Icelandic: Sorry for my bad Icelandic

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by qiaozhehui, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. qiaozhehui

    qiaozhehui Junior Member

    English - American
    How would I say "Sorry for my bad/poor Icelandic", such as at the end of an e-mail where I might want to say something like:

    "Sorry for my bad Icelandic-- I'm still learning."

    I guess this sentence is pretty straightforward, but my real question is how to say "sorry (for something)" in this context. I'm guessing in Icelandic that one would probably say something like "excuse my bad Icelandic" instead of saying "sorry". Or perhaps one would say something like "I apologize for my bad Icelandic"?

    Could I use afsakaðu mig? And does the phrase "afsakaðu mig fyrir ..." even exist in Icelandic? I googled that phrase and didn't really get any useful results.
  2. sindridah Senior Member

    Ég myndi segja "Afsakaðu málfarið, ég er byrjandi í íslensku" which would mean something like this "Excuse my vernacular(?), I'm still a beginner at Icelandic"
    It's a bit hard choice the I'm still learning part. I really don't like how I put it to be honest if it's some kind of job application or something like that.

  3. qiaozhehui

    qiaozhehui Junior Member

    English - American
    Yeah, "málfarið" = something like "use of the language" (I guess the same as "språkbruk" in Swedish?). That seems like a good word to use!

    Don't worry, it's not for a job application or anything. I've just been writing a lot of e-mails to schools/people/etc. in Iceland recently since I'll be living there this summer. But sometimes when I write in Icelandic I get a response in English instead, probably because I have so many grammar/wording mistakes that they assume I might not be able to understand their response.

    The thing is I actually have no problem reading Icelandic, so what I'd really like to say is something like "Sorry for my sloppy grammar, I'm still a beginner in Icelandic, but please feel free to write back in Icelandic-- I have no problem understanding."

    But alas, maybe that's a bit too long to write at the end of every letter?
  4. KarenRei Senior Member

    American English
    Ég mæli með að þú skrifar bara "afsakið málfarið". Eða ekki neitt. Íslendingar biðja ekki afsökunnar svona oft. Kærastinn minn er búinn að hvetja mig að hætta ;) T.d.: Ég: "Ég stillaði tölvuna..." Hann: "Stillti." Ég: "Úpps, fyrirgef!" Hann: "Af hverju 'fyrirgef'?"
  5. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Maybe you could say something along the lines of,

    "Sorry for my sloppy grammar: I can read and understand Icelandic, but I'm still learning to speak it."

    which would (literally) be translated

    Afsakaðu málfarið: ég get skilið og lesið íslensku en ég er enn að læra að tala hana.

    However, the native Icelandic speakers may have suggestions for a more idiomatic translation.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013

Share This Page