Do you know what is Eyjafjallajokull?

Posted 1:08 AM by crkota in Labels:
You say Eyjafjallajokull, I say “Jag har ingen aning hur man uttalar det.”

Few people outside of Iceland know how to properly pronounce the name of the volcano currently erupting beneath the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in the south of the island nation. For those who haven't given up and taken to calling it "The Big E" as some have, here's a quick pronunciation guide:

Ay-ya Fjat La Yuu Kul

Now try to say it really fast. You still won't sound Icelandic, but you'll be on somewhat the right track.

Icelanders are enjoying hearing foreigners massacre their extremely difficult language. Their main newspaper, the Morganblad, has a story about the mispronunciations. And someone's put together a hysterical YouTube piece on all the foreign reporters trying to pronounce the thing on camera.

The name means "the island mountain's glacier," says Anna Bjartmarsdóttir, Nordic Studies Librarian at the University of Washington in Seattle. Here's how it breaks down:

Eyja = island

Fjatt – mountain

Fjattla – the genitive form of mountain, or 'the mountain's'

Jokull – the nominative form of glacier

Someone in Iceland has also kindly put together a playlist of volcano songs to listen as you watch reports about the eruption.

Icelandic may be one of the most conservative languages in the Indo-European language family, but that doesn't mean Icelanders are. They've got a lot of jokes going around about the eruptions, most centering on the island nation's on-going banking and debt crisis.

Here's one: Holland and Britain asked Iceland to pay back the money it had borrowed. When Eyjafjallajokull erupted and closed down air traffic across much of Northern Europe, the Icelanders explained. "The letter C doesn't' exist in the Icelandic alphabet. So when you asked for 'cash' we could only send you 'ash.'

(Jag har ingen aning hur man uttalar det." means "I don't have the faintest idea how to pronounce that," in Swedish.)








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