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Embassy Staff Twist Tongues

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Embassy Staff Twist Tongues

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Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

The American Embassy in Iceland has released a video of some of its staff trying out a few select Icelandic phrases and tongue twisters.

The Americans are challenged by words like Eyjafjallajökull and phrases like “það fer að verða verra ferðaveðrið” – a favorite tongue twister meaning simply that the weather for traveling is getting worse.

The video has been seen by tens-of-thousands of people already. According to the embassy’s information officer, Kristinn Gilsdorf, the video has proven one of the American embassy’s most popular Facebook posts to-date, RÚV reports.

The embassy had asked its Facebook followers for suggestions of good Icelandic words and phrases and got lots of replies—many of them quite difficult.

The undeniably high standard of the staff members’ Icelandic skills is no coincidence, says Kristinn, because they all learn Icelandic for ten to 11 months at the State Department before being allowed to work in Reykjavík.

The course is no joke either; with students learning the language from 9 til 5 every day. And they don’t stop practicing when they finally reach Iceland either.

Far be it from Iceland Review to dictate what foreign missions should be working on, but wouldn’t it be fun if other embassies responded in kind? Or are the Americans simply too good at Icelandic…?

You can see the video here.

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