A Grapevine service announcement LOOK BUSY! Bárðarbunga Volcano Watch: The Morning Edition
Mag
Articles
Eruption Aye-ya fyah-dla jow-kudl

Eruption Aye-ya fyah-dla jow-kudl

Photos by
Smashing Zine

Published April 20, 2010

Since news of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption hit the international press, it has been pretty clear that Icelandic is quite the tongue twister. Many of its sounds probably had to be picked up during that critical language acquisition stage if you’re going to have a fighting chance at getting it right.

That is, unless you are Daniel Tammet, who learned the Icelandic language in all of seven days. Of course, he can also recite the number pi to 22,500 decimal places.

Anyways, for most people it’s not that simple. If you haven’t already seen this collection of very creative pronunciations of Eyjafjallajökull, I highly recommend watching it and then watching it again.

Although Icelanders have had a good laugh at this, for those of you who struggle with Eyjafjallajökull, I’ll let you in on a little secret: most Icelanders can’t make the “v” sound. Yep, they’re descendents of the mighty wikings. They also eat wine berries and draw with wood colors. (psst, that’s grapes and coloured pencils).

See more Eruption Iceland stories.


Mag
Articles
<?php the_title(); ?>

It Was My Way, And The Highway

by

On the Álftanes peninsula, a good ten kilometres from downtown Reykjavík, lies a unique lava field called Gálgahraun. The towns of Hafnarfjörður, Álftanes and Garðabær were all built around the 8,000-year-old lava, which is on the Nature Conservation Register and was immortalised on canvas by celebrated Icelandic artist Jóhannes S. Kjarval. Gálgahraun was widely considered to be one of the few spots of unspoilt nature left in the greater metropolitan area, but it isn’t any more, as a big highway that cuts the field in two is currently under construction. The road is being built to accommodate the people of

Mag
Articles
<?php the_title(); ?>

News In Brief Early August

by

A whole new angle on the ever-brewing Ministry of the Interior scandal came to light when it was reported that Interior Minister Hanna Birna had contacted then-Commissioner of the Capital Area Police Stefán Eiríksson, in person and by phone, in part to ask if police could be trusted with ministry files, and when their investigations would end. Cue media maelstrom, replete with Parliamentary Ombudsman Tryggvi Gunnarsson formally requesting the minister explain herself. At the time of writing, the Ombudsman is still waiting for a final answer from Hanna Birna, who had until August 15 to respond. Former Prime Minister Geir

Mag
Articles
<?php the_title(); ?>

Hidden People: They’re Just Like Us (Kind Of)

by

When foreign media outlets report on Iceland and need to add a little local colour, they will invariably throw in a quick, ironical side note about the country’s pervasive belief in elves, or Hidden People. The tone is generally one of indulgence with just a dash of condescension, the written equivalent of patting a small child on the head when she introduces her invisible friend Mister Bob Big Jeans. Although many academic studies and informal surveys alike have concluded that a not insignificant portion of the Icelandic population “will not deny the existence of elves,” as Terry Gunnell, a leading

Mag
Articles
<?php the_title(); ?>

Hidden People Folktales

by

It is due to the efforts of two men, Jón Árnason (1819-1888) and Magnús Grímsson (1825-1860), that such a large body of 18th and 19th century Icelandic folktales exist today. Jón was a writer and also the first librarian of the National Library of Iceland, and Magnús was a student-turned-priest. Following the popularity of the Grimms Brothers’ fairytales, which were collected and first published in the early 1800s, similar folktale compendiums were collected throughout the Nordic countries. However, it was not until an English scholar named George Stephens issued a special request to Icelanders for a similar collection to be

Mag
Articles
<?php the_title(); ?>

“An Absurd Film Set In Reykjavík”

by

In September 1942 the inhabitants of Reykjavík had breakfast in a state of shock. They were reading an article in Morgunblaðið newspaper about a new Hollywood film set in their city, starring the world famous Norwegian figure skater and movie star Sonja Henie. The headline read “An absurd film set in Reykjavík” and the news lead to a public outcry. Subsequently the US government received a complaint from the Icelandic government. Today Iceland is a natural movie set frequented by famous directors. The makers of big projects like ‘Prometheus,’ ‘Noah’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ have all used it to film

Mag
Articles
<?php the_title(); ?>

The Book Cellar’s Book Seller

by

Narratives of Reykjavík’s used book culture often take the form of jeremiads—languorous laments for a bygone heyday, a paradise lost through, by and with the fall of print media. By some estimations, there used to be as many as forty secondhand book shops in town, peddling old, worn and loved books to an eager customer base. But by the end of the aughts, there was only one brick-and-mortar store: Bókin on the corner of Klapparstígur and Hverfisgata. Founded in 1964, Bókin remains an institution, a hallowed hall incensed with must and dust, where the 1993 collaboration between early music group

Show Me More!