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View Diary: ÍslensKos: The Icelandic Language, Or, What's So Scary About Super-Long Words? (109 comments)

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  •  Worship Norse gods.... (1+ / 0-)
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    We take for granted the Christians' Sunday wafer-cannibalism, so this can't be any more far-out. Or can it?

    What an idea!

    On a different tack, what does Icelandic do about cases, per se? A zillion? Or relatively few like English?

    Since nouns are declined for any reason that seems to have come to mind, it sounds like this could be a language with 5,000,000 words in common use.

    You'd study hard, get that last set of ablative qualifiers down pat on your 94th birthday, then forget the middle 4,687,000 word-items in a snap! The-perfect-great-cleansing-moment.

    (Lovely, lovely diary. An example of why I come to dkos instead of the benighted-huff-poo.)

    •  I see the comment about cases was (3+ / 0-)
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      bontemps2012, Kimbeaux, FarWestGirl

      answered to your satisfaction below, so just for the rest.  Yep, a couple percent of the population still worships the old gods, and there's even an official revived old norse paganism church (Ásatrúarfélagið) to which nearly one percent of the population is officially enrolled in.  Paganism in general is in the ballpark of 10% of the population.  And even among non-pagans there's still a lot of belief in old pagan concepts like the álfur / huldufólk (elves / hidden people).  About 10-15% are absolutely convinced they exist and a little over half willing to consider their existence.  Now, most people these days don't think that they're actual physical beings running around; it's more like the Japanese concept of kami, that places in nature can have a spirit and they don't like being f'ed with.

      Note that Iceland also has one of the highest percentages of atheists and agnostics in the world, too.  And while a majority are still Christian, it's a very liberal, live-and-let-live Christianity - it's important to them in their personal lives, but they usually don't feel the need to push it on other people (at least not like in America).  For example, I've not once seen a single Jesus-fish or Jesus bumper sticker - I'm not sure there's one in the whole country.  Christians here generally also do not reject science (world's highest rate of acceptance of evolution, for example) or reject other people for their lifestyles / beliefs / attitudes (for example, gay pride is one of the largest annual festivals in Iceland, with a third of the population attending).

      Again, to reiterate, that doesn't mean that there's no pushy Christians, or no bigotry.  And remember that there's a state church (although 75% of the population wants to change that, so it'll probably change some time in the next decade, probably sooner rather than later) and the official national anthem is a hymn (although it's not a very popular song here - actually saw a standup comedian making fun of it last Friday).  But this sort of stuff comes from an earlier time, when religion exerted a more dominant influence on the country than it does today.

      BTW, back to Ásatrúarfélagið - in case you ever want to attend, they welcome outsiders to their ceremonies, especially the blót feasts.  :)

      •  Beginning with "We have a ghost in the house" (1+ / 0-)
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        as an indicator of our lack of orthodoxy, googling this "Ásatrúarfélagið" sounds interesting.

        The blót feasts have to have interesting recipes!

        Naming cats for Norse gods -- first step toward paganism. We can do that.

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