Thursday, June 23, 2005

KitKat

First names. Most of us know that in Iceland they predominantly use first names... in companies, TV, administration offices. The phone book is done alphabetically according to the first names. And even credit card you will sign with your first name. The reason is simple, the surname does not hold any real information. It is created from your dad´s first name with the addition of "dóttir" (daughter) or "son" (son).

So there are sort of name chains created within one family. E.g. grandpa is Magnús, dad is Einar, son is Valdimar and daughter is Helga. That would mean that dad is called Einar Magnússon, son is called Valdimar Einarsson and daughter is called Helga Einarsdóttir. The wife never takes the surname of her husband. She will just keep her name after her dad. So that pretty much leaves us with a family of Einar Magnússon, his wife Unnur Baldursson, and their children Valdimar Einarsson and Helga Einarsdóttir.

I found using the first names quite neat but then I encountered another problem... try to pronounce properly names like Þröstur, Ársæll, Þorvarður, Guðmundur, Guðlaug, Guðríður, Þorbjörg. And yes the names sound as weird as they look :o). On the other hand I never really could remember the names so that solved the problem with the pronunciation. ;o)

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