Prayer request of Mulier Fortis!


Mulier Fortis, an English school teacher, has an job interview which may in part depend on her pronunciation of Eyjafjallajokull.

It also involves tomato soup and cardboard.

Oh! Help!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Gabriella says:

    Since it involves tomato soup then I think I will pray for her ;)

  2. Random Friar says:

    Ok, I listened to shadowlands’ link. Many times.

    I think I will pray for her instead. Much easier. :)

  3. Rob Cartusciello says:

    I’ve visited Iceland twice. It is a gloriously beautiful country in the summer.

    As for the pronounciation, here’s the best link I’ve found:

  4. Gregg the Obscure says:

    At first when I read “English teacher”, I had thought that was the subject taught by the young lady — making it a bit puzzling. The demonstration sounds captivating.

    I don’t see what’s tricky about Icelandic. Sure easier than Gaelic or indigenous Mesoamerican words.

  5. lofstrr says:

    Rob’s link to the youtube clip, all the way at the end is the best. She says it almost slow enough to catch all the sounds. The last syllable is the hardest but you actually have that hardest dipthong twice.


    split it up as

    Eyja fjalla jökull

    remember that the j is pronounced like a y. that is why Ja is pronounced like Yah by Scandies.

    The other thing to watch for is the ll. Because the l is repeated is has a th sound with it. you kind of put our th sound together with l as one mashed sound. Not too much th, it is really short almost just a t sound. Yeah, not easy.

    Third is the ö. That is kind of like saying ewww but then turn it into an uhh without opening your mouth. ewww is probably close enough. So jö is close to “you” in its sound.

    Finally you have the kull. The u is long like uhh this time but remember that ll is more like thl only this time it gets cut short because you don’t have a vowel at the end to give that l sound some substance.

    Eyja fjalla jökull
    A-ya fya-thla yoo-koothl

  6. Fr. Z, I am honoured by the link… but my late-lamented father (a Scot) is revolving in his urn at the description of me as “English” ! My German mother might have a few things to say on the matter as well…


    I prefer “British” to avoid offending parental sensibilities… and to avoid stirring up any more ash clouds before my pilgrimage to Lourdes!!!

  7. YadaYada says:

    Mulier Fortis: Does the tomato soup explode?

    Rob Cartusciello: How very interesting that one can find out how to pronounce the name of the exploding volcano from AlJazeera!

    But then again, Mulier Fortis does wear a veil (though the mantilla is not quite the same as the Islamic hijab or burqa).

  8. YadaYada – no, I decided that exploding tomato soup in someone else’s classroom might not go down too well with the technicians who had to clean it up. I also didn’t fancy the idea of going before the interview panel covered in soup stains…

  9. Rob Cartusciello says:

    I speak French & Spanish, some Italian and have a passing familiarity with Portuguese.

    Mesoamerican words aren’t that difficult once you learn how to pronounce them. I spent a summer in Mexico studying Spanish and can deal with words like Popocatépetl.

    I’m also good with Hebrew, Arabic & Hindi pronunciation.

    Anything Northern European, however, is beyond me. That includes Gaelic & Icelandic. I speak Gaelic like a Sicilian goat (and I’m not even Sicilian).

    Polish is another difficult one for me. My Russian pronunciation isn’t half bad, but my Polish is awful.

  10. msmsem says:

    Oy, I could use some prayers too… I have my oral comps tomorrow… Yikes. Prayer party! :)

  11. lofstrr says:

    here is an even better link for pronouncing Eyjafjallajökull

    my ll sound was a bit off but that’s because I am swede not an icelander so take the word of the icelander in the clip.

  12. Mariana says:

    lofstrr’s link is the only one to use, all that fiat-yoghurt-Merkel isn’t even close!

  13. RichardT says:

    I suggest a prayer to Saint Thorlak (a former Icelandic bishop). Traditionally they eat skate in his honour, so perhaps we could suggest recipes.

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