Why I’m teaching myself Icelandic…

I love languages!

I’m French, I live and write in English, and I am ready to admit Icelandic is not an obvious choice for me. But I am an amateur linguist, and I love teaching myself about words.

I studied English, Spanish, Latin and a bit of Greek at school. (Thank you, Education Nationale!).

As a twelve year old introvert, I also taught myself some Italian – only just enough for going on holiday or reading recipes.

More recently, I dabbled with Gaelic and Welsh (unfortunately, I couldn’t get past the pronunciation pages).

Soooo…. Icelandic??

While I was dreaming up the Skyriders world, I fell in love with the idea of them having a language of their own, that none of their neighbours could understand.

Then I thought about one of the least populated nations on Earth to have a European heritage, and – boom! – I found Icelandic.

I began choosing character names from Icelandic baby names, and gave them matronymic or patronymic second names that imitated the ‘sonn’ or ‘dottir’ suffixes used in Iceland, but were gender neutral. (I hope you’ve noticed the Skyriders are big on gender equality and equal opportunities.)

Before long, I’d fallen in love with this beautiful and mysterious language, its poetry, its songs and sayings. Listen to these two beautiful songs from YouTube.

I google-translated everything I could, but that’s not enough to do the language justice. So no choice: Berlitz, here we come!

Fear not, I will keep you posted on my progress.

Any Icelandic speakers out there, don’t hesitate to send me tips.

With love,

Florence

 

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