Iceland is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean. It is famous for its magnificent nature, geothermal energy and the idiosyncratic nature of its inhabitants.
Its landscape is marked by glaciers, volcanoes, hot springs, and absolutely no trees. It has become a popular destination for adventurers and seekers of the unusual, offering white water rafting, glacial snowmobiling and hot-spring bathing, as well as phenomena such as the midnight sun and The Northern Lights.
Icelanders have never been known to go the beaten path. Descendants of the ancient vikings (but these days relatively civilized), the nation of Iceland has elected the first woman president, the first openly lesbian prime minister, and was the first country in the world to acknowledge the sovereign state of Estonia. Jón Gnarr, the mayor of Reykjavík, the capital city, was a comedian who ran for office as a joke.
Despite its meager population, it has birthed such famous musicians as Björk, SigurRós, and Of Monsters And Men. Other accomplished Icelanders include 3 different winners of the Miss World competition and two strongmen who each won the World’s Strongest Man competition four times over.
Icelandic, the language of Iceland, is considered the closes living relative of ancient Norse, and is as such related to most of the Scandinavian languages. Here are some fun words to try to learn in Icelandic:
Eyjafjallajökull (AY-yah-fyad-layer-kuh-tel) – The name of the volcano that erupted in 2010. A great word to say to impress your friends, and better yet, almost nobody will be able to correct you if you’re saying it wrong.
“Einn bjór takk” (aydn byor tack) – “One beer please”. The double “n” is pronounced as a sneeze.
“Jæja” (yaya) – an all-round conversation filler. Use it to fill an uncomfortable silence, to signal that you have to go, or just to entertain yourself when you’re bored.
“Gerðu það” (gerthu thath) – the closest icelandic equivalent of “please”. Literally means “do it”
“Ógeðslega gott!” (Oh!-gethslega got) – normal way to say “very good”. Literally means “disgustingly good!”