YT speeching Chinese!

by alda on March 25, 2009

The journalist from the Bejing News sent me a PDF file today with the interview I posted about a few days ago. Check it out!

Meanwhile, a Norwegian broadcaster from NRK who interviewed YT and Sigurjón Egilson after the panel last Saturday sent me an mp3 file of it last night. I’ve had trouble uploading it as media to my server [apparently it’s too large] and I’ve not worked with mp3s before so unfortunately I can’t upload it here. Real devotees, however, can go here and search for “sånn er livet” [the name of the programme], and then click on the date 24.03. A lot of it is in Norwegian, but with clips of YT speeching in English.

Also, a reader [takk Gunnar!] alerted me to the fact that a number of videos are now up on the website of the Norwegian journalists’ union, including one of the excellent live interview I attended with Nick Davies [see last post]. There is also a hilarious video of the entertainment from that evening, but it probably won’t mean much to anyone who isn’t Norwegian or who wasn’t there [we the foreigners got some of the humor, but unfortunately just a fraction; mind you, that fraction was enough to make me split a gut].

And finally … I’ve decided that this no comment thing is for the birds [bet you knew I wouldn’t be able to hold it out for long, right? – heheh.]It feels kind of like shouting into a long, dark tunnel – and not even getting an echo.

Besides, in speaking with people at the conference last weekend I realized that the comments are also a valuable resource, as readers post links, present varied points of view, etc. So I’ve decided to relax my stringent “no comment” policy and start allowing comments again – but be forewarned, they will be strictly moderated! In other words, they won’t appear on the page right away, and I reserve the right to delete any comment I want, for any reason I want. And I will, too. Just watch me. Rowr.

THE WEATHER!
Very pretty, sunny with a thin veil of clouds this afternoon, but also very deceptive – I went out for a long walk by the lighthouse and it was freezing! Nonetheless, spring is around the corner and we’re getting to the glorious season of endless daylight, with the accompanying burst of energy. A natural high. Yowsa. Sunrise this morning at 7:10 am, sunset at 7:58 pm, and it’s currently -1°C [28F].

[UPDATE: A commenter remarked that the title of this post propagates stereotypes against the Chinese. I just want to state for the record that I meant no disrespect to the Chinese — in fact a little further down I use the same silly term to refer to “YT speeching in English”. It’s just my warped sense of humour and should not be taken as anything more sinister than that. I’m actually fascinated by the Chinese interview — to see my words displayed in the Chinese characters is amazing.]

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I take your privacy very seriously
namme March 25, 2009 at 8:25 pm

Yay comments are back

Chris March 25, 2009 at 9:46 pm

This is cool, I like the comments, even if I use them not so often.
If you want to drop of a file only, you can use filedropper (http://www.filedropper.com).
If you don’t like this, you can also put it on my webserver (I actually have no problem with too much traffic), so just write me and you can get FTP access.

hildigunnur March 25, 2009 at 9:53 pm

whee, missed the chance to comment 😀

Can’t you just upload the file as mp3, then make an audio link to it? Shouldn’t be too large for that.

David March 26, 2009 at 12:56 am

Yes, control the comments but allow them. Perfect! 🙂

Stephen Cowdery March 26, 2009 at 1:43 am

I thought it might have been something I said…

😉

CarolQ March 26, 2009 at 2:58 am

I remember ‘back in the day’ when you’d ask if anyone was out there listening – er – reading your posts. Now you are the Queen of Niceland and having to turn away comments. Not quite, but you know what i mean. You have become so very popular as a spokesperson for your country. I’m very proud of you.

I lurk most of the time now that you are so political and well-known. Keep up the great work. You deserve it.

Dan from California March 26, 2009 at 6:40 am

Yay. I’m not a frequent poster, but I do enjoy reading the comments including those from the regulars like Muriel and hildigunnur.

Speaking of your trip to Norway: you mentioned yesterday how you wished that the schedule would allow you to hear more of the English-language lectures, since most were in Norwegian. That’s surprising to me, since I thought that Icelandic and Norwegian are closely enough related that you can understand Norwegian.

In practice, how difficult is it for a native Icelander to understand Norwegian and the other Scandinavian languages? I’ve heard that Danish and Swedish are close enough that people can communicate knowing one or the other.

Ljósmynd DE March 26, 2009 at 6:44 am

It’s good that the comments are back, otherwise your posts look somehow lonely out there in the vastness of the internet.

Just out of curiosity, as the Icelandic and Norwegian languages have common roots – does it help to be a native speaker of Icelandic to understand written or even spoken contemporary Norwegian (i.e. Bokmål)? Are there many similarities left?

mary March 26, 2009 at 9:34 am

Welcome back! Or should that be welcome back to me?
Anyway, glad to be able to comment now and again.

alda March 26, 2009 at 10:22 am

Thanks everyone! To me comments certainly are a very important component of blogging – let’s hope the new system works out.

hildigunnur – I’ve tried uploading it but get a message that it exceeds the limit of 7 mb – I think it’s 6.99 mb. I don’t have much experience with media files — do you think I’m doing something wrong?

Stephen – you mean those outrageously rude and belligerent comments you consistently leave here? 😉

CarolQ – ah, those were the days! 🙂

Dan, LDE – Icelandic and Norwegian stem from the same source, obviously, and yes, there are some similarities, but it is nonetheless very different, particularly the pronunciation. I do much better when reading Norwegian than when it is being spoken, and I always communicate with Norwegians in English. Mind you, that may partly be because I didn’t learn any Nordic languages in school, like most Icelanders do.

SOe March 26, 2009 at 10:47 am

Great that the comments are back. I missed them.
I hear often that Icelandic has roots in the German language. But this is hundreds of years ago. There are two things these languages have in common meaning the “ö” and the complicated grammar 🙂

Chris March 26, 2009 at 11:57 am

Alda: Thats depends how the megabyte is counted. Its either counted as 10^6 = 1.000.000 byte or 2^20 = 1.048.576 byte.

Rachel Down Under March 26, 2009 at 12:20 pm

I’m so glad comments are back, Alda. Not having them was like being confronted by a locked door – even though I do not comment often!

While I am here, I’d like to ask about the aluminium smelter which you refered to quite a long time ago. I think you were not in favour of it, which popped into my mind a few days ago when I was listening to a debate about the Australian Government’s feeble attempts to rein in our horrendous carbon emissions. In essence, a speaker said that while the aluminium industry in Australia was a huge carbon emitter because of the power sources it used (basically coal), the same companies were looking at moving to countries like Iceland where the power sources were much cleaner. Do you think it is likely that ‘dirty’ industries will try to establish in Iceland for that reason, and how will your government react? I know this is a bit off topic, but the pressure to accept this sort of thing might be very strong given the financial situation in Iceland, and I am curious.

Ljósmynd DE March 26, 2009 at 12:36 pm

I think Icelandic language is one out of the group of Germanic languages but not derived from German.

I have learned some Norwegian and have usually no problem to read Danish and Swedish texts but Icelandic – even though it is from a common source – seems to be a different thing, particularly the pronunciation and the grammar are quite a nightmare for foreigners. Nevertheless, I am prepared to learn it, if a language course should be available where I live.

Vikingisson March 26, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Comments! yay and thank you.

SOe: “german” as in the language and “germanic” are not the same thing. German is a (West) Germanic language as is Norse (North Germanic) and hence Icelandic and other Scandinavian languages. But German is not any more Germanic than Icelandic. One doesn’t come from the other, they have somewhat similar ancient roots but even then they are very different. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icelandic_language

And I must say again, to my ears the sweetest accent is that of an Icelandic woman speaking English. Hearing Eygló narrating the slide shows at IR is heavenly. Sitting on a bus in Reykjavík listening to native Icelandic is also very nice. The centuries have been kind to the old Norse out on the windy tundra.

alda March 26, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Chris – that’s totally Greek to me!

Rachel – could you perhaps post your question in the forums? I’m sure it could generate a bit of discussion or at least be of interest to others (after this comment thread has disappeared into the past).

Gunnar D March 26, 2009 at 3:06 pm

Very nice indeed that you open the comments again. Regarding the norwegian comedian – he is just hilarious, I have been hearing his weekly radioshow for years .. “Hallo i uken”. Unfortunaletly its not podcasted as of yet in the norwegian broadcast NRK.

Grif March 26, 2009 at 4:30 pm

And I must say again, to my ears the sweetest accent is that of an Icelandic woman speaking English.

Ohh so true! :p I’ve been thinking the same thing for quite a while. Although I think the men have a nice accent as well 😉

James March 26, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Comments are back! 🙂

If an MP3 file is too large, you could compress it to a *much* lower bit rate (the lower quality won’t be noticeable if it’s just speech). There are several free audio tools, eg download the excellent Audacity from http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ and set the bit rate in MP3 Export Setup to something like 16kbps or 24kbps…

Chris March 26, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Alda: Its only a little math – and no, I am no wizard too.

Jan Gunnar Furuly March 26, 2009 at 10:40 pm

Hello Alda!

Thanks for all your contributions to the SKUP-conference in Tønsberg, Norway!

Gunnar D wrote:
“I have been hearing his weekly radioshow for years .. “Hallo i uken”. Unfortunaletly its not podcasted as of yet in the norwegian broadcast NRK.”

Both “Hallo i uken” and “Sånn er livet”, where Alda was interviewed is indeed on NRK’s impressiv podcast list:
http://www.nrk.no/podkast/

Go to Liste over lydpodkaster fra NRK for radiostuff.

Cheers from Jan Gunnar Furuly,
SKUP/journalist Aftenposten

(I was also Norwegian correspondent for Morgunbladid from 1991 to 2002, when they started to cut their expenses).

SOe March 27, 2009 at 12:43 pm

@Vikingisson: Interesting. Thanks for the information!

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