warm and affectionate mother tongueYlhýra is a collection of Icelandic texts where translations are shown for each word, allowing you to read authentic texts with ease.
Ylhyra demo.gif

▶ Play


by Magnús Jochumbyeftir Magnús Jochum

Today has been raining for hours together.todayÍ dag hashefur rainedrignt for hoursklukkustundum saman. Large puddles cover the streets and the dirt is full of water.largeStórir puddlespollar coverþekja streetsgöturnar andog the earth, the dirtmoldin is soakedis soakedgegnsósa ofaf watervatni. Because of the disaster, the earthworms are forced to flee their homes.disastersdisastersHamfaranna because ofvegna become forced toneyðast the earthwormsánamaðkarnir totil to escape, to fleeað flýja homeheimili theirsín. A long and ard harsh journey is what comes next.að taka viðto be up next, to come after thatto take tonext comes, after that comesVið tekur longlangt andog harsh, arduousstrangt journeyferðalag. Most of them drown on the way, but some of them are able to get all the way up to the surface.MostFlestir drowndrukkna oná the wayleiðinni anden someeinhverjir are able to getkomast allalla wayleið up onupp á the surfaceyfirborðið. There, far more horrible fate than drowning awaits them.thereÞar wait, awaitbíða themþeirra farmun more terriblehræðilegri fatefateörlög thanen drowningdrukknun.

On the surface, they are welcomed by the miniscule fingers of children.onÁ the surfaceyfirborðinu to welcome someone, to receive someonetaka á móti themþeim smalllitlir children's fingersbarnaputtar. The children have no sympathy for their slimy companions, and they snatch them up.the childrenBörnin havehafa noneenga sympathy, compassionsympathysamúð withmeð slimyslimyslepjulegum companions, friendsfélögum theirsínum andog snatch, grabhrifsa themþá to, towardstil themselvessín. Then, the children break the worms apart or crush them under the soles of their winter boots.thenSíðan break apart, snapslíta theyþau the earthworms, the maggotsmaðkana apart, in two partsí sundur oreða crush, squashkremja themþá underundir sólishoesolesshoesolessólum kuldaskórof the winter boots, of the winter shoesof the winter bootskuldaskónna.

Blær Fyrst við erum hérna 1,200 words • 13 minutes • Reading level: B2

Blær Egg í áskrift 1,000 words • 13 minutes • Reading level: B2


More videos

▶ Play
Rok is the black sheep in the weather family.stormRok iser the blacksvarti the sheep, sauðurinn iní the weather familyveðurfjölskyldunni.
▶ Play

a mix of the words "plumbing" and "medicine"Pípulækningar[1]

I have lost all faith in seeking out doctors when something happens to me.IÉg havehef lostmisst allalla faithtrú oná itþví to turn to, to seek outað leita til doctorslækna whenþegar somethingeitthvað comes forhappens tokemur fyrir memig. I never get an explanation or a cure for the ailments that afflict me.IÉg get neveraldrei none, not anyneinar explanationsútskýringar oreða curelækningu tovið theþeim ailments, illnesseskvillum thatsem afflict, plague, botherhrjá memig. The doctors just shrug and tell me to go homethe doctorsLæknarnir "Yppa" ("lift up") is now only used in this phraseshrug, lift up shouldersyppa justbara "Yppa" ("lift up") is now only used in this phraseshrug, lift up shouldersöxlum andog tell, saysegja memér to goað fara homeheim, and to see whether I don't just improve on my ownto seesjá whetherhvort Iég get better, improvelagist notekki. Then I pay them an outrageous amount of money for nothingthenSíðan payborga Iég themþeim outrageoussvívirðilegar amounts of moneyupphæðir forfyrir nothingekkert.

Recently I've began calling tradesmen instead.recentlyNýlega havehef Iég began doing something, taken up the habittekið upp á því to callað hringja í tradesmeniðnaðarmenn insteadí staðinn. That way I can have my house fixed and get medical opinions.that wayÞannig canget Iég bothbæði make happenlátið done tofixgera við the househúsið andog getfengið medicallæknisfræðilegt opinionálit. I had a plumber over last week who fixed my sink and gave me some damn good advice for the back pain which had been plaguing me.IÉg gotfékk totil memín plumberpípara iní the lastsíðustu weekviku whichsem fixedlagaði the sinkvaskinn andog gavegaf memér helldamn, bloodyhelvíti goodgóð adviceráð tovið back painbakverk whichsem wasvar plaguing, pesteringað plaga memig.
  1. The title of this piece is a wordplay on the word pípulagningar (plumbing) and lækningar (practice of medicine).

▶ Play
It truly is a certain type of a victory when native speakers just assume you're from a distant part of the country rather than being a foreigner.a certain type ofÁkveðinn victorysigur whenþegar nativesinnfæddir thinkhalda that youþú speaktalir dialectmállýsku fromfrá distant, foreignframandi part of the countrylandshluta ratherheldur thanen that youþú aresért foreignerútlendingur.
▶ Play
The Icelandic parliament doesn't need any code of conduct.(it)Það needsþarf none, not anyengar code of conduct, rules regarding conductsiðareglur oná Icelandic parliamentAlþingi. If only parliamentarians were to read Hávamál together when starting parliamentary discussions.if onlyBara ef members of the Icelandic parliamentalþingismenn were to readlæsu now(no meaning, adds nonchalance) togethersaman Hávamál (a 13th century poem)Hávamál iní beginningbyrjun of parliamentþings. That would be enough.ThatÞað wouldmyndi be enoughnægja.
Jóhann Sigurjónsson (1880–1919)

"Sofðu unga ástin mín" by Jóhann Sigurjónsson (1880–1919) is a lullaby that all parents sing for their children. You can listen to the song version here: Version 1, Version 2.

▶ Play
sleep, my young lovesleepSofðu, youngunga loveástin of minemín,
outside the rain is pouringoutside the rain is cryingoutsideúti the rainregnið weeps, criesgrætur.
mother will hold on to your precious toysmomMamma keeps, stores, holdsgeymir goldsprecious toysprecious toysgullin yourþín,
an old bone from a lamb's leg and a pebble-shrineoldgamla legsleg bones of sheepleggi andog box of pebblesvöluskrín.
Let's not stay awake during these dark nightslet's notVið skulum ekki be awakevaka duringum darkdimmar nightsnætur.

▶ Play
Prohibing cats from walking outside without a leash is a ridiculous idea, however it might be time to review whether children should be allowed to walk outside without a leash.prohibiting, banningAð banna free walkingwalking outside without a leashlausagöngu of catskatta iser ridiculousfáránleg ideahugmynd buten on the other handhins vegar would be permissible; one couldmætti completely, totallyThis word adds nonchalance to the sentence.(indeed); (totally)alveg take another look at, revise, reviewendurskoða free walkingwalking outside without a leashlausagöngu of childrenbarna.

The name Ylhýra

The word "ylhýra" means "warm and affectionate", but now it is most commonly used as a part of an allusion meaning "the Icelandic language".

That meaning comes from a poem written by Jónas Hallgrímsson in 1843. The poem goes like this:

▶ Play
Beloved, affectionate languagebelovedÁstkæra, warm and affectionateylhýra the languagemálið
and more beautiful than any voiceandog all, wholeallri voicerödd more beautiful thanfegra!
tender as a mother speaks to her childtenderblíð which, such assem to childbarni say, chant, composekvað mothermóðir
on a chest white as a swanoná chest, breastbrjósti white as a svansvanhvítu;
my good mother tonguenative language, mothertonguemóðurmálið mymitt goodgóða,
so soft and rich(old)thehið softmjúka andog richríka,
you still have words, like you did long agoword(s)orð haveáttu stillenn likeeins og long agoforðum
(that) bring happiness to mememér happiness, bliss, pleasureyndið to grantað veita.

This is a romanticist poem about the mother tongue, about how Jónas loves its warmth and affection.

Today, when someone says "The Norwegian kids are singing on our belowed warmthe NorwegianNorsku kidskrakkarnir areeru singingað syngja oná ourokkar belovedástkæra warmylhýra", it is a poetic and somewhat humorous way of saying "The Norwegian kids are singing in Icelandic".