Scandinavia and the World

Comments #9489346:


Icelandic place names may sound exotic, but they're usu 30 5, 6:32pm

"afgangur: avgang -> leaving, or finishing. As in "the train is leaving" or "finishing student (last year of studies)"

I'd say that that sounds more like the Icelandic meaning (leftovers) rather than the faroese (semen). In Icelandic, afgangur can also mean the remainder of something (not necessarily food)

I think I disagree with you here.
I do not agree that the norwegian word "avgang" can be related to "leftovers".
"Avgangstid", "departure time" for trains.
"Avgangseksamen", "finishing exam" for students.

I would say that with regards to similarities between faroese and icelandic words, "avgang" would be similar to "ejaculation". Not so much with the ejaculate (semen) as with the act of ejaculation.

"Avgang" would be used more as (or related to) a verb than a noun. So with regards to leftovers or similar, I would say that "avgang" could rather be used to describe spoiled food. That is, food that has "left". Rather than food that "remains", as would be the case for leftovers.

So you have similar meanings for yfir/over and ganga, just not the compound

Not exactly. We have "overgang", which probably means roughly the same as your "yfirgang". We just don't use it in combination with "folk".
"Overgangsfelt" or "fotgjengerovergang" means "pedestrian crossing". "Overgangsfelt" would technically mean "over walking field" or "over walking area". I.e. the area where can safely walk over (across) the road. "Fotgjengerovergang" technically means "foot walker over walking". I.e. where a "foot walker" (pedestrian) can walk over (across) the road.
"Overgangsalder" means "menopause". Technically it means "over walking age", i.e. the age when you cross over from one condition to the other condition.

As for the other words you mentioned, I assume that "Ljóseind" techincally means "light unit". If we had made a similar word, it would probably be "lysenhet".
"Sprengistjarna" which sounds like it means "exploding star" is probably a name that has come after science has found out what a supernova is. The reason why it's called "nova" or "supernova", is because it was a new star that they hadn't seen before.
"Jarðskjálftamælir" is a word I like. I assume that technically means "earth-shaking-measurer". It's a good example of what I like about icelandic. You make proper icelandic words, rather than just importing the international (english) word.

We do also do that, from time to time. The norwegian word for "science" is "vitenskap", which can be translated as something like "the sum of knowledge". "Television" is "fjernsyn", which means "far seeing", which is exactly what "television" means.
However, we're not very consistent about it. We easily accept and adopt english words, and it takes too long to "make" a "proper" norwegian word. And when that happens, the english word is usually so ingrained that nobody bothers to use the "constructed" norwegian word.
So I think it has to do with attitude. The icelanders WANT to use proper icelandic words, whereas norwegians feel that using constructed norwegian words is old fashioned.