I’m going to go a little bit of a different direction with this post, in that I’m going to talk about words for a specific interest/subject… dogs!
I am a big dog nerd, and my family currently contains two of them. First there is Ása, who is a 1 year old Norwegian Elkhound. Then not even a month ago, we were joined by Þórný, who is an Icelandic Sheepdog puppy. If you follow my main blog on this site, Íslensk Husfreyja, you’ll have read about both of them before, but yes, I am that much of a nerd that I even got dogs that would be appropriate for my persona. It doesn’t hurt that both breeds fall right in line with the type of dog my husband and I like. Before these two, we had an Akita, and all three of these breeds are in the spitz/northern category. We likes our pointy ears, curly tails and double coats, that’s for sure.
Here’s my girls – Ása on the left, Þórný on the right. If you’ve read my entry on the Icelandic alphabet, you’ll know that þórný is pronounced Thorny.
Anyhow, on to the language lesson! First off, the word for dog is “hund”. If you want to say THE dog, it’s “hundurinn”. Dogs plural is “hundar”. Puppy is “hvolpur”, the puppy is “hvolpurinn”, and puppies is “hvolpar”. Icelandic Sheepdog is “Íslenskur Fjarhundur”, and Norwegian Elkhound, well… in Norwegian, it’s “norsk elghund”, and I suspect it’s probably the same in Icelandic. It might be Norsku Elghund… I need to check with my friends and I’ll update this when I do.
I’ve just started training Thorny, because at the time of this writing, she’s only 11 1/2 weeks old, and I’m training her in both English AND Icelandic. As I’ve been studying Icelandic long enough to know that very little is an exact translation of the English version of something, because Icelandic grammar is quite different, I didn’t want to just use Google Translate to help me with the commands. I first posted on the Icelandic Sheepdog group on Facebook, since there’s plenty of Icelandic folks on there, and got a bit of advice, but I also got the suggestion to reach out to Galleri Voff – Hundaskóli (I haven’t translated that last word, but how much do you want to bet that it means “dog school”? The Icelandic word is actually skóli but HTML can’t handle accented characters in links.) so I went over to their Facebook page and sent Ásta a message. She was super fast with responding and super helpful. Major thanks to her for her help! So here’s what I’m going to be using in terms of Icelandic commands.
Sit – sestu (sesstu)
Stay – bíddu (beethu) (this is literally “wait”, so it’ll be the same command for both)
Lie down – leggstu niður (leg-stew neethur)
Up – upp (the U is pronounced like a German ü)
No – nei (nay)
In the car – inn í bíl (In ee beel)
A few others that Auður, the breeder that Þórný came from, helped me with (since she is Icelandic herself, though now living in Canada):
Leave it – ekki snerta (literally “do not touch”)
Drop it – sleppa
Come – koma (pronounced like the english Coma)
There will eventually be a part 2 to this entry, as Thorny’s education progresses, but for the time being, as she’s only just under 12 weeks old, this is a good start!