beautiful icelandic words

afdrif, the fate of somebody

afturganga, a ghost, “one who walks again”

álfadans, dance of the elves

átt, the direction of the wind

augabragð, the twinkling of an eye

álfatrú, belief in fairies

bíldóttur, having black spots around the eyes of animals

blámóða, blue mist

blika, a cover of clouds, often foreboding storm or rain

blær, soft, calm wind

draugagangur, the walking of ghosts, a haunting

draumaland, land of dreams

dúnalogn, calm as death

dýjamosi, bright green moss growing in quagmires

fenna, to fill with snow

fjallavættur, a mountain spirit

fjúka, carried away by the wind

flygja, a ghost who accompanies a certain person

föl, a thick film of snow covering the ground

galdraöld, the age of magic

grængolandi, deep and dark green

gullbúinn, adorned with gold

hlakka, the cry of a bird of prey

hrafnagervi, the outward form of ravens

huldurdalur, hidden valley

kaf, to plunge into deep water

kollgáta, the true answer to the riddle

kossleit, looking for kisses

leirskáld, a bad poet

lumma, a pancake, or, the palm of a small hand

mói, ground covered with heather

morgungyðja, the goddess of the morning

mosavaxinn, overgrown with moss

náttúrufegurð, the beauty of nature

norðankaldi, a light breeze from the north

rammgöldróttur, full of witchcraft and wizardry 

rósóttur, with a design of roses

selslíki, the shape of a seal

sjódraugur, the ghost of a drowned man

smáminnka, getting smaller and smaller

sólskin, sunshine

stirndur, set full of stars

sumarsól, the sun in the summer

sæbrattur, rising steeply out of the sea

sælurdalur, the valley of bliss

undirsæng, a soft feather mattress

veturnætur, a few days before the first day of winter

Longest words

These are some of the supposed longest words in different European languages:

Irish - “rianghrafadóireachta” - photography

French - “Anticonstitutionnellement” - unconstitutionally

Croatian - “Prijestolonasljednikovica” - wife of an heir to the throne

Greek - “ηλεκτροεγκεφαλογραφήματος” - of an electroencephalogram

Latvian - “Pretpulksteņrādītājvirziens” - counter-clockwise

English - “Antidisestablishmentarianism” - against the disestablishment of the Church of England

Swedish - “Realisationsvinstbeskattning” - capital gains tax

Czech - “Nejneobhospodařovávatelnějšímu” - to the least cultivable ones

Polish - “Konstantynopolitańczykowianeczka the daughter of a man from Constantinople

Norwegian - “Menneskerettighetsorganisasjonene” - the human rights organisations 

Lithuanian - “Nebeprisikiškiakopūsteliaujantiesiems” - people who no longer are able to pick up wood sorrels.

Ukranian - “Нікотинамідаденіндинуклеотидфосфат” - nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate

Serbian - “Семпаравиливичинаверсаламилитипиковски” - (this is actually the last name of a family from Yugoslavia)

Portuguese - “Pneumoultramicroscopicossilicovulcanoconiotico” - a disease caused by breathing in the dust from a volcano

Welsh - “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch” - St Mary’s Church in the Hollow of the White Hazel near a Rapid Whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio near the Red Cave

Agglutinative languages. Things get even weirder here:

Estonian - “Sünnipäevanädalalõpupeopärastlõunaväsimus” - the tiredness one feels on the afternoon of the weekend birthday party

Dutch - “Hottentottententententoonstellingsterrein” - exhibition ground for Hottentot huts

Hungarian - “Eltöredezettségmentesítőtleníttethetetlenségtelenítőtlenkedhetnétek” - (apparently untranslatable) 

Finnish - “Lentokonesuihkuturbiinimoottoriapumekaanikkoaliupseerioppilas” - (something to do with the Finnish Air Force. Hard to translate but impressively long)

Icelandic - “Vaðlaheiðarvegavinnuverkfærageymsluskúraútidyralyklakippuhringur” - key ring of the key chain of the outer door to the storage tool shed of the road workers on the Vaðlaheiði plateau (Icelandic isn’t even really an agglutinative language which makes this even more impressive)

Turkish - “Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebileceklerimizdenmişsinizcesine” - as though you are from those we may not be able to easily make a number of unsuccessful ones 

And then the longest word is, of course, German. It’s 79 letters long and almost impossible to use in context: 

German - “Donaudampfschiffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerk-bauunterbeamten­gesellschaft” - Association for subordinate officials of the head office management of the Danube steamboat electrical services. 


If you know any more impressively long words that I missed, please let me know so I can add them! 

The Aestics of Languages, from a girl w/ synesthesia


Norwegian: a clear babbling stream, snowy mountaintops, sea birds, reindeer, sledding down a hill

German: strong black coffe, cobblestone roads, cloudy skies, lustful gazes, red lipstick

Mandarin Chinese: walking down a city street, bustling crowds, stationary, the sound of opening a new book

Spanish: warm summer sun, laughter, bright smiles, dancing until you can’t anymore, gold earrings

Dutch: warm hugs, waffles with cream, good cheese, the smell of an old library

Hindi: marigold flowers, a sense of peace, brilliantly colored vegetables, flowing vibrant clothes

Icelandic: wind rolling over hills, crashing waves, tinkling bells, icicles

French: early morning sunrises, sleeping under a new duvet, strawberries, sharply drawn eyeliner

Italian: home cooked meals, singing alone in your room, boats

Swahili: music that you can’t help but dance to, winning at your favorite game, water dripping into a puddle, golden eyes, dark hair

Arabic: body art, mosaics, glitter, rainbows cast from sunlight through crystal

Japanese: delicate flowers, well made machinery, studying with friends, fireflies, the first snow of winter

Irish: flute music, wet grass, fairy whispers, a full moon, playing with children

Russian: alcohol, runner’s high, bronze statues, old buildings, heartfelt conversations


Feel free to add your own!!

LazyTown in different languages

Inspired by @malteseboy​ ‘s Peppa Pig in different languages

Originally posted by robbieglaepur

LazyTown, meme show supreme, is a good show to use for practice! The show has been dubbed into nearly 32 languages, according to the Wikipedia, so there should be something for everyone. It is faster than Peppa Pig and I’d recommend it mostly to people at B1/B2 level, but it can be good just to let the language wash over you for the immersion. It’s use of songs are quite nice breaks between dialogue too. There is also generally a lot of it free on YouTube, which is nice 

The for Icelandic learners there are also the original stage plays 

Other shows

  • When I wake up: I could be learning my target language rn
  • When I'm at school: I could be learning my target language rn
  • When I'm at work: I could be learning my target language rn
  • When I'm literally doing anything except learning my target language: I could be learning my target language rn
Why Icelandic is Easy to Learn

There seems to be this idea out there that the Icelandic language is an incredibly difficult language for English speakers to learn, so when I first started studying it I was a bit nervous. However, although I still haven’t been studying it for very long, I’ve yet to run across anything that’s scared me off, and quite a bit that actually makes it quite easy to pick up as a native English speaker. So to cast off some of the stigma, here are some things that make Icelandic easy to learn (or at least not as horrifying as I’d been led to believe):

Spelling is very consistent. Icelandic spelling is mostly phonetic, where each letter represents only one sound. While there are a few instances where letters aren’t pronounced exactly the same, the variations are regular so you can learn when they’re said differently instead of just having to guess, and over time they will become natural with practice. French is supposed to be relatively easy for English speakers to learn due to shared vocabulary, but Icelandic beats French hands down in this area.

Most of the sounds are similar to English. Many of the letters are pronounced basically just like English, and while it might look a little intimidating with all the extra vowels with accent marks and so on, most of those are sounds we actually have in English, they just represent them explicitly in Icelandic, which actually helps with the point about spelling above. Here is a great video that very clearly explains the Icelandic alphabet, and as you can see, out of the 14 vowels/diphthongs there are only 3 that aren’t in English. So sure, there are some sounds that aren’t in English, but that’s going to happen in almost any language, and Icelandic doesn’t seem to be any worse in this area than German, for example. In fact, if you know both German and English, you’re pretty much set when it comes to Icelandic phonemes.

The stress is always the same. In Icelandic words are always pronounced with the stress on the first syllable. In Spanish, for example, the stress changes based on which letters a word ends with and whether or not there are any accent marks, so you have to learn those rules and then memorize each exception so you know where to put the accent, and it can be a little tricky. In Icelandic there is only one rule that never changes, making it super simple.

There are only four cases. Okay, if you’ve never studied a language with cases before, having any at all can be a bit daunting coming from English since we don’t really use them much, but if you’re going to learn a language with cases only having four is pretty great! It’s the same number of cases as German has, and waaay better than Slavic languages that can have six or seven, and there are other languages which have even more.

There are only three new characters to learn. A lot of people seem to be intimidated by the special characters Ðð, Þþ, and Ææ, but if you compare those three measly characters to languages like Greek, Russian, Arabic, or even Japanese – which has two separate syllabaries on top of thousands of kanji to learn – you can see how it’s nothing at all. Best of all, those characters represent sounds that already exist in English, so you can easily learn how to pronounce them. Ð is pronounced as the ‘th’ in ‘breathe’, Þ as the ‘th’ in ‘breath’, and æ as the ‘i’ in ‘hi’. In fact, if you want to say “Hi!” in Icelandic it’s exactly the same: “Hæ!” Similarly, “Bye!” is “Bæ!” You can see too how the spelling here is consistent in Icelandic, using only one character to represent the same sound, while in English we use ‘i’ in one word and ‘ye’ in the other, and in other words we might use even more spellings for the same sound, such as ‘ai’ or ‘y’, or even ‘igh’ (like in ‘sigh’). So even though you do have to learn a few new characters, it’s hardly any, and once you’ve learned them it actually makes Icelandic much easier to read and spell than it would be without them.

A lot of vocab comes from the same Germanic roots as English words. While English has borrowed a bunch of vocab from Latin languages, it still contains many words that come from its Germanic origins, which it shares with Icelandic. You’ve already seen hæ and bæ, and there’s also halló (hello), dóttir (daughter), móðir (mother), hér (here), frá (from), takk (thanks), heitt (hot), kalt (cold), hjálp (help), fiskur (fish), nót (net), undir (under), mús (mouse), and many more.

Basic grammar is very similar to English. Like I’ve said, I haven’t been studying long so I’m sure there’s more complicated stuff coming up, but in the basics I’ve run across so far the word order is so similar to English that you can pretty much take an English sentence and switch out the English words for their Icelandic versions and have a correct sentence. Some examples:

  • I am…
  • Ég er…
  • You are… 
  • Þú ert…
  • I am from Canada.
  • Ég er frá Kanada.
  • Are you from Iceland?
  • Ert þú frá Íslandi?
  • I am not from Spain.
  • Ég er ekki frá Spáni.
  • They come from Japan.
  • Þau koma frá Japan.

I don’t know about you, but the above doesn’t seem so difficult to me. Even if you haven’t learned the pronunciation yet, the grammatical structure is very familiar and many of the words look similar to their English counterparts.

Of course there are difficult things about Icelandic, but there are difficult things about every language. Icelandic is certainly not an impossible language to learn, and there are many things about it that are actually quite simple compared to other languages, or at the very least not any worse. If you’ve considered learning Icelandic, but were hesitant after hearing how terribly difficult it supposedly is, maybe this will show that it doesn’t have to be so scary after all.

The Icelandic horse has a very individual character. It is patient, adaptable, uncomplicated and sometimes very spirited, it has a friendly personality and a special affinity for people. Bred as a riding and working horse for the Icelandic farmer makes it an excellent family horse. With no natural predators in its home country, the horse has shed much of its natural “fight or flight” instinct. If they see you they are generally keen to trot over for a pat and to say hello

In winter they grow a thick layer of coat and they love to stay outside as long as they have a shelter if the weather gets bad and have enough to eat

Comparison of the Germanic Languages

Pronouns: I, Me, You, He, She, We, They

German: Ich, Mir, Du/Sie, Er, Sie, Wir, Sie
Low Saxon: Ekj, Mie, Jie, Hee, See, Wie, See
Old English: Ic, Mé, Ðu/Þu, Hé, Héo, Wé, Hie
Dutch: Ik, Mij, Je/U, Hij, Ze, Wij, Ze
Afrikaans: Ek, Jy/U, Hy, Sy, Ons, Hulle
Frisian: Ik, My, Do, Hy, It, Wy, Sy
Scots: Ah, Me, Ye, He, She, We, They
Faroese: Eg/Jeg, Meg, Tú, Hann, Hon, Vær, Tey
Old Norse: Ek, Mik, Þú, Han, Hon, Vér, Þau
Danish: Jeg, Mig, Du, Han, Hun, Vi, De
Norwegian: Jeg, Meg, Du, Han, Hun, Vi, de
Swedish: Jag, Mig, Du, Han, Hon, Vi, De
Icelandic: Ég, Mig, Þú, Hann, Hún, Við, Þau


Mountain

German: Berg
Low Saxon: Boajch
Old English: Beorg
Dutch: Berg
Afrikaans: Berg
Frisian: Berch
Scots: Montan
Faroese: Fjoll
Old Norse: Fell/Fjall
Danish: Bjerg
Norwegian: Fjell
Swedish: Berg/Fjäll
Icelandic: Fjall


Bread

German: Brot
Low Saxon: Broot
Old English: Bread
Dutch: Brood
Afrikaans: Brood
Frisian: Bole/Brea
Scots: Brede
Faroese: Breyð
Old Norse: Brauð
Danish: Brød
Norwegian: Brød
Swedish: Bröd
Icelandic: Brauð


To Be

German: Sein
Low Saxon: Sennen
Old English: Béon
Dutch: Zijn
Afrikaans: Wees
Frisian: Weze
Scots: Be
Faroese: Vera
Old Norse: Vera
Danish: Være
Norwegian: Være
Swedish: Vara
Icelandic: Vera


To Read

German: Lesen
Low Saxon: Läsen
Old English: Leornian
Dutch: Lezen
Afrikaans: Lees
Frisian: Leze
Scots: Rede/Reed
Faroese: Lesa
Old Norse: (Could not be found)
Danish: Læse
Norwegian: Lese
Swedish: Läsa
Icelandic: Lesa


Good

German: Gut
Low Saxon: Goot
Old English: Gód
Dutch: Goed
Afrikaans: Goed
Frisian: Goed
Scots: Good/Gud
Faroese: Góður
Old Norse: Goð
Danish: God
Norwegian: God
Swedish: God
Icelandic: Góður


Bad

German: Schlecht
Low Saxon: Schlajcht
Old English: Gódléas
Dutch: Slecht
Afrikaans: Slegte
Frisian: Min
Scots: Bad
Faroese: Illur/Ringur
Old Norse: Illr/Vándr
Danish: Dårlig
Norwegian: Dårlig/Slett
Swedish: Illa/Dålig
Icelandic: Illur/ Vondur