Practicing Icelandic Through Transcription

One of my coworkers recently told me how she wants to start taking Spanish lessons again. (She, too, has an online language tutor.) I asked her what she felt like one of the most helpful ways to learn Spanish has been for her, and she said transcription because the act of transcribing makes you listen very attentively while also practicing writing/spelling. I had never thought of this as a way to study/practice a language!

My first thought was trying this out with some Icelandic podcast episodes, but first to slow down the playback. My work friend let me know that her tutor advised her to avoid what I thought was a brilliant idea. 😉 Instead, he told her, it’s best to listen to the audio at a normal pace in order to fully grasp the words and sounds in a normal, everyday context.

Icelandic transcription sounded like one of the most difficult things in the world to me at the moment, but I tried it anyway…

My first attempt was with an Icelandic podcast called Í ljósi sögunnar via RÚV that has just one host (as I didn’t want to try transcribing anything with lots of crossover talk) who doesn’t speak too quickly/is easier for me (and I presume, other new Icelandic language learners) to understand than other podcasts. (I learned about Í ljósi sögunnar from a friend. She recommended it when I asked for some podcast recommendations to listen to while running errands to help with some passive learning; lately, I find even just listening to Icelandic is a helpful way to focus on the sounds and rhythm of the language, without the purpose of understanding what’s being said.) Then I tried a short KrakkaRÚV show with brief episodes, only lasting two to three minutes…and while the language felt more manageable given the more basic vocabulary used with children’s content, the music and added sounds made it difficult for me.

Okaaay. So I learned that I’m probably not yet ready for this transcription language learning exercise. What I thought was a slower paced podcast in comparison to others actually felt like the fastest talking podcast host in the world when I attempted to transcribe even just one sentence. 😉

So it turns out that Icelandic transcription is one of the most difficult things in the world for me—at the moment. 🙂 I’m not there yet, but that’s okay. NBD, right? This (too advanced for me) exercise can be something I reach for in the months ahead. Perhaps I’ll become an Icelandic transcribing pro in 2019. 😉


One thought on “Practicing Icelandic Through Transcription

  1. 👏 this is a brilliant attempt. I reckon that Icelandic is much much more diffult than Spanish when it comes to transcription, there are far less irregular words and spelling etc. So don’t worry 🙂

    And enjoy this last day before flying 🛫🇮🇸

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