Icelandic 101 - Íslenska 101

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Icelandic 101 -

Postby JackFrost » 2004-11-12, 1:49

Hello Everyone!
I'm Jack Frost and it's my pleasure to teach you all the Icelandic langauge! ;) I will teach you the basic grammar, phrases, and the alphabet and its pronunication. So I hope I will find a few people who are interested in learning this ancient language that was once spoke by the Vikings. :mrgreen: I'll begin the lession shortly. And please understand that I'm not a native-speaker, and I've been learning it for over a year now. :oops: Any questions, feel free to ask me! Thanks and goodbye for now! ;)

Halló Allir!
Ég heiti Jack Frost og það er ánægja mín að kenna ykkur íslenska tungumálið! ;) Ég mun kenna ykkur einföldu malfræðina, orðatiltækið og stafrófið og frömburð þeirra. Svo ég vona ég mun finna einhvern sem er vekti áhuga að bæra þetta gamal tungumál sem var einu talað af vikingunum. :mrgreen: Ég mun bráðlega byrja lexían! Og skiljaðu að ég er ekki innfæddur ræðumaður og ég hef lært hana um eitt ár! :oops: Ef þú hefur nokkra spurning, spyrjaðu mér! Takk fyrir og vertu sæll! ;)
Last edited by JackFrost on 2004-11-12, 13:50, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Rob P » 2004-11-12, 1:55

I'm glad to see a new class starting up! I decided that the next class which started up here in the Virtual School, I would join, so here I am :) I speak absolutely no Icelandic at all - but it might be fun to learn. Looking forward to the first lessons :)

Robert

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Postby JackFrost » 2004-11-12, 2:22

Pleasure to have you here, Robert. :)



Anyway, I forgot to explain Icelandic a little more.

Icelandic is a Germanic language in the North Germanic group where it shares close linkage with Norwegian, Faroese, Danish, Swedish, and Old Norse. Icelandic could be considered the oldest living Germanic language of today, about 1,100 years old. The language has changed very little since the Settlement of the 9th and 10th centuries by the Vikings and a few Celtic people that the Vikings brought with them. Yes, Icelandic is actually modern-day Old Norse and the Icelanders can still easily read sagas from the 12th and 13th centuries without a lot of problems. This was because the Icelanders are very stubborn to preserve their language and they will not change it now. Foreign words almost never make into Icelandic, and instead, the Icelanders take an old, useless words and put them into new use. Like for example, the word "computer" would be "tölva," meaning "number prophetess." Now 290,000 people speaks the language, almost all lives in Iceland itself. ;)

Iceland, or by offical name "Lýðveldið Ísland" (Republic of Iceland)...but "Ísland" is the most used for the country's name. Iceland is located between Greenland and Faroe Islands, and it has been first settled by the Vikings from Norway in the 9th century (called "the Settlement") although the Irish monks came first a hundred years eariler, but they never stayed. ;) The today population is only 288,000 and the island is big, about 103,000 sq km (39,769 sq mi)...the size of Kentucky to be exact. ;) The population is strictly on the coastlines where the land is smoother and more habitable because the interior is very unhabitable and hostile because of volanic activites, steep, rocky barren (and beautiful) landscapes, fast rivers, mountains, and so on. You would need a special 4-wheel drive jeep with thick tires to drive through the interior's unpaved roads and the roads are only open in the summer. The island sits on the North American and European plates, and thus...volanic activies are active and hot springs spout all over the island. As the name said itself, the island is 15% covered by glaciers and it has Europe's largest glacier, Vatnajökull...which covers 10% of the island. 60% of the population lives in and around the capital city, Reykjavík (pop. 180,000). The next big city would be Akureyri, which is located in north-central on the coast, and the population is only 20,000. Villages dot along the coast around the island and most are rarely over 1,000 people. Iceland is 70% dependent on the fishing industry. Other sources for economy is services, small manufacturing, and tourism. Iceland use energy from hot springs to heat the homes and make electricity. Iceland is the cleanest, unpolluted country in the world. Iceland has one of the highest standard of living in the world. Iceland has the world's oldest parliamnt, the Alþing, created in 930. There are no railroads in Iceland. ;)

And the flag avatar is the flag of Iceland. :) "The color red is said to symbolize the island's active volcanoes; white the ice and snow that covers most of the country, and blue is symbolic of the surrounding Atlantic Ocean." ;)
Last edited by JackFrost on 2004-11-12, 3:12, edited 5 times in total.

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Postby Hunef » 2004-11-12, 2:51

Nice to seethis start-up!
One comment though. Icelandic is well preserved in the sense that Modern Written Icelandic is very similar to Standardized Old Icelandic (i.e. language of the sagas written 12-13th centuries). The pronunciation has change a lot since the settlement though.
BTW, I think it should be 'tungumál', not *'tungamál' (compare with Swedish 'tungomål', where 'tungo' is an old genitive of the long stemmed word'tunga' = tongue; short stemmed weak feminine words preserve the '-u' ending in genitive, like 'gatu' old genitive of 'gata' = street).
But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.
Carl Sagan

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Postby JackFrost » 2004-11-12, 3:03

You're right, I read the dictionary wrong...

It's "tungumál"...I looked it up again.

Thanks! :)

And I agree, the proniciations indeed changed through history.

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Postby Nukalurk » 2004-11-12, 8:44

Yay! Finally an Icelandic course! :D

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Postby Car » 2004-11-12, 8:54

Hooray! I doubt I'll actively join from the beginning, but I'll follow it at least.
Please correct my mistakes!

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Postby Nukalurk » 2004-11-12, 9:09

Ég heiti Anthony og ég er frá þýskalandi. ;)

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Postby JackFrost » 2004-11-12, 13:51

Góðan daginn Anthony og Car...Velkommen! 8)

I'll start putting lession one later in the day! ;)

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Postby JackFrost » 2004-11-12, 18:47

Velkommen Daniel! :mrgreen:

Lesson One - Kennstustund Eitt
Alphabet
http://www.sigur-ros.co.uk/band/pronunci.html
http://www.omniglot.com/writing/icelandic.htm
Icelandic alphabet fairly follow the spoken language, and one thing you can breathe easier that Icelandic is a very uniform language, with almost no dialects in Iceland. ;)

Wait, I don't have the special letters on my keyboard!
Þþ and Ðð...you may write them as "Th, th". Ææ, you can write it as "AE, ae." ÁáÉéÍíÓóÚúÝý, just simply add ' next to the letter, like for example..."a' " for "á". ;)

Any questions on the pronunications, please ask me. 8)

Intro to Cases, Numbers, and Genders
-Icelandic, like all Germanic languages, have endings to make the nouns, articles, adjectives, and pronouns singular and plural.
-There are four cases in Icelandic, nominative, accusative, dative, and gentive. There are endings specified for each cases.
-There are three genders in Icelandic, masculine, feminine, and neuter.
-All nouns, adjectives, numbers, and pronouns are mostly declined to agree with the case, number, and gender. Yes, it is like German, but Icelandic is a little more complex than German. ;)
-Icelandic is more like a lexical language rather than as a grammical language where the verbs and prepositions determine the case, not the word order. If the verb and preposition are in the same sentence, then it is the preposition that governs the case. For example, "að vera" (to be) always governs the nominative case. "Til" (to) governs the genitive case. "Að vera til" (to exist), now the preposition, not the verb, decides the case, and since "til" always governs the genitive case, so therefore it is genitive. Enough of this for now, we will get to the prepositions and verbs later in the course. :D

Intro to Definite Articles
-Definite articles, there are actually 16 ways saying "the" in Icelandic, depending on the case, gender, and number. Ok...let's get started. :)

Masculine
Nominative Singular: Hinn
Accusative: Hinn
Dative: Hinum
Genitive: Hins

Nominative Plural: Hinir
Accusative: Hina
Dative: Hinum
Genitive Hinna

Feminine
Hin
Hina
Hinni
Hinnar

Hinar
Hinar
Hinum
Hinna

Neuter
Hið
Hið
Hinu
Hins

Hin
Hin
Hinum
Hinna

As you can see, the dative and genitive plurals are all the same endings in all genders. :)

-Examples
The horse (masculine) is hestur
Add the masculine nominative will result as...
Singular: Hesturinn/Plural: Hestarnir
Now the accustive
Hestinn/Hestana
(Why the "ur" isn't there? I will explain it later in the course. Remember, Icelandic nouns have endings specified for each case. ;))
Then the dative
Hestinum/Hestunum
(if the noun ends in a vowel, the "i" in the article is dropped)
Lastly the genitive
Hestsins/Hestanna

The rose (feminine) is rós
Nominative
Singular: rósin/Plural: rósirnar
Accusative
rósina/rósirnar
Dative
rósinni/rósunum
Genitive
rósarinnar/rósanna

The child (neuter) is barn
Nominative
Singular: barn/Plural: börnin
Accusative
barn/börnin
Dative
barninu/börnunum
Genitive
barnsins/barnanna

The definite articles always attach to the nouns in today Icelandic. It is very rare to say hinn hestur, hin rós og hið barn. Unlike Danish, the definite article still remains attached to the noun when there is an adjective with the noun.

Indefinite Articles
-Believe it or not! Indefinite articles (a/an) do not exist at all in Icelandic. ;) The only way to tell if the noun is indefinite is the noun without the definite article, or by adjectives, if it's strong, then the noun is indefinite and if it's weak, it's not. ;) The strong adjective forms are used for without articles or pronouns. The weak forms are used with articles and pronouns, but we'll get to that later in the course. :mrgreen:

If any questions, please ask! :D Lesson Two - Lexía Tvær coming next week! :mrgreen:

Takk fyrir og sjáumst!
(thank you and see you soon!)
Last edited by JackFrost on 2004-12-23, 4:37, edited 4 times in total.

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Postby Nukalurk » 2004-11-12, 19:06

If you need special letters but don't want to give up your English keyboard, then use the keyboard English (USA, International). There you have many extra letters like those needed for writing Icelandic. ;)

Jack, are you also creating exercises later on? :)

I'm happy you managed to write lesson one today. ;)

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Postby JackFrost » 2004-11-12, 19:18

Amikeco wrote:If you need special letters but don't want to give up your English keyboard, then use the keyboard English (USA, International). There you have many extra letters like those needed for writing Icelandic. ;)

Jack, are you also creating exercises later on? :)

Erm, I am not sure there will be Þþ, Ææ, and Ðð on that kind of keyboard then. But I don't care how you all write it. ;)



I did state at the bottom of Lesson One that I will be making Lession Two next week after this weekend. :)

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Postby Nukalurk » 2004-11-12, 19:34

Yes, with ALT and t for þ, ALT and d for ð and ALT and z for æ. The upper case letters are produced by pressing the SHIFT key additionally: Þ Ð Æ.

Nevertheless, it might be easier just to install the Icelandic keyboard, at least for those who normally don't use the English keyboard. ;)

senatortombstone

Postby senatortombstone » 2004-11-12, 19:55

Whoa! I thought German genders, articles and cases were hard to remember! Still, I like a challenge and learning languages means learning new concepts. sign me up!

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Postby JackFrost » 2004-11-12, 20:08

Velkommen SenatorTombstone!!! It's wonderful to have more people! :D

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Postby Rob P » 2004-11-12, 20:55

Are there regular rules for the letters before the endings?

e.g. in the dative singular it seems that you add -i onto the noun, then the ending. In the genitive singular -s (except for the feminine). In the dative plural -u then the ending. In the genitive plural -a then the ending. Perhaps I'm oversimplifying?

Does the genitive singular of rós have an irregular ending? You have written that it is rósarinnir, while judging from the definite article it could be rósarinnar.

Is the letter "g" silent at the end of a word? I was listening on line, and it sounded like the word ég was pronounced yay (without the g). Are any other letters silent?

Thanks,
Robert

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Postby JackFrost » 2004-11-13, 1:44

Rob P wrote:Are there regular rules for the letters before the endings? e.g. in the dative singular it seems that you add -i onto the noun, then the ending. In the genitive singular -s (except for the feminine). In the dative plural -u then the ending. In the genitive plural -a then the ending. Perhaps I'm oversimplifying?

There are general rules and irregular rules. Icelandic nouns are divided into strong form (nouns that undergo vowel shifts) and weak form (general). And for each form, there can be up to several groups. Nouns must be declined to agree with numbers, genders, and cases. They have to be declined before you add the articles. ;)

Hestur
Hestur, Hest, Hesti, Hests
Hestar, Hesta, Hestu, Hesta

It is a horse. (nominative singular) Hann er hestur
They are horses. (nominative plural) Þeir eru hestar
I talk to my horse. (dative case) Ég tala hesti mínum

But as I stated, I will explain the nouns and the endings for them later in the course. ;)

Rob P wrote:Does the genitive singular of rós have an irregular ending? You have written that it is rósarinnir, while judging from the definite article it could be rósarinnar.

I noticed that, I made a spelling mistake and I corrected it. Sorry for the confusion! Definite articles are always regular! :mrgreen: It should be rósarinnar The -innar is the definite article for feminine genitive singular. Articles always attach to the nouns in Icelandic. ;)

Rob P wrote:Is the letter "g" silent at the end of a word? I was listening on line, and it sounded like the word ég was pronounced yay (without the g). Are any other letters silent?

As far I am concerned, the "g" in "ég" is pronounced. It's the same pronunication as Norwegian "jeg". There are no silent letters in Icelandic. ;) If the "g" is the first letter, it's "g" as in English "good". If it's after a vowel unless followed by an i or j, it's a German "g." If it's followed by an i or j, it's "y".

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Postby Rob P » 2004-11-13, 2:17

There are general rules and irregular rules. Icelandic nouns are divided into strong form (nouns that undergo vowel shifts) and weak form (general). And for each form, there can be up to several groups. Nouns must be declined to agree with numbers, genders, and cases. They have to be declined before you add the articles.

Hestur
Hestur, Hest, Hesti, Hests
Hestar, Hesta, Hestu, Hesta


Ah, that makes much more sense :D

Now that I know that, I am content to wait until a little later on :wink:

Definite articles are always regular!


It's always a nice treat in any language to find things that are completely regular :)

I will work this weekend on memorizing the examples you have given :)

Robert

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Postby Rob P » 2004-11-13, 2:46

I don't know if any of you know about this site yet, but http://www.ruv.is/ has some good video/radio news in Icelandic :)

Robert

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Postby JackFrost » 2004-11-13, 4:42

Rob P wrote:I don't know if any of you know about this site yet, but http://www.ruv.is/ has some good video/radio news in Icelandic :)

http://www.visir.is/
Northern Iceland TV station

Click on "Fara á Vef TíVí vefinn"

You can wait news in Icelandic by just clicking the topic shown! :) And the icons at the bottom, the news is "Fréttir" in Icelandic. :)

Thanks for the link though. ;)


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