Learning Icelandic, a Superhuman Feat?

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Learning Icelandic, a Superhuman Feat?

Many foreigners find it tricky to learn the Icelandic language, the accent, the grammar, the many declensions… But it’s hardly a superhuman feat. Unless you manage to learn the language in one week like Daniel Tammet, one of the five ‘superhumans’ covered by The Observer on Sunday.

danieltammet
Daniel Tammet. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Tammet is the bestselling author of an award-winning book where he describes what it is like to live with autism and to have extraordinary abilities of memory, mathematics and languages. He once learnt Icelandic in one week on a dare, a feat he doesn’t like to brag about.

In 2008, Tammet told Iceland Review journalist Jonas Moody that he finds words beautiful, that they vary in colors and textures, and that he likes to “collect” languages. Tammet likes visiting Iceland, “a beautifully visual country” in his view. He describes Icelandic as a “transparent” and “artistic” language.

Click here to read the full interview.

ESA