools where Low Saxon was forbidden and German was the only language. They didn’t acquire German as a mother tongue and the mixed language Missingsch evolved. It has Low Saxon grammar, phonology, pragmatism and substrate with a German-based vocabulary. It is endangered because most people are now either monolingual German or bilingual with Low Saxon and German. The second mixed language is Petuh. It is only spoken by some people in Flensburg and highly endangered. It combines Low Saxon, Danish, Southern Schleswig Danish and South Jutlandic grammar, phonology and pragmatism with German vocabulary, plus a large substrate vocabulary from the other varieties.
The last two autochthon languages are the Sign Languages of Schleswig-Holstein. The most common one is the German Sign Language (DGS - Deutsche Gebärdensprache) that is spoken by around 5,000 people. The Danish Sign Language (Dansk Tegnsprog) is spoken by only 100 people in Schleswig-Holstein.
Those are only the autochthon languages of Schleswig-Holstein. Over the time, as in every region of Germany, a lot of people immigrated. Of the 132,000 foreigners are 33,000 Turkish, 12,000 Polish, 7,000 Danish, 6,000 Russian, 4,000 Italian, 3,000 Greek, 3,000 Ukranian and about 3,000 Austrian, British and Iraqi. In addition to that, there are 363,000 more people in Schleswig-Holstein that have a German passport but a migration background. Many of them will speak the particular language of their origin/parents, too.
Germany subscribed and ratified the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and by that, it is responsible for the protection of the minority languages Danish, North Frisian, Romani, Sorbian, Saterland Frisian and the regional language Low Saxon. Other varieties and/or dialects are not yet defined under the EU-charter, sadly.
So, that is my first story of a linguistic hotspot, my very own. I will probably make this into a post-series where I will report about other interesting hotspots. If you think that’d be a good idea feel free to like and reblog my post. ;)