31 Monday Mar 2014
Written by Mark in Icelandic
There aren’t as many mink being seen or captured around Reykjavik this year compared to previous years. Other than the article itself, I looked at a few of the many -dýr words in Icelandic 🙂
Minkur fer á kreik í Reykjavík á vorin
Mink on the move in Reykjavik in spring
Á hverju ári veiðast tugir minka í borgarlandinu en þeim hefur þó heldur fækkað síðustu ár. Fyrir nokkrum árum veiddust á annað hundrað minka í Reykjavík. Minka verður helst vart í borginni á vorin og svo aftur á haustin.
Every year dozens of mink are captured around the city, but they have become fewer this past year. A few years ago over 100 mink were captured in Reykjavik. Mink are mostly observed in the spring, then again in autumn.
The verb fækka (reduce/decrease in number) takes the dative, in this case used in the impersonal as seen in “þeim hefur fækkað“.
Guðmundur Björnsson rekstrarstjóri hjá Meindýravörnum Reykjavíkurborgar segir að alltaf verði vart við mink, annað slagið. Það sé helst á fengitíma hans á vorin og svo þegar hvolparnir fari af stað á haustin, samt beri minna á mink nú en fyrir nokkrum árum. Fyrir nokkru hafi veiðst rúmlega hundrað minkar í Reykjavík á hverju ári, en síðustu ár hafi þeir skipt tugum, 50-60 dýr veiðist á ári.
Guðmundur Björnsson, director of operations for Reykjavik’s Pest Control, says that you can always encounter mink from time to time. It’s mostly during breeding time in the spring and then when the pups set off on their own in the fall, although there are fewer mink now then in previous years. Not long ago over 100 mink were caught each year in Reykjavik, but in the past year only several dozen, 50-60 animals, have been caught.
I’m not sure about “samt beri minna á mink” here, I think it’s from að bera á, but I can’t quite grasp the right meaning, whether it’s something along the lines of “to notice”, or if it’s the meaning of “to give birth”, which is one of the meanings of bera when used with animals. There’s another occurrence in the last paragraph which talks about foxes.
Minkurinn fer með ströndinni og fylgir ám og vötnum. Fyrir nokkrum árum gerðist það oftar en einu sinni að minkur gerði sig heimakominn við Tjörnina í Reykjavík. Hann er ekki aufúsugestur við veiðiár og varplönd. Guðmundur segir ekki oft sem meindýraeyðar séu kallaðir til vegna minks. Meindýravarnirnar séu hins vegar með reglubundnar aðgerðir gegn honum, bæði gildrur og svo sé farið með hunda á ákveðnum tímum. En hvað með refinn? Í útlöndum er hann víða orðinn hluti af fánunni í borgum.
The mink live along the shore and follow streams and lakes. The past several years they have more than once made themselves at home by the pond in Reykjavik. It is an unwelcome guest at fishing rivers and nesting grounds. Guðmundur says it isn’t very often that extermination is called for due to minks. Pest control routinely takes action against them, both with traps and dogs at certain times. And what about the fox? In other countries it is often part of the wildlife in the city.
Guðmundur segir að enn hafi ekki mikið borið á ref í Reykjavík. Stundum sjáist refur í útjaðri borgarinnar en langt sé í að hann verði jafn kræfur og erlendis og fari að koma í sorptunnur og annað slíkt.
Guðmundur says there still haven’t been many foxes spotted in Reykjavik. Sometimes a fox is seem on the outskirts of the city, but before long they may become as bold as they are abroad, getting into trash cans and such.
minkur m mink fara á kreik get up, get moving veiða v (acc) catch, hunt þeim hefur fækkað they have become fewer annað slagið now and then hvolpur m puppy veiði·á f fishing river gildra f trap, pitfall refur m fox út·jaðar m outskirts, fringe, edge
One of the words that caught my attention in the article was meindýr (pest, vermin), and I starting looking for other -dýr words. Here’s a few:
The -dýr part of the compound of course comes from dýr (animal, beast), but the interesting thing is trying to figure out the origin of the first part. In the case of mein·dýr, it’s likely related to mein (disease, illness) or one of the related meanings having to do with something that causes harm.
A familiar one is probably gælu·dýr (pet), gæla having a meaning of something that gladdens, makes happy.
A nag·dýr is a rodent, and there is a verb naga which means to gnaw, nibble.
A skor·dýr is an insect – in this case it helps to check out the Latin first 🙂 Insect comes from insectum – cut into sections. In Icelandic skor comes from skera, to cut.
A skrið·dýr is a reptile, skrið coming from skríða – to crawl, creep.
And finally, how about þef·dýr – skunk. Maybe related to þefur (smell, odor)? 🙂
Hopefully my amateur etymology isn’t too far off. Keep an eye out for -dýr words (there are plenty more) and have fun figuring out the roots 🙂