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October 6th, wery wery significant day in Icelandic history. Four years ago exactly, Icelanders gathered in front of their screens and watched as then-PM Geir Haarde announced that this country was going to hell in a handbasket, national bankruptcy was imminent, and that we could well be sucked into some dark and horrible vortex along with the banks that were all collapsing, one by one. He ended the address with the now-famous phrase: "God bless Iceland." The ensuing panic was palpable, we were all in shock, thinking that we would be instantly transported to the third world, and that our future would be made up of some weird apocalyptic universe. Thankfully those awful visions did not come to pass. However, we...

It is September 30th, which the International Federation of Translators has declared International Translation Day . Here in Iceland, translations are such an integral part of life that it would spell absolute disaster if they were suddenly removed. Just think of all the films, books, TV shows, international agreements, instruction manuals, medical instructions, news, brochures, business reports, documents used in international collaboration and more ...

Earlier today I started a new discussion thread on my Facebook page regarding bilingualism and second-language acquisition. The topic has garnered quite a few responses and given me cause to reflect and analyze my own linguistic performance in different languages - for whatever it is worth. The status I posted, quite flippantly I might add, was as follows: Have just been listening to a lecture on second language acquisition, in which the concept of bilingualism was addressed, plus one thing that I've never actually heard discussed before. It's the idea that when bilingual people switch languages, they also switch personalities. It is something I've been aware of almost my entire life. I've been bilingual since I was five (well actually I was...

EPI and I went for sushi a couple of days ago, at a place called the Fish Market. Before I go further, let me unequivocally state that the sushi was really yummy. Anyway, we both order green tea with our sushi. We get a small tea kettle with a single teabag in it, plus two little teacups. Meanwhile, I notice (as you do) that two of the three women at the table next to us also order tea. They get a teapot, presumably filled with hot water, and each gets a teabag or two on the side. So it comes time to pay. The girl at the bar rings up our order and charges us for two portions of sushi, and two green...

Well, I always suspected it was true, and now I know it is - it's a lot harder to blog once a week than to blog once a day. A lot of the blog gurus preach that you really don't need to update a blog very frequently. Once a week should be enough, if you are providing quality content for your readers. That may work for some bloggers. It doesn't work that well for me, as the infrequent posts on this blog are now beginning to prove. Not that it's such a bad thing. When I was writing The Iceland Weather Report like a madwoman (posting up to three times a day - Oy!) I had a momentum going, and I had a...

A few days ago, my book The Little Book of the Icelanders was published by a legacy publisher (Forlagið). I had originally released it as an eBook through my website, and it had done quite well (which I'm sure scored it some merit points in the legacy department, once again bringing home the importance of self-initiative and the magic of the Internet ...

Almost a year ago to this day, I sat in a publisher's office and signed my first publishing deal. It was for a little book that I had penned and originally released as an eBook. The publication date was slated for 1 May 2012. The rather lengthy wait was intentional - since it was thought that my book would best appeal to the tourism market, it seemed silly to be launching it when the summer was almost over (a bit of time was obviously needed for the design, proofreading, etc). Well. It is now the middle of June 2012, and the book still isn't out. The process is enormously cumbersome. There are lots of people involved. Those people have lots of other projects...