Iceland is renowned for its dramatic landscapes which draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to the island every year. Huge waterfalls cascade into glaciers, black sand beaches sit beneath towering cliffs, geysers sporadically spurt hot water out from the rocky ground, and the mesmerising rainbow of glowing green, purple and red northern lights dance their way across the dark sky during the winter months.
Iceland’s thriving music scene has given the world the likes of Bjork and Sigur Ros, but singing along to songs that are sung in Icelandic is proving to be far from easy for many non-speakers. Icelandic is one of the hardest languages to learn, but the country’s tourism board, Inspired by Iceland, has found a new way to encourage visitors to speak the local lingo.
With the help of Icelandic comedian Steindi Jr, Inspired by Iceland has launched what is claims to be ‘The Hardest Karaoke Song in the World’ , and are encouraging people to watch it and have a go themselves. Performed by Steindi Jr, the video shows him in a variety of beautiful spots in Iceland, and the lyrics and performance of the comical film makes fun of common Icelandic stereotypes including the Icelandic love for wool and their iconic ring road.
The humorous makes use of everyday Icelandic words along with some more obscure words and phrases. Since Iceland was first settled in 874, only about one million people have ever spoken the Icelandic language.
The video has been released as part of Iceland’s new marketing initiative the A-Ö of Iceland, the Icelandic equivalent of an A-Z guide, which uses the 32 letters of the Icelandic alphabet, ending in ‘Ö’. The aim of the initiative is to harness the uniqueness of the Icelandic language to highlight the diversity and breadth of Iceland and to encourage visitors to go further and learn more.
“We are always looking for ingenious ways to inspire visitors to engage with more aspects our country and our seven regions,” explained Inga Hlín Pálsdóttir, the Director of Visit Iceland. “We have launched our new A-Ö campaign to explore our island using our unique language and alphabet. We know Icelandic is difficult to pronounce but through our karaoke film we wanted to encourage visitors to have a go and also show the world we are not afraid to laugh along.”
So, what are you waiting for? If you’re up for the challenge to sing the ‘The Hardest Karaoke Song in the World’, visit the Inspired By Iceland website and the Inspired By Iceland youtube channel, and have a go. Visitors to the website can also take part in the ‘regional quiz’ for the chance to win an adventure trip to Iceland and learn more about the country’s seven diverse regions.