From Iceland — Well You Asked: Tvo Bjóra, Barkeep

Well You Asked: Tvo Bjóra, Barkeep

Published July 19, 2019

Well You Asked: Tvo Bjóra, Barkeep
Josie Gaitens
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Wanna learn Icelandic, research your child’s genealogy or just cry about alcohol prices? Whatever your burning questions, we at the Grapevine are here to help. This week, intern Josie Gaitens takes the helm of the good ship Grapevine to answer your queries.

My wife is Icelandic and recently gave birth to our first son. I am British but both my parents are from Myanmar. Is our son the first Iceland-Myanmar mix-breed? How would we find out? Takk takk.
Mazel tov on the birth of your beautiful, bright-eyed financial burden! We’re happy to assist with your endeavour—just send over any relevant passports, bank details and social security numbers and we should have the results back to you in eight to ten working days.

Is Iceland like the supermarket?
During my student days I was known for doing my booze shopping at Iceland the supermarket, where you could buy two bottles of lurid pink Jacques cider for a whopping five whole British pounds. I was such a lightweight that this was all I required for a night of partying. By way of comparison, two vodka-lemonades at a Reykjavík bar the other night cost me 4,000 ISK (25 GBP). A girl could weep.

What’s the best way for foreigners to learn Icelandic that doesn’t involve living in Iceland continuously?
There are a number of resources available for the Icelandophiles out there. The university has free online courses and it’s worth searching for Icelandic language material on both learning site Memrise as well as notorious time-wasting hotground YouTube. An app called Drops teaches Icelandic vocabulary, although not grammar. As a result, I can now list off a range of breakfast foods and have even learned the word for ‘train station’—highly useful in this country, let me tell you—but cannot yet form a single sentence. The longest phrase I can say in Icelandic is ‘tvo bjóra’ and frankly that is just a matter of survival.

For more invaluable Well, You Asked life advice, click here. Direct your questions to us via Twitter or email.

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