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More on the name of that pesky volcano

A cool little video in which my friend Krista takes on the Eyjafjallajökull challenge – and nails it.




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  • Rachel Down Under April 26, 2010, 3:09 pm

    Now we know how to pronounce it, we need a way to remember it. I have never forgotten the name of the Iranian President Ahmadinejad since it was pointed out that it sounds like “I’m a dinner jacket’. So does Eyjafjallajökull sound like any sort of memorable nonsense in English?

  • alda April 26, 2010, 3:18 pm

    Well, some say it sounds like “Hey you forgot your yogurt,” but I have to say, I don’t really hear the resemblance. 🙂

  • Mike Richards April 26, 2010, 3:44 pm

    Love it!

    Is Krista a fellow Scandinavian? Her English is just too good to be a native English speaker.

  • alda April 26, 2010, 3:53 pm

    Too good to be a native English speaker? – Native Icelandic speaker, you mean?

    Actually Krista is American, from California. 🙂

  • James Wilde April 26, 2010, 7:40 pm

    No, Alda, Mike meant what he said. Educated foreigners often speak better english than native english speakers. And they usually have a better vocabulary, which is a part of it.

    For my part, my Swedish friends were complaining about the pronunciation of eyjafjallajökull yesterday, so I pointed out: Eyjafjallajökull – it’s the jökull on eyjafjall. What’s the big deal?


  • HOLadd1 April 26, 2010, 10:43 pm

    Krista sounds like she just woke up from a bender…

  • Mark April 27, 2010, 4:21 am

    Icelanders miss out on colloquialisms, it’s black and white, right and wrong. I try to speak Icelandic as best as I can but it’s fun for Icelanders to play their game. People don’t speak Icelandic as a second Language as there’s not much point to it, not that it’s hard to learn/pronounce. I enjoy reading the Sagas with my limited Norse understanding and enjoy Chinese literature with my even worse mental translations.

    The bigotry of Icelandic speakers is their worst trait. It’s just off putting.

  • The Fred from the forums April 27, 2010, 5:17 am

    To my ears, the Icelander’s pronunciation of the first vowel in “jökull” sounded different from Krista’s. But one of the scary things about Icelandic to me is that it’s making me distrust my ears: I heard a native talking about Björk and it sounded to me like “Bjórk”.

    Is the pronunciation audio file in Wikipedia OK? It sounds like it has an accent on the fourth syllable, which I haven’t heard in any of the other native pronunciations.

    People who complain about pronouncing “Eyjafjallajökull” should pause and reflect with gratitude that the erupting volcano is NOT something easy to pronounce like “Katla”.

  • kevin oconnor,waterford ireland April 27, 2010, 1:49 pm

    Hilarious, my god I will never speak Icelandic ever, can’t you guys give the rest of the world a break and adopt Chinese or something, as a partial solution I propose renaming it little Katla and the other one to be called Big Katla or Mummy Katla.

  • Mike Richards April 27, 2010, 4:04 pm


    That’s a fantastic idea – but I’d go one step further and name them ‘Volcano 1’, ‘Volcano 2’ and so on…


    BTW. one for our Icelandic contingent – what is the Icelandic for ‘volcano’?

  • alda April 27, 2010, 4:22 pm

    It’s “eldfjall” – literally fire (eldur) mountain (fjall). 🙂