08 September 2008

Bókstafir, Orð, Setningar, Málsgreinar (Letters, Words, Sentences, Paragraphs)

In the MTC I remember getting two little cards from one of my teachers which had all the special rules on them for remembering the right way to decline and conjugate all the words in Icelandic. I kept those two little cards in my scriptures, my bible within a Bible. I looked at them every day for two years and they helped me simplify what seemed in the beginning beyond my abilities. What had at first seemed to be a unique form of "chaos" before long became a beautiful type of "order" which I had in no way comprehended in the beginning. I remember to this day looking at my nametag in the MTC upon arrival and thinking, "If I can ever learn to read, pronounce and understand these seven words, I will be amazed at myself!"

Well, I did learn how to read, pronounce and understand those seven words, and since then have learned about seven or eight more.

Today was my third day of teaching Icelandic at BYU. It is the third class of four--the 201 class. I had been stressing about teaching the first few classes since it was my first time ever teaching instead of just doing my regular job as an administrator. There are three regular students and three who are auditing the class. It looks to me now that I just might enjoy teaching. This is one of the things we were learning/reviewing today:

Nefnifall – Ég er nemandi.
Þolfall - Ég er að tala um nemanda.
Þágufall - Ég er að fara í burtu frá nemanda.
Eignarfall - Ég er að fara til nemanda.
Hann er að tala um mig.
Hún er að fara frá mér.
Það er að koma til mín.

I never learned the "case names" in Icelandic the whole time I was out. It wasn't necessary as a missionary. But now I know them. Nefnifall, Þolfall, Þágufall and Eignarfall. My little cards also had key prepositions on them. Um, frá and til. The nouns that followed always took the same case and therefore were used as key prepositions to help us remember how to decline nouns, pronouns and adjectives. Within all that chaos I soon discovered an order that really was enticing. I was drawn into the language and it's depths where I have been happy to stay and reach. I still have much to learn about Icelandic, but I am happy to have been adopted by the language and it's people.

1 comment:

Manuel Rios said...

It's completely beautiful & scenic.