Telja seli við Húnaflóa
Counting seals at Húnaflói

Ríflega 30 manns, mestmegnis sjálfboðaliðar, eru önnum kafnir við að telja seli við Vatnsnes og Heggstaðarnes við Húnaflóa.

More than 30 people, mostly volunteers, are busy counting seals at Vatnsnes and Heggstaðarnes in Húnaflói.

að telja – to count
present past
ég tel taldi
þú telur taldir
það telur taldi
við teljum töldum
þið teljið tölduð
þau telja töldu
  
önn (f) – work
singular plural
nom önn annir
acc önn annir
dat önn önnum
gen annar anna

The word for volunteer is fun to dissect…sjálf (self) boða (from bjóða, to offer) liði (member of a group).

The phrase að vera önnum kafinn við has popped up every now and then. I think the reason for the dative is that it’s one of those instances where the dative is used like an instrumental case. It generally imparts the meaning of with something, or by means of something. Here it’s literally buried with/under work.

Unnur Valborg Hilmarsdóttir framkvæmdastjóri Selaseturs Íslands á Hvammstanga segir að hópurinn hafi farið út að telja um miðjan dag, því síðdegis hafi verið stórstreymisfjara og þá sé best að koma auga á selina. Í fyrra voru taldir á milli sex og sjö hundruð selir, en taldir hafa verið allt að 1000 selum á þessum slóðum. Niðurstöður úr talningunni í dag verða ljósar á næstu dögum.

Unnur Valborg Hilmarsdóttir, director of the Icelandic Seal Center in Hvammstangi, says the group went out to count around midday, as it would be a spring tide in the afternoon, the best time to see seals. Last year between six and seven hundred seals were counted, but as many as 1000 seals have been counted in this area. Results from the today’s count will be released in the coming days.

selur (m) – seal
singular plural
nom selur selir
acc sel seli
dat sel selum
gen sels sela
  
slóð (f) – path; pl. area
singular plural
nom slóð slóðir
acc slóð slóðir
dat slóð slóðum
gen slóðar slóða

Not only did I get to learn new Icelandic words, but also learned about spring and neap tides :) Apparently a spring tide is when there is a full moon or new moon, and the tides are even higher/lower than normal due to the combined pull of the moon and sun. A neap tide occurs during the moon’s quarter phases, when the effect is minimal due to the sun and mood being at right angles to one another.

ríf·legur adj             ample, generous
mest·megnis adv           for the most part
sjálfboða·liði m          volunteer
önn f                     work
framkvæmda·stjóri m       manager, director
stór·straumur m           spring tide
koma auga á               catch sight of, notice
slóð f                    path, trail; pl area, region
niðurstaða f              result, outcome, conclusion
sjávar·föll n pl          tide
smá·streymi n             neap tide