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Every title I come up with for this post is boring so I’ll just call it National Language Day. Yawn.

As regular readers will know, the Nicelanders are exceptionally devoted to their language, Icelandic. In fact, many people consider the language to be the factor that defines Iceland as a nation. We are joined together by one language – a language that no other nation speaks.

It should come as no surprise, then, that there is an entire day every year devoted to the Icelandic language, and that day is today. It’s called Dagur íslenskrar tungu – “Day of the Icelandic Language”. This particular date was chosen because it is the birthday of one of Iceland’s foremost poets, Jónas Hallgrímsson, with whom most people here seem to have a deep affinity and affection for, sort of like the Icelandic Shakespeare but without the cryptic language. And here we have another glaring exposure of YT’s pseudo-Icelander status, because in contrast to most of my countrymen who have learned all about old Jónas in school, that’s about as much as I know about him. Except that he died young, his death has been romanticized, some people are saying it wasn’t very romantic, and today is the 200th anniversary of his birth. And this last part I only know because the media keeps banging on about it and there are festivals being held all over the country.

But anyway, as I was saying, Icelandic is very precious to the Icelanders, and I’ve documented the various efforts to preserve the language in this space before, including the Nicelanders’ obsessive need to make up Icelandic words for all manner of foreign objects and concepts, rather than just calling a computer, say, komputer. And true to form, today Morgunblaðið had a little blurb in which they’re calling for translations of some common English words and phrases that have stubbornly worked their way into Icelandic and which nobody seems to have come up with a good, solid, Icelandicism for. These words and phrases [some of which have been bastardized to fit into the sentence structure] are:

to blog [að blogga]
to google [að gúggla]
to date [someone – að deita]
grandparents [this is the only one I take exception to, I just don’t see what’s wrong with using afi og amma]
gig [gigg]

Okay then! Anyone with suggestions for good and proper Nicelandic translations may send them to menning@mbl.is or leave them in the comments, whichever is easier. Although if you do choose the second option, I can’t guarantee they will make it into the next official Icelandic dictionary.

Yep, that about sums it up. Currently 3°C [39F], sunrise was at 9.58 am [yow!] and sunset at 4.25 pm.



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