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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.


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Tension has been rising in Iceland of late. An estimated 4,500 people attended a general protest against the government on November 4, almost completely filling Austurvöllur by Alþingi. This marks it as one of the biggest demonstrations this year. The event was initially inspired by a Facebook rant from singer-songwriter Svavar Knútur, wherein he bemoaned the current coalition government’s favouritism of the rich and powerful. Instigator Svavar Knútur began the demonstration by addressing the crowd. In his speech—which has been widely shared across social media since the event—he likened the rally to the first of three warnings his father used to

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Standing by the door of a two-storey building in the Höfði industrial district and not finding a doorbell, I call Chaplas Menke, who says he’ll come down to let me in. My interview subject made local headlines this September, after being reportedly brutalised by the police. Since then, the story has gone quiet. A short while later, he invites me to his abode. He is of average height, dark-skinned, with sunken eyes and a svelte frame. He has a thick accent and speaks hesitatingly, picking his words carefully. I ask him how he’s doing, and he modestly says okay as

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Pippa’s Wish

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A particularly heart-warming story made the rounds recently when a crowdfunding campaign called “Pippa’s Wish” hit its required target, after a month online. The GoFundMe campaign was started by family friend Tamara Antonelli Comerford to take Pippa—a disabled seven-year-old Sigur Rós fan from Missouri, who suffered a stroke at birth that left her with Cerebral Palsy, among other medical conditions—on the family holiday of a lifetime. During an extended convalescence after an operation to reshape her pelvis and straighten her legs, Pippa was in severe pain, but responded with fascination to the soothing beauty of Sigur Rós’ tour documentary ‘Heima’,

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