Iceland Mag

10 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Learn how to pronounce the names of Icelandic footballers with Island of football

By Staff

  • It's really quite easy! Or not? But it can be fun to try! Photo/Screenshot from video, see below.

If you are a fan of Icelandic football you should be following the Youtube channel and Facebook feed of Island of football a sort of tongue in cheek documentary exploration of everything connected to Icelandic football. The project is the brainchild of actor Þorsteinn Bachmann, who describes himself as a "self termed soccerologist and historian" and director Róbert Douglas.

Read more: Free online Icelandic course for absolute beginners

The two create one or two videos every week about "everything football related from an Icelandic perspective." Their latest is a stab at the pronunciation of the names of Icelandic footballers

By the way: The reason all the last names of Icelandic footballers (and the last names of almost all men in Iceland) end in -son is that most Icelanders don't have family names: Icelanders use the patronymic system where your last name is the name of your father, with the suffix -son for men and -dóttir for women, where the prefix is usually the name of your father, and in some cases your mother.

Read more: Icelandic footballers chose to wear jerseys with their last names, rather than their actual given names 

Some Icelanders, however, do have family names, like Þorsteinn. All of these family names date back to the late 19th century or early 20th century, and Danish merchants who settled in Iceland or in some cases to Icelanders who adopted new family names. In 1925 new family names were banned by law. Still, due to the patronymic system even Icelanders who have family names are known by their first names: Þorsteinn Bachmann is properly referred to as Þorsteinn, rather than Bachmann, just as Aron Gunnarsson is properly referred to as Aron, rather than Gunnarsson.

And here is Þorsteinn's video diary of the historic match between Iceland and England in EURO 2016:

Related content

Editor's Picks