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Speak Like the Locals - Game

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Speak Like the Locals - Game

It is said that Icelandic has changed very little over the past 1,000 years. This is, of course, not true; it has evolved, but some elements seem to survive all and any change Icelandic society has gone through in the past millennia.

This is especially applicable to Icelandic idioms or sayings. They've survived even though the society in which they made sense doesn't exist anymore.

A case in point is the Icelandic idiom for a massive windfall. It's "hvílíkur hvalreki," which means "What a beached whale." This seems like nonsense today. First of all, very few Icelanders celebrate a whale dying. Also, a beached whale stinks. There is nothing lucky about a whale getting beached in 21st-century Iceland. But back in the day, in poor, isolated, and often famished Iceland, a beached whale simply meant a lot of free meat. Hence, a beached whale was a massive windfall.

Iceland may be pleasant now, but imagine living in a country where a stinking whale carcass on a beach was considered so lucky that it entered as a phrase into the language.

Iceland has changed, and Icelandic has changed, but many of these REALLY weird sayings are still a part of the everyday vocabulary of an Icelander.

This game brings you a deck of cards with 52 of those sayings.

On one side, you get the phrase - in Icelandic and English - and several options of what it could refer to. On the other side, we reveal which one is the right one...and why and how that came to be.

This is the perfect game to play with friends and a fun way to get to understand the mentality of Icelanders.

You can play in the car, on the plane...or better yet...use the cards to spice up your next dinner party back home with these funny Icelandic expressions.