Places

I don’t speak Icelandic, but I do speak Icelandic place-names. Not a major feat, I know, but a nice party trick. I let the names of these towns and dales slip out casually. “When we went to Hafnarfjordur…” I say it fast and breathlessly. It fools any non-Icelandic speaker. “‘It means harbor on the bay,” I humbly inform them, slightly wearied by the task of all that translating. Invariably, someone will tell me, “Wow, you really picked up a lot of Icelandic.” I let it slide.

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