polarn (polarn) wrote in learn_nordic,
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Hyphenating, capitals, abbreviations, numbers in Icelandic

(Again, I'm posting for someone else. This is from the same book as this post: http://learn-nordic.livejournal.com/63626.html)


Section 45: Hyphenating (dividing with dashes)

Compound words shall be divided in-between themselves, at the join. It's best to divide many-compounded words at the main join. Example: eld-hús, skó-nál, margs-konar; hundadaga-kóngur, bardaga-aðferð.

Non-compound words shall be divided as such, at the first part which includes much of the consonants that can and may be pronounced, ex. kálf-ar, rekstr-ar, söngv-ar, benj-ar, sokkn-um, legg-um.

Monosyllable words cannot be divided. It is also wrong to a carry a single letter over to the next line, because the letter takes no more space than the dash. Because of this, it's not necessary to divide non-compound, two-syllable words, which end on a vowel, ex. aldrei, hvergi, hvorki.

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Section 46: Capital letters.

One shall write capital letters in the beginning of sentences, and it is unnecessary to show an example of this.

Capital letters shall also be written in beginning of proper names, such as the names of people and animal names, towns, countries, and districts, and in all place names, ex. Guðrún, Guðmundur, Kolur, Skjalda, Kálfafell, Reykjavík, Ísland, Mývatnssveit ("the district of Mývatn"), Flatholt, Kringlumýri ("Kringla mire", meaning the district of Kringla).

-- When other words are joined together with proper nouns, one shall write capitals in the beginning of each, and a dash in-between, ex. Suður-Jótland, Stóra-Hof, Norður-Múlasýsla, Víga-Hrappur, Gull-Ásu-Þórður.

Nationalities are written with capital letters, ex. Íslendingar (Icelanders), Danir (Danes), Svíar (Swedes), Norðmenn (Norwegians). 

Language names as a rule are written in lowercase letters, likewise adjectives which are derived from nationalities, ex. íslenzka (Icelandic-language), enska (English language), danska (Danish language); íslenzkur (Icelandic person, adj.), enskur (English person, adj.), þýzkur (German person, adj.)

(Clarity note: ex. when saying "I am Swedish" as an adjective Swedish would not be capitalized, versus "the Swedes in general..." as a noun where Swedes would be capitalized.)

One may write with lowercase austurland, norðurland, suðurland, vesturland; likewise austurálfa, norðurálfa, suðurálfa, vesturálfa. It is locationally-determined by proper noun, like for example austurfjöllin, esturfjöllin (west-fjöllin, east-fjöllin). However with capitalization one shall write Austfirðir (East-firðir), Vestfirðir (West-firðir), Vesturheimur.

The names of days, months and holidays ("special/celebration days") one shall write with lowercase letters, ex. sunnudagur (Sunday), mánudagur (Monday), janúar (January), febrúar (February), þorri (month starting on the 13th week of winter in the old Norse calendar), góa (fifth winter month in the old Norse calendar), jól  (Christmas), páskar (Easter), hvítasunna (Pentecost). The names of days that are derived from person names, one shall write with capital letters, ex. Jónsmessa, Pálsmessa, Þorlaksmessa.

Nicknames shall be written with lowercase letters, ex. Harald ur hárfagri, Hólfur kraki, Freysteinn bófi ("Freysteinn the villian"?).

Names of schools, societies, companies and establishments shall be written with capitalization only if they directly use (bein sérnöfn eða heiti) a proper name or name (that should normally be capitalized), ex. Háskóli Íslands (University of Iceland), Menntaskólinn almenni (high school/gymnasium school name), but vera í háskólanum (be in University), nemandi í menntaskólanum (a student in high school/gymnasium);

-- Hið íslenska bókmenntafélag (The Icelandic Literature Society), but bókmenntafélagsbækurnar (The literature society's books). Sjóvátryggingarfélag Íslands ("The Marine-Insurance Society of Iceland", a company), but tryggja í sjóvátryggingarfélaginu (insurance at the marine-insurance society[?]).

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Section 47: Abbreviations

It is bad for one to continuously use abbreviations unless they are altogether shorter, and then only those which are easily understood. With this also take care, as the abbreviations of some words are irregular. We shall here write some common examples:

a. m. k. - að minnsta kosti (at least)
bls. - blaðsíða (page)
gr. - grein (article, point, subject)
hr. - herra (Mr. - mister)
kap. - kapítuli (chapter)
kl. - klukkan (time, hour)
m. fl. - með fleiru
m. m. - með meiru
nfl. - nefnilega (namely, that is to say)
o. fl. - og fleira
o. m. fl. - og margt fleira
o. s. frv. - og svo framvegis (and so forth, et cetera)
sbr. - samanber (compare)
t. a. m. - til að mynda (to illustrate, in the "show an example" sense)
t. d. - til dæmis (for example)
þ. e. - það er (it is, that is)
þ. e. a. s. - það er að segja (that is to say)
þ. á. - þessa árs
þ. m. - þessa mánaðar

Watch out for the abbreviations of names before surnames (ex. "H. C. Andersen" and "A. Conan Doyle"), although it is a national habit to name people using the first name and not solely the surname.

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Subject 48: Numbers (figures of numbers)

It is obvious to write in figures (ex. 6 instead of six, not sure how to translate) days of the month and year, and furthermore all higher numbers or sums where the main goal is to state a large number. The best way is to use figures which are smaller, in regular language or poetry. But there are not any set rules. It goes according to tastes. Everyone finds ex. how peculiar it would be to use figures in the following sentences:

Bóndi átti 3 dætur, vóru 2 heima, en 1 fjarverandi (A farmer had 3 daughters, 2 were at home, but 1 was absent.)
-- Íslands 1000 ár (Iceland's 1,000th year)
(Note: I've been told as a guess about this sentence, that since 1000 is an easy word to say and the word itself isn't long, ex. vs. 1235 which is more complicated and longer in speech, that's why you would spell it out and not write it in figures.)
-- Þetta fær þú aldrei goldið fyrr en í II. lífi ("this gets you no reward until the afterlife ["life II"]?)

It's very bad if you begin a sentence with a figure.

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