Iceland releases karaoke song in effort to promote tourism

Published on : Wednesday, October 11, 2017

IcelandA tongue-in-cheek sing-a-long film to encourage visitors to attempt Icelandic speech while visiting, despite its difficulty has been released by Inspired by Iceland.

The song, considered “The Hardest Karaoke Song in the World” highlights the uniquely difficult pronunciation of the Icelandic language. The theme and lyrics of the tune is The “A to O” of Iceland, the Icelandic equivalent of “A to Z.” It satirizes some of the common perceptions of Iceland. The video has only been online a few days and already has over 86,000 views on YouTube.

The song, not even 3 1/2 minutes long, is performed by Icelandic comedian Steindi Jr. It shows him in a variety of beautiful spots in Iceland including on top of mountains and next to glacial waterfalls. The lyrics and performance of the comical film poke fun at common Icelandic stereotypes including the Icelandic love for wool and their iconic ring road.

The humorous song makes use of everyday Icelandic words along with some more obscure words and phrases. Since Iceland was first settled in 874, only about one million people have ever spoken the Icelandic language.

Harnessing the island’s language, which is notoriously difficult to learn, Inspired by Iceland is encouraging people to watch it and have a go themselves. A 90-second video showing tourists in Iceland attempting to sing the song is part of the campaign.

“We are always looking for ingenious ways to inspire visitors to engage with more aspects of our country and our seven regions,” said Inga Hlín Pálsdóttir, director, Visit Iceland, in a release “We know Icelandic is difficult to pronounce, but through our karaoke film we wanted to encourage visitors to have a go and also show the world we are not afraid to laugh along.”

Anyone up for the challenge to try out the song can find it on the Inspired by Iceland website and youtube channel. Participants are encouraged to send in their attempts to the tourism group. Visitors to the website can also take a quiz to win a trip to Iceland.

Inspired by Iceland is the destination brand for Iceland and is managed by Visit Iceland (part of Promote Iceland) in a close cooperation with the government, tourism industry and other stakeholders in Iceland.

The videos are part of a marketing initiative which aims to harness the uniqueness of the Icelandic language to highlight the diversity and breadth of Iceland and to encourage visitors to go further and learn more.

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