The First Time I Correctly Heard and Spelled an Icelandic Word

Spelling in Icelandic isn’t something I focus on much right now. I definitely care about reading and writing in Icelandic, but I care more about being about to listen and understand it—and being able to respond back in Icelandic.

Yes, I know how to spell a number of words thanks to lots of Icelandic vocabulary practice (the app, Drops, is my favorite resource for vocab practice), but I hadn’t necessarily heard a new word spoken and immediately thought that I could perhaps sound it out and spell it…until this month!

In a recent episode of an Icelandic culture podcast I quite like, All Things Iceland, the host (Jewells) asks her guest (Aldís) about her favorite Icelandic word or phrase. Aldís has a few, with one of them being “kraðak,” which she shares just after the 42-minute marker in case you want to check that particular part out.

Obviously, while listening to the podcast, I didn’t have a reliable way to check the spelling of this word—so I sent my Icelandic friend Vilborg (who is a literal angel for answering my plethora of incredibly random Icelandic questions that pop up) a message recapping this bit of the podcast episode. I explained what the word meant and how I thought it was spelled (k-r-a-ð-a-k), and then asked her if she knew what word I was referring to.

And guess what?! I was correct! I know—kraðak is not a lengthy, super difficult word, but it does have an Icelandic letter (called “eth”) so I was pretty pleased with myself for guessing the correct spelling on this one. 😉

Cheers to small wins, language learning firsts, and Icelandic friends who help along the way.



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