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Icelandic Illiterate

1, 2, 3, 4.... Learn your numbers. This is a step towards mathematical literacy...and survival.

Thus, I feel lucky not being raised in Iceland, whose language is quite complex and difficult to learn...as a Icelandic child or as a second language.

For example, consider the task of learning your numbers. 1, 2, 3, 4.... Not a trivial task.

The Icelandic language has twelve different words for each of the numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4, with declinations by gender, case, singular, and plural cases.

And, more than one form of a number can exist in a larger number. For example, "hs (house) is neuter. So to say 2031 houses you must use the correct form of 2, 1000 must be plural and 1 must be neuter as it qualifies the noun house. 2031 houses in Icelandic would be tv sund rjtu og eitt hs." Get that?

Could things be simplified? According to an Icelandic on-line tutorial: "Numbers in Icelandic can be extremely difficult, but these rules easily sink in with practise. Unfortunately, due to stubbornness, Icelanders will not hold back at telling you off for getting numbers wrong and desecrating the language. It has remained virtually unchanged for thousands of years, and so they refuse to change it now. Mistakes are frowned upon, especially if the speaker is not a native."