Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Does anybody speak Icelandic?

Along with having been a listener of short-wave radio back in the days when countries were still using the medium, I like to read interesting news from all over the world. One of yesterday's stories came from Iceland: New Icelandic Film Database Opens

Now, the article is from an English-language publication based in Iceland, since Icelandic is not one of the languages I speak. But for the hell of it, I clicked over to the databse anyway, which is located at kvikmyndavefurinn.is, if you can pronounce that lovely Icelandic tongue twister. For those very few of us who don't speak Icelandic, they've helpfully provided an English-language version of the site, located at icelandicfilms.info. I think I can pronounce that one.

A little bit of arbitrary clicking on links seems to suggest there's not quite as much information on the English version, notably no details about the plot. And neither version provides the dates of birth or death of the people in the database. One feature that might be interesting is that the search for person is by given name. That's largely because people get their surnames in Iceland from the name of their father; the famous Icelandic singer (and actress in Dancer in the Dark) Björk Guðmundsdóttir would have been born to a man named Guðmund; if she had a brother he'd have the surname Guðmundsson. Apparently it's much easier to search by given names.

As I said earlier, I don't speak Icelandic, but I would be very curious to see an Icelandic film show up in TCM's Imports slot in the wee hours of Monday morning sometime. And no, I'm not talking about Sonja Henie in Iceland, thank you very much.

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