Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Grimsvötn - the volcano that's no longer dormant

BBC news presenters and weather forecasters seem to be somewhat reluctant to pronounce the name of the Icelandic volcano Grimsvötn. I finally found a video clip here (I guess it won't be online for long), in which Susan Powell bravely pronounces the name three times. Here are the three sections:


To me it sounds like [ˈɡrɪmz̥vɜːdn̩].

PS: There seem to be temporary problems with videos - problems beyond my control.
PSS: There's another blog dealing with the 'anglicization' of the Icelandic volcano. Readers of this blog are kindly referred to it.


  1. I suppose we should congratulate her for trying and I don't suppose we could expect a newsreader to tackle front rounded vowels, pre-aspirated voiceless plosives and voiceless nasals.

    I wonder if the occurrence of v- nasals in Icelandic has anything to do with the inhabitants' attempts keep the nostrils free of volcanic dust.

    Just kidding!!!!

    Thanks for the plug, by the way. :)

  2. John,
    I wonder which pronunciation the BBC Pron Unit recommends.
    I need not inform you of the fact that women can make a pig snout with their lips. Female weather forecasters should be able to do this as well. Although they may refrain from doing so when the camera's on. ;)

  3. I need not inform you of the fact that women can make a pig snout with their lips

    And men can't? This sounds like sexist rubbish to me.

  4. @vp:
    I'm sure you are familiar with the motto of the order of the garter.

  5. Kraut, thanks very much for adding me amongst your favourite blogs...!