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Icelandic Style Guide

Contents
What's New? .................................................................................................................................... 4
New Topics ................................................................................................................................... 4
Updated Topics ............................................................................................................................ 4

Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 5
About This Style Guide ................................................................................................................ 5
Scope of This Document .............................................................................................................. 5
Style Guide Conventions .............................................................................................................. 5
Sample Text ................................................................................................................................. 5
Recommended Reference Material ............................................................................................. 6
Normative References .............................................................................................................. 7
Informative References ............................................................................................................. 7

Language Specific Conventions ...................................................................................................... 8


Country/Region Standards ........................................................................................................... 8
Characters ................................................................................................................................ 8
Date .......................................................................................................................................... 8
Time ........................................................................................................................................ 10
Numbers ................................................................................................................................. 12
Sorting ..................................................................................................................................... 15
Geopolitical Concerns ................................................................................................................ 17
Grammar, Syntax & Orthographic Conventions ......................................................................... 18
Adjectives ................................................................................................................................ 18
Articles .................................................................................................................................... 18
Capitalization .......................................................................................................................... 19
Compounds............................................................................................................................. 20
Gender .................................................................................................................................... 21
Genitive ................................................................................................................................... 21
Nouns ...................................................................................................................................... 22
Prepositions ............................................................................................................................ 23
Pronouns ................................................................................................................................. 24
Singular & Plural ..................................................................................................................... 27
Split Infinitive ........................................................................................................................... 27
Symbols & Non-Breaking Spaces........................................................................................... 28
Syntax ..................................................................................................................................... 28
Verbs ....................................................................................................................................... 28
Word Order ............................................................................................................................. 30
Audience ................................................................................................................................. 30
Style ........................................................................................................................................ 31
Tone ........................................................................................................................................ 31
Voice ....................................................................................................................................... 31
Localization Guidelines .................................................................................................................. 32
General Considerations ............................................................................................................. 32
Abbreviations .......................................................................................................................... 32
Accessibility ............................................................................................................................ 33
Acronyms ................................................................................................................................ 33
Applications, Products, and Features ..................................................................................... 35
Frequent Errors ....................................................................................................................... 35
Glossaries ............................................................................................................................... 35
Recurring Patterns .................................................................................................................. 35
Standardized Translations ...................................................................................................... 36
Unlocalized Items.................................................................................................................... 36
Using the Word Microsoft ....................................................................................................... 36
Software Considerations ............................................................................................................ 36
User Interface ......................................................................................................................... 36
Messages ................................................................................................................................ 42
Keys ........................................................................................................................................ 45
Document Translation Considerations ....................................................................................... 50
Titles ....................................................................................................................................... 50
Copyright ................................................................................................................................. 50
What's New?
Last Updated: February 2011

New Topics
The following topics were added:
 n/a

Updated Topics
The following topics were updated:
 n/a

4
Introduction
This Style Guide went through major revision in February 2011 in order to remove outdated and unnecessary
content. It contains information pertaining to all Microsoft products and services.

About This Style Guide


The purpose of this Style Guide is to provide everybody involved in the localization of Icelandic Microsoft products
with Microsoft-specific linguistic guidelines and standard conventions that differ from or are more prescriptive than
those found in language reference materials. These conventions have been adopted after considering context
based on various needs, but above all, they are easy to follow and applicable for all types of software to be
localized.
The Style Guide covers the areas of formatting, grammatical conventions, as well as stylistic criteria. It also
presents the reader with a general idea of the reasoning behind the conventions. The present Style Guide is a
revision of our previous Style Guide version with the intention of making it more standardized, more structured,
and easier to use as a reference.
The guidelines and conventions presented in this Style Guide are intended to help you localize Microsoft products
and materials. We welcome your feedback, questions and concerns regarding the Style Guide. You can send us
your feedback via the Microsoft Language Portal feedback page.

Scope of This Document


This Style Guide is intended for the localization professional working on Microsoft products. It is not intended to
be a comprehensive coverage of all localization practices, but to highlight areas where Microsoft has preference
or deviates from standard practices for Icelandic localization.

Style Guide Conventions


In this document, a plus sign (+) before a translation example means that this is the recommended correct
translation. A minus sign (-) is used for incorrect translation examples.
In Microsoft localization context, the word term is used in a slightly untraditional sense, meaning the same as e.g.
a segment in Trados. The distinguishing feature of a term here is that it is translated as one unit; it may be a
traditional term (as used in terminology), a phrase, a sentence, or a paragraph.
References to interface elements really only refer to translatable texts associated with those interface elements.
Example translations in this document are only intended to illustrate the point in question. They are not a source
of approved terminology. Always check for approved translation in the Microsoft terminology database.

Sample Text
Inngangur
Samkvæmt 42. gr. stjórnarskrárinnar ber að leggja fram frumvarp til fjárlaga fyrir Alþingi strax og það kemur
saman að hausti. Í samræmi við þetta hefur frumvarpið jafnan verið lagt fram á fyrsta fundi þingsins. Um
5
meginefni þess er fjallað í fjárlaganefnd Alþingis en aðrar nefndir fá þá efnisflokka til umsagnar sem að þeim
snúa. Fjallað er um nauðsynlegar lagabreytingar vegna tekjuhliðar fjárlaga og breytingar á almennum lögum sem
tengjast afgreiðslu fjárlaga í öðrum nefndum. Fjárlagafrumvarp er jafnan afgreitt í desember.
Frumvarpið er sett fram í tveimur hlutum. Í fyrri hluta er fjallað um stefnu og horfur í ríkisfjármálum á komandi
fjárlagaári auk umfjöllunar um áætlun um ríkisfjármálin til fjögurra ára. Í síðari hluta eru lagagreinarnar og
athugasemdir við þær auk sérstakra yfirlita
Í fyrsta kafla fyrri hluta þessa frumvarps er fjallað um stefnuna í ríkisfjármálum og helstu áhersluatriði. Í öðrum
kafla er farið yfir helstu áhrif sem fjármálakreppan haustið 2008 hefur haft á ríkisfjármálin. Í þriðja kafla er kynnt
endurskoðun á langtímaáætlun um ríkisfjármálin til nokkurra ára og helstu forsendur og niðurstöður hennar. Í
fjórða kafla er að finna umfjöllun um áætlun um skuldastýringu og lánsfjáröflun ríkissjóðs. Í fimmta kafla eru
fjármál sveitarfélaga sett í samhengi við áætlun um jöfnuð í opinberum fjármálum. Í sjötta kafla er greint frá
margvíslegum ráðstöfunum sem stjórnvöld hafa gripið til í því skyni að bregðast við áhrifum fjármálakreppunnar á
hag heimila og fyrirtækja. Í sjöunda kafla er staða og horfur í ríkisfjármálum sett í samhengi við stöðu mála í
öðrum löndum. Í áttunda kafla er gefið yfirlit um þjóðhagsspá Hagstofunnar, sem fjárlagafrumvarpið byggir á. Í
níunda kafla eru kynnt áform um kynjaða hagstjórn. Í lok heftisins er töfluviðauki með ýmsum upplýsingum um
ríkisfjármálin.
1. gr. Rekstraryfirlit ríkissjóðs, A-hluti.
2. gr. Sjóðstreymi ríkissjóðs, A-hluti.
3. gr. Fjárreiður ríkisfyrirtækja í B-hluta.
4. gr. Fjárreiður lánastofnana í C-hluta.
5. gr. Lántökur, endurlán og ríkisábyrgðir.
6. gr. Heimildir.
Í síðari hluta er að finna ítarlegar upplýsingar um tekjur, gjöld og lánsfjármál. Í fyrsta lagi koma fram lagagreinar
þar sem meginniðurstöður ríkisfjármála eru sýndar ásamt heimildarákvæðum. Í öðru lagi er sýnd sundurliðun á
tekjum ríkissjóðs, fjárreiðum stofnana og framlögum til einstakra viðfangsefna. Þessar sundurliðanir eru fylgihluti
lagagreinanna. Í þriðja lagi eru séryfirlit af ýmsu tagi til skýringar. Að lokum er greinargerð um lagagreinarnar og
yfirlitin.
Vakin er athygli á því að allt efni fjárlagafrumvarpsins, bæði talnayfirlit og greinargerðir, er birt á vef
fjármálaráðuneytisins um leið og frumvarpið hefur verið lagt fram á Alþingi. Veffangið er fjarlog.is.

Sett inn þann 14. janúar 2011 kl. 14:00

Source of sample text: http://hamar.stjr.is/Fjarlagavefur-Hluti-


II/GreinargerdirogRaedur/Fjarlagafrumvarp/2011/Fyrri_hluti/Inngangur.htm

Disclaimer: Please note that the information in this sample text should under no circumstances be used in
examples as fictitious information.

Recommended Reference Material


Use the Icelandic language and terminology as described and used in the following publications.

6
Normative References
These normative sources must be adhered to. Any deviation from them automatically fails a string in most cases.
When more than one solution is allowed in these sources, look for the recommended one in other parts of the
Style Guide.
1. Íslensk orðabók. 2002. (3. útg.) Ritstj. Mörður Árnason. Reykjavík: Edda.
2. Handbók um íslensku. 2011. Ritstj. Jóhannes B. Sigtryggsson. Reykjavík: JPV útgáfa.
1. Höskuldur Þráinsson. 2006. (2. útg.) Handbók um málfræði. Reykjavík: Námsgagnastofnun
3. Auglýsing um íslenska stafsetningu nr. 132/1974, með innfelldum breytingum skv. auglýsingu
nr. 261/1977. [http://www3.hi.is/~eirikur/stafsreg.htm]
4. Auglýsing um greinamerkjasetningu nr. 133/1974, með innfelldum breytingum skv. auglýsingu
nr. 184/1974. [http://www3.hi.is/~eirikur/greinreg.htm]
5. Beygingarlýsing íslensks nútímamáls. Orðabók Háskóla Íslands. Ritstjóri: Kristín Bjarnadóttir.
[http://bin.arnastofnun.is/]

Informative References
These sources are meant to provide supplementary information, background, comparison, etc.
2. Jón Hilmar Jónsson. Orðastaður: orðabók um íslenska málnotkun. 2001. Reykjavík: JPV útgáfa.
3. Jón Hilmar Jónsson. Stóra orðabókin um íslenska málnotkun. 2005. Reykjavík: JPV útgáfa.
4. Stafsetningarorðabókin. 2006. Ritstj. Dóra Hafsteinsdóttir. Reykjavík: JPV útgáfa.
5. Orðabanki Íslenskrar málstöðvar. [http://herdubreid.rhi.hi.is:1026/wordbank/search]
6. Hugtakasafn Þýðingamiðstöðvar utanríkisráðuneytis. [http://www.hugtakasafn.utn.stjr.is/]
7. Ritmálssafn Orðabókar Háskólans. [http://arnastofnun.is/page/arnastofnun_gagnasafn_ritmal]
8. Tölvuorðasafn. 2005 (4. útgáfa). Ritstj. Stefán Bríem. Reykjavík: Hið íslenska bókmenntafélag.
9. Skrá um orðasambönd. Stofnun Árna Magnússonar í íslenskum fræðum. Umsjónarmaður: Jón Hilmar
Jónsson. [http://www.lexis.hi.is/osamb/osamb.pl]
10. Málfarsbanki Íslenskrar málstöðvar. [http://arnastofnun.is/page/arnastofnun_gagnasafn_malfarsbankinn]
11. Landaheiti og höfuðstaðaheiti. Íslensk málstöð. [http://www.ismal.hi.is/landahei.html]
12. Prófgráður og viðaukar. Menntamálaráðuneytið. [http://www.menntagatt.is/default.aspx?pageid=380]
13. Snara.is [http://www.snara.is].

7
Language Specific Conventions
This part of the style guide contains information about standards specific to Icelandic.

Country/Region Standards
Characters
Country/region Iceland

Lower-case characters a, á, b, d, ð, e, é, f, g, h, i, í, j, k, l, m, n, o, ó, p, r, s, t, u, ú, v, x, y, ý, þ, æ, ö

A, Á, B, D, Ð, E, É, F, G, H, I, Í, J, K, L, M, N, O, Ó, P, R, S, T, U, Ú, V, X, Y, Ý,
Upper-case characters
Þ, Æ, Ö

Characters in caseless
n/a
scripts

á, ð, é, í, ó, ú, ý, þ, æ, ö
Extended Latin characters
Á, Ð, É, Í, Ó, Ú, Ý, Þ, Æ, Ö

Note on alphabetical order Alphabetical order is not necessarily indicative of sorting order.

Total number of characters 32

a (0061); á (00E1); b (0062); d (0064); ð (00F0); e (0065); é (00E9); f (0066); g


(0067); h (0068); i (0069); í (00ED); j (006A); k (006B); l (006C); m (006D); n
(006E); o (006F); ó (00F3); p (0070); r (0072); s (0073); t (0074); u (0075); ú
(00FA); v (0076); x (0078); y (0079); ý (00FD); þ (00FE); æ (00E6); ö (00F6); A
Unicode codes
(0041); Á (00C1); B (0042); D (0044); Ð (00D0); E (0045); É (00C9); F (0046); G
(0047); H (0048); I (0049); Í (00CD); J (004A); K (004B); L (004C); M (004D); N
(004E); O (004F); Ó (00D3); P (0050); R (0052); S (0053); T (0054); U (0055); Ú
(00DA); V (0056); X (0058); Y (0059); Ý (00DD); Þ (00DE); Æ (00C6); Ö (00D6)
C, Z and W are mainly used in (foreign) names in Icelandic but are not included
Notes
in the Icelandic alphabet.

Date

Country/region Iceland

Calendar/Era Gregorian

First Day of the Week Sunday

First Week of the Year First week that includes four or more days

8
Country/region Iceland

Separator . or /

Default Short Date


d.M.yyyy
Format

Example 17.3.2011

Default Long Date Format d. MMMM yyyy

Example 17. mars 2011

Additional Short Date


d/M yyyy
Format 1

Example 17/3 2011

Additional Short Date


n/a
Format 2

Example n/a

Additional Long Date


n/a
Format 1

Example n/a

Additional Long Date


n/a
Format 2

Example n/a

Leading Zero in Day Field


No
for Short Date Format

Leading Zero in Month


Field for Short Date No
Format

No. of digits for year for


4
Short Day Format

Leading Zero in Day Field


No
for Long Date Format

Leading Zero in Month


Field for Long Date n/a – full name of month written
Format

Number of digits for year


4
for Long Day Format

9
Country/region Iceland

Date Format for


Location, dd. MMMM yyyy
Correspondence

Example Reykjavík, 17. mars 2011

Notes n/a

d is for day, number of d's indicates the format (d = digits without leading zero, dd =
digits with leading zero, ddd = the abbreviated day name, dddd = full day name)
Abbreviations in Format M is for month, number of M's gives number of digits. (M = digits without leading
Codes zero, MM = digits with leading zero, MMM = the abbreviated name, MMMM = full
name)
y is for year, number of y's gives number of digits (yy = two digits, yyyy = four digits)

Time
Country/region Iceland

24 hour format Yes

Standard time format HH:mm:ss

Standard time format


03:24:12
example

Time separator colon :

Time separator examples 03:24:12

Hours leading zero Yes

Hours leading zero example 03:24:12

String for AM designator fh

String for PM designator eh

 AM/PM designators are rarely used in Icelandic and should be avoided.


Notes

Days
Country/region: Iceland

Day Normal Form Abbreviation

Monday mánudagur mán

10
Day Normal Form Abbreviation

Tuesday þriðjudagur þri

Wednesday miðvikudagur mið

Thursday fimmtudagur fim

Friday föstudagur fös

Saturday laugardagur lau

Sunday sunnudagur sun

First Day of Week: Sunday


Is first letter capitalized?: No
Notes: n/a

Months

Country/region: Iceland

Month Full Form Abbreviated Form Long Date Form

January janúar jan janúar

February febrúar feb febrúar

March mars mar mars

April apríl apr apríl

May maí maí maí

June júní jún júní

July júlí júl júlí

August ágúst ágú ágúst

September september sep september

October október okt október

November nóvember nóv nóvember

December desember des desember

Is first letter capitalized?: No


Notes: n/a

11
Numbers
Numbers from 1-10 should be written out in Icelandic, unless space is an issue.

Phone Numbers
Country/ International Area Number of Separator Number of Digit
region Dialing Codes Digits – Area Digits – Groupings –
Code Used? Codes Domestic Domestic

Iceland 354 No n/a space or – n/a n/a


(dash)

Country/ Number of Digit Number of Digit Number of Digit


region Digits – Groupings Digits – Mobile Groupings – Digits – Groupings –
Local – Local Mobile International International

Iceland 7 #######: 7 ### ####: 10 +354 ### ####:


### ####: #######: +354 #######:
###-#### ###-#### +354 ###-####

Notes: Since there are no area codes in Iceland all calls are local calls.
The most common and preferred grouping is ### ####.

Addresses
Country/region: Iceland
Disclaimer: Please note that the information in this entry should under no circumstances be used in examples as
fictitious information.
Address Format:
1. [Title/Honorific] FirstName LastName
2. [CompanyName]
3. Address1
4. [Address2]
5. [CountryCode-] PostalCode City
6. [Country]
Example Address:
[Hr.] Jón Gunnarsson
Vélaverksmiðjan hf.
Austurgötu 32
[IS-]132 Reykjavík
Ísland
Local Postal Code Format: xxx
Notes: Address should be in dative case.
City should be in dative case.
12
Currency

Country/region Iceland

Currency Name króna

Currency Symbol kr.

Currency Symbol Position The symbol can come before and after the amount.

Positive Currency Format kr. 1,1 / 1,1 kr.

Negative Sign Symbol -

Negative Currency Format kr. -1,1

Decimal Symbol ,

Number of Digits after Decimal 2

Digit Grouping Symbol .

Number of Digits in Digit


3
Grouping

Positive Currency Example kr. 1.000,00

Negative Currency Example kr. -1.000,00

ISO Currency Code ISK

Currency Subunit Name aur

Currency Subunit Symbol n/a

Currency Subunit Example 1,50 kr.

Digit Groups

Country/region: Iceland
Decimal Separator: ,
Decimal Separator Description: Comma
Decimal Separator Example:
3,14159
1.234.567,89
SK 1.234,56
Thousand Separator: .
Thousand Separator Description: point
Thousand Separator Example:

13
1.234.567,89
SK 1.234,56
Notes: In Icelandic, the comma is used as a decimal separator and the period to separate groups of three digits.
This is exactly opposite of English usage!

Measurement Units
Metric System Commonly Used?: Yes
Temperature: Celsius

Category English Translation Abbreviation

Linear Measure Kilometer kílómetri km

Meter metri m

Decimeter desimetri dm

Centimeter sentimetri cm

Millimeter millimetri mm

Capacity Hectoliter hektólítri n/a

Liter lítri l

Deciliter desilítri dl

Centiliter sentilítri n/a

Milliliter millilítri ml

Mass Ton tonn t

Kilogram kílógramm kg

Pound pund lbs

Gram gramm g

Decigram desigramm n/a

Centigram sentigramm n/a

Milligram milligramm mg

English Units of Inch tomma in


Measurement
Feet fet ft

Mile míla n/a

Gallon gallon n/a

Notes: Alternative spelling desí-, millí-, sentí-

14
Percentages

The percentage symbol (%) comes directly after the number it follows, without any space added: 100%.
Note, that the percentage symbol (%) is frequently used as a placeholder and should never be removed.

Sorting

1. Capital letters and lowercase letters are equal. No distinction is made between them.
2. The extended characters Á, á, É, é, Í, í, Ó, ó, Ú, ú, Ý, ý are treated as separate letters of the
alphabet.
3. Accented characters sort after their non-accented counterparts, so á sorts after a.
Sorting rules
4. Accented characters that are not in the Icelandic alphabet sort after the Icelandic accented
characters, so ô sorts after ó.
5. Non-alphabetical characters (i.e. symbols like @ ! #) sort before the letters of the alphabet.
6. Digits sort after the non-alphabetical characters and before the letters of the alphabet.

a (97); á (225); b (98); d (100); ð (240); e (101); é (233); f (102); g (103); h (104); i (105); í (237);
j (106); k (107); l (108); m (109); n (110); o (111); ó (243); p (112); r (114); s (115); t (116); u
Character (117); ú (250); v (118); x (120); y (121); ý (253); þ (254); æ (230); ö (246); A (65); Á (193); B
sorting order (66); D (68); Ð (208); E (69); É (201); F (70); G (71); H (72); I (73); Í (205); J (74); K (75); L (76); M
(77); N (78); O (79); Ó (211); P (80); R (82); S (83); T (84); U (85); Ú (218); V (86); X (88); Y (89);
Ý (221); Þ (222); Æ (198); Ö (214)
@
1
Aaron
andere
ändere
chaque
chemin
Examples of cote
sorted words coté
côte
côté
čučēt
Czech
hiša
irdisch
lävi

15
lie
lire
llama
lõug
lòza
Lübeck
luč
luck
lye
Löwen
Männer
màšta
mîr
myndig
möchten
piña
pint
pylon
sämtlich
šàran
savoir
Šerbūra
Sietla
ślub
subtle
symbol
väga
verkehrt
vox
waffle
wood
yen
yuan
yucca
ţal

16
ţena
Ţenēva
zoo
Zürich
Zviedrija
zysk
zzlj
zzlz
zznj
zznz

Geopolitical Concerns
Part of the cultural adaptation of the US-product to a specific market is the resolving of geopolitical issues. While
the US-product should have been designed and developed with neutrality and a global audience in mind, the
localized product should respond to the particular situation that applies within the target country/region.

Sensitive issues or issues that might potentially be offensive to the users in the target country/region may occur in
any of the following:
 Maps
 Flags
 Country/region, city and language names
 Art and graphics
 Cultural content, such as encyclopedia content and other text where historical or political references may
occur
Some of these issues are relatively easy to verify and resolve: the objective should be for the localizer to always
have the most current information available. Maps and other graphic representations of countries/regions and
regions should be checked for accuracy and existing political restrictions. Country/region, city and language
names change on a regular basis and need to be checked, even if previously approved.
A thorough understanding of the culture of the target market is required for checking the appropriateness of
cultural content, clip art and other visual representations of religious symbols, body and hand gestures.

Guideline
As country/region and city names can change, please use the most up-to-date Icelandic list for every release of
your product.

17
Grammar, Syntax & Orthographic Conventions
This section includes information on how to apply the general rules of the Icelandic language to Microsoft
products and documentation.

Adjectives
For general information on Icelandic adjectives, please refer to general Icelandic language grammar references.

Possessive adjectives
The frequent use of possessives is a feature of English language. However in Icelandic, possessive adjectives
should be used sparingly. Possessives should only be used in Icelandic when it is necessary to underline the
ownership of the item in question and to avoid ambiguity.

Example:

English Translation Comment

Do you want (!idspnOneNote) to (+) Viltu að (!idspnOneNote) leiti í Where possessives are used in
search audio and video when you hljóð- og myndskrám þegar þú leitar English, Icelandic tends to avoid
search your notes? í minnispunktum? them. If used too much, the text can
appear overly precious.

The above recipients can view your (+) Ofangreindir viðtakendur geta It can be necessary to use
calendar if you publish. skoðað dagbókina þína ef þú birtir. possessives for clarity and to avoid
ambiguity.

Articles
General considerations
Articles in icelandic are affixed and depend on the gender and number of the word they qualify (see further
explanation in the section Gender).

Unlocalized Feature Names

Microsoft product names and non-translated feature names are used without definite or indefinite articles in the
English language. The same applies to Icelandic. However, when the product or feature name forms a part of a
noun phrase, articles and declension are used as normal for the icelandic words that form a part of that noun
phrase.
Example:

English Icelandic Translation

Open the Microsoft Word document. (+) Opnaðu Microsoft Word-skjalið.

18
Localized Feature Names

Feature names in English are not localized in Icelandic. They are either kept the same as in the source text or
fully translated:
Example:

US English Icelandic Comment

Open the Task Manager (+) Opnaðu Verkstjórnun Some feature names are fully
translated

Open the folder in Windows (+) Opna möppuna í Windows When feature names are not
Explorer Explorer translated, they are not localized,
but kept as they appear in the
source.

Articles for English Borrowed Terms

When faced with an English loan word previously used in Microsoft products, consider the following options
(Note: English loan words should not be used when translating Microsoft to Icelandic, unless no other option
exists or the loan word has already been integrated into the Icelandic language and is officially considered part of
the vocabulary):
 Motivation: Does the English word have any formally motivated features that would allow a
straightforward integration into the noun class system of Icelandic language?
 Analogy: Is there an equivalent Icelandic term whose article could be used?
 Frequency: Is the term used in other technical documentation? If so, what article is used most often?
The internet may be a helpful reference here.
Example:

US English Icelandic Comment

Use these settings to change the (+) Notaðu þessar stillingar til að ―blog‖ is a permitted borrowed term,
way your blog looks. breyta útliti bloggsins. and has been localized to "blogg" to
(-) Notaðu þessar stillingar til að fit better the rules of Icelandic
breyta útliti fyrir blog. phonology and grammar. Note the
incorrect non-localized version in
the second example.

Capitalization
If the first word in the English source string is capitalized, the corresponding first word in the target language
should also be capitalized. If the word in the English source string is not capitalized, the corresponding first word
in the target language should also not be capitalized, unless language-specific rules specify different
capitalization.

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The basic rule of capitalization in Icelandic, is that only the first word of a sentence is capitalized. Even though
capitalization is used in other words in the English sentence, the same does not apply to Icelandic. Please follow
Icelandic spelling conventions regarding capitalization, cf. article 5 of Auglýsing um íslenska stafsetningu nr.
132/1974.
Example:

English example Icelandic example


unknown software exception\r\n (+) óþekkt hugbúnaðarfrábrigði\r\n
acquired (+) var fengið
Log off user (+) Skrá notanda út
Edit... (+) Breyta...
Change Page Date (+) Breyta dagsetningu síðu

Compounds
Generally, compounds should be understandable and clear to the user. Overly long or complex compounds
should be avoided. Keep in mind that unintuitive compounds are ultimately an intelligibility and usability issue. In
Icelandic the separate parts of the compounds are usually written together as one word unless it is very long.
Sometimes it is necessary to use a preposition to clarify or break up compounds that otherwise become long or
awkward. Compunds in Icelandic are usually formed by using the genetive case, i.e. the first part/word of the
compound is in genetive and the second part/word is added to is.
Example:

English examples Icelandic examples

network communication error (-) net samskipta villa

(+) netsamskiptavilla

(+) villa í netsamskiptum

spreadsheet functions (+) töflureiknisaðgerðir

(+) aðgerðir í töflureikni

When a compound contains a product name in English or an acronym, a hyphen is placed between the English
term and the Icelandic word. If the product name consists of more than one word, the hyphen is placed after the
last word in English.

Example:

English example Icelandic example

Windows password (+) Windows-aðgangsorð

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English example Icelandic example

Microsoft Word document (+) Microsoft Word-skjal

Microsoft SQL Server Database (+) Microsoft SQL Server-gagnagrunnur

Microsoft BackOffice product family (+) Microsoft BackOffice-vörur

ActiveX Control (+) ActiveX-stýring

HTML Code (+) HTML-kóði

TCP/IP Protocol (+) TCP/IP-samskiptaregla

24 bit color value (+) 24-bita litagildi

Gender

Use the following strategies to avoid the use of overtly gender-biased expressions:

Linguistic method Example Context


Use a Neutral noun (+) einstaklingur, stjórnandi, hópstjóri, Concept descriptions, explanations
sérfræðingur, starfsmaður, notandi
Combine both genders by (+) hann/hún Only in exceptional cases such as
means of a slash License Terms, sometimes in
tables (headers or column/row
titles, for example)

When addressing the user directly, it may be necessary to include both genders in the address:

Linguistic method Example Context


Welcome to the Password Reset (+) Velkomin(n) í uppsetningarforrit Use parenthesis to indicate that
Wizard skanna og myndavéla users of both genders are
addressed

Genitive
Genitive is one of four cases in Icelandic. As in English, genetive denotes the owner of something. Note that
certain prepositions require the following noun to be in the genetive case. These prepositions are til, vegna,
sökum and sakir. This can be problematic when the text contains placeholders.

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Example:

US English Icelandic Comment

Send the e-mail to the contact (+) Sendu tölvupóstinn til The preposition ―til‖ (―to‖) forces the
tengiliðsins noun "tengiliður‖ to be in genetive

Send the e-mail to %s (+) Sendu tölvupóstinn til (Where %s is a name of a person)
tengiliðsins %s The placeholder will most likely
(-) Sendu tölvupóstinn til %s contain a name in nominative, so
the sentence needs to be rephrased
to avoid ungrammatical
construction.

Convention 1: Product Names:


Attaching a genitive "s" to (trademarked) product names is not permitted. The same applies to untranslated
feature names, as these are not localized.

Convention 2:
In other cases, the standard conventions rules should be followed.

Nouns
General considerations
Nouns in Icelandic decline in four cases: nominative, accusative, dative and genetive. They vary in gender
(masculine, feminine or neuter) and number (singular and plural). There are two main declension paradigms:
strong and weak.
Example:
Inflection

number case masculine feminine neuter neuter

singular nom. hattur borg glas gler

acc. hatt borg glas gler

dat. hatti borg glasi gleri

gen. hatts borgar glass glers

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number case masculine feminine neuter neuter

plural nom. hattar borgir glös gler

acc. hatta borgir glös gler

dat. höttum borgum glösum gler(j)um

gen. hatta borga glasa gler(j)a

Plural Formation

For general information on plural formation in Icelandic, please refer to general Icelandic language grammar
references.

Prepositions
Pay attention to the correct use of the preposition in translations. Influenced by the English language, many
translators omit them or change the word order.
Prepositional phrases in English need to be translated according to their context; anglicisms should be avoided.
The table below contains frequently used verbs and the prepositions that follow them. Please use this table as a
reference.

US Expression Icelandic Expression

migrate to (+) yfirfæra á

migrate from (+) yfirfæra af

import to (+) flytja inn í

import from (+) flytja inn úr

export to (+) flytja út í

export from (+) flytja út úr

update to (+) uppfæra á

upgrade to (+) uppfæra af

change to (+) breyta í

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US Expression Icelandic Expression

click on (+) breyta úr

connect to (+) tengjast við

welcome to ... (+) velkomin/n í ...

To-sentences are quite common in the English source text. Avoid using "Til að..." when translating, change the
word order as shown below.
Example:
English Translation
To create a new document, choose New on the (-) Til að opna nýtt skjal skaltu velja Nýtt í valmyndinni Skrá
File menu (+) Veldu Nýtt í valmyndinni Skrá ef opna á nýtt skjal
(+) Nýtt skjal er opnað með því að velja Nýtt í valmyndinni
Skrá
(+) Hægt er að opna nýtt skjal með því að velja Nýtt í
valmyndinni Skrá

The examples below contain frequently occurring noun phrases that are preceded by a preposition. Please use
this table as a reference.

US expression Icelandic expression Comment

in the toolbar (+) á tækjastikunni

on the tab (+) á flipanum

on the menu (+) á valmyndinni

on the net (+) á netinu

on the Internet (+) á internetinu

on the Web (+) á vefnum

on a web site (+) á vefsvæði

on a web page (+) á vefsíðu

Pronouns
In general, the Icelandic translation follows the source text in its use of pronouns. Note, however, that the use of
the second person pronounin a direct address should be toned down. When providing general information to the
user (as in the first example below), direct address is normally not appropriate. When asking the user to take
some action, it is normally appropriate. When direct address needs to be changed, one can do so by changing
word order or using passives.

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Example:
English Translation
You are now connected to the Internet. (+) Tengingu hefur verið komið á við internetið.
You cannot drop directories here. (+) Ekki er hægt að sleppa skráasöfnum hér.
Game Over -- You Win (+) Leik lokið -- þú vannst
Confirm your password (+) Staðfestu aðgangsorðið

Example:

Punctuation
Detailed information on the use of punctuation marks in Icelandic can be found in Auglýsing um
greinarmerkjasetningu (available at http://www3.hi.is/~eirikur/greinreg.htm).
Comma

 Do not separate an independent clause and a dependent clause with a comma.


 Comma should only separate two independent clauses if they are unrelated.
 Use common sense when applying a comma. Sometimes it can be necessary to separate elements in a
sentence with a comma for clarity, although it may not be strictly correct. It may be preferable, rather than
using a comma, to rephrase and/or reorder to get the meaning clearly across, or, if the sentence is long
and complex, split the sentence into two independent sentences

Example:
Incorrect Correct Comment
(-) Þjónustan gat ekki unnið úr (+) Þjónustan gat ekki unnið úr Do not separate an independent
skeytinu, vegna þess að snið þess skeytinu vegna þess að snið þess clause and a dependent clause with
var gallað. var gallað. a comma.
(-) Opnaðu möppuna veldu skrána (+) Opnaðu möppuna, veldu skrána Comma should separate two
og afritaðu hana. og afritaðu hana. independent clauses if they are
unrelated.

Colon
A colon is used in the same manner as in English, to introduce a description or a small list.
Example:
(+) Gerðu eftirfarandi: Hægrismelltu á skjalið, veldu skipun af valmyndinni og smelltu á Í lagi.

There seems to be a tendency among Icelandic speakers to confuse a semicolon (;) and a colon (:), and use the
former where the latter is appropriate. This is incorrect and these punctuation marks should not be confused.
Example:

The following applies: (+) Eftirfarandi á við:


(-) Eftirfarandi á við;

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Dashes and Hyphens

Three different dash characters are used in English:


Hyphen
The hyphen is used to divide words between syllables, to link parts of a compound word, and to connect the parts
of an inverted or imperative verb form. In Icelandic a hyphen is used to divide words between lines (word flow)
and to link parts of a compound word where the first part is a word or word phrase in English.
Example:
(+) Opnaðu Word-skjalið.

En Dash
The en dash is used as a minus sign, usually with spaces before and after.
The en dash is also used in number ranges, such as those specifying page numbers. No spaces are used around
the en dash in this case.
Example:
Blaðsíða 1–10.
Em Dash
The em dash should only be used to emphasize an isolated element or introduce an element that is not essential
to the meaning conveyed by the sentence. In Icelandic, it can usually be omitted, although it is not incorrect to use
it the same way as in the English source text.
Example:

US English Icelandic Comment

If you’re using a laptop, don't (+) Ef þú notar fartölvu þarftu ekki Replacing an em dash with a
worry—the battery won’t be drained. að hafa áhyggjur, rafhlaðan tæmist comma is an option, although not
ekki. necessary.
(+) Ef þú notar fartölvu þarftu ekki
að hafa áhyggjur—rafhlaðan tæmist
ekki.

Ellipses (Suspension Points)

In Icelandic, ellipses are used when it is deemed necessary to shorten text by omitting a part of it, often to get the
core meaning more clearly accross.
Example:

US English Icelandic Comment

Some Tablet PCs are ―convertibles‖ (+) Sumum spjaldtölvum er hægt að It is also possible to use ―[...]‖ in
... to reveal a keyboard underneath. breyta ... þannig að lyklaborðið undir Icelandic texts.
komi í ljós.

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The rules for ellipses in English and Icelandic are quite similar, therefore it is quite safe to follow the use of
ellipses of the source text.

Period

In Icelandic, periods are used at the end of sentences, in abbreviations and as a thousand separator.

Example:
(+) Opnaðu möppuna til að finna þetta atriði.
(+) 103.000,00 kr.

Quotation Marks

Quotation marks are, for example, used when referring to a software user interface element, a third party entity or
a quotation.
Double quotes are the correct Icelandic typographical characters although slightly different from the English in
terms of direction and location. The opening quotation mark is at the bottom „ (ANSI 0132); the closing quotation
mark is at the top ― (ANSI 0147) (cp. English closing quotation mark: ‖ (ANSI 0148)).
.
Example:

English: Finds pages with the term "cirque du soleil"

Icelandic: (+) Finnur síður sem innihalda setninguna „cirque du soleil―

Parentheses

In English, there is no space between the parentheses and the text inside them. The same applies to Icelandic.

Example:
(+) Bættu við skilaboðum til þessa aðila (valfrjálst)

Singular & Plural


Please follow general Icelandic language grammar rules on using singular and plural forms.

Split Infinitive
A split infinitive does not exist in Icelandic.

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Subjunctive
In Icelandic, subjunctive is mainly used in formal speech and writing. In general, it is not appropriate for use in the
context of a user interface of a Microsoft software. Active voice along with imperative or indicative mood should
be used, making the text easier to understand.

Symbols & Non-Breaking Spaces


This Style Guide does not cover a comprise overview of existing symbols. Information on currency symbols etc.
can be found in the Country/Region Standards section above.
Non-breaking spaces ( ) should only be used whenever they are present also in the US text. Otherwise it is
recommended to use a blank space as non-breaking spaces can create functionality problems.

Syntax
Syntax and register differ between Icelandic and English in the following ways:
1. Icelandic is what has been called a ―verb-based‖ language. In English, the tendency is to use nouns or
substantives to describe actions and things where the use of verbs would be more natural in Icelandic.
When nouns or substantives are overused in translations and follow the source text too closely, the text
can appear less fluid and an obvious translation (see also the section Verbs below).
Example:
English Incorrect translation Corrected translation Comment

Keep playing (-) Halda áfram spilun (+) Halda áfram að spila The substantive gerund
―playing‖ is incorrectly
translated with the noun
―spilun‖, resulting in a odd
looking text. The correct
way is to use an infinitive
of the verb ―spila‖ (play)

Verbs
Please follow general Icelandic language grammatical rules on using verbs.
Continuous operations are usually expressed in English with a gerund, which should be translated into Icelandic
with the infinitive form of the corresponding verb.
Example:

English Translation Comment

Thanks for playing. (+) Takk fyrir að spila.

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In some cases, it is more appropriate to translate the gerund with a noun or substantive form:
 when describing an action that is somewhat removed from the control of the user.
 when an infinitive form of another verb appears adjacent to the gerund, which in most cases will appear
odd and thus a substantive should be used.
 when the gerund stands alone, a substantive is often the most appropriate option
Note that there is no clear cut rule that applies, the translator should use the rules above as guidelines and
choose the option that will result most fluent and natural.
Example:

English Translation Comment

Resume printing (+) Halda áfram að prenta Here both options are valid. In the
(+) Halda prentun áfram first example, the adverb ―áfram‖
comes between the two verbs, so
two infinitives in the same sentence
do not look odd. In the second
example, the adverb appears at the
end, calling for a substantive form
on the latter verb. Note that the
second example results in a bit
more formal text, but it is acceptable
as the context is quite technical.

Printing Options (+) Prentunarvalkostir The gerund is used here clearly as


a noun and does not describe an
action, so the substantive ―prentun‖
is a clear choice.

Printing (+) Prentun The gerund is used a as a noun (the


name of an action on a menu) so a
substantive should be used to
translate.

Pause printing (+) Gera hlé á prentun Although the gerund describes an
action, the infinitive form of the verb
phrase ―gera hlé‖ appears just
before the gerund, so another
infinitive would look quite odd.

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Word Order
The basic word order in Icelandic, as in English, is SVO (Subject-Object-Verb). Due to inflection, the word order is
more flexible in Icelandic than in English, so even if a sentence is rearranged, it can still maintain its meaning.
There are a few things the translator needs to have in mind:
It is much more common in English to start sentences with an auxiliary phrase, but this should be avoided in
Icelandic.
Example:

English Translation Comment

To create a new text message, you (+) Grunnstilla verður reikning fyrir The source text starts with an
need to configure a text textaskilaboð til að hægt sé að búa auxiliary phrase, in the translation
messaging account. til ný textaskilaboð. the auxiliary phrase is moved to the
end of the sentence, and the main
verb phrase moved to the front
(note that in placing the verb phrase
at the start of the sentence without
an explicit subject, the resulting text
is somewhat more formal, but that is
in most cases preferable to using
the dummy pronoun ―það‖.)

Style and Tone Considerations


This section focuses on higher-level considerations for audience, style, tone, and voice.

Audience
The translation is intended for general computer users. It needs to be clear and understandable to novice users
and experienced users alike.

Avoid using terms that are too specialized and only known to IT professionals. Try to choose instead terms that
are widely used and have the same meaning.

Example:

English Translation Comment

Global Settings (+) Altækar stillingar Both adjectives, ―víðvær‖ and


(-) Víðværar stillingar ―altækur‖, have been used to
translate "global". "Víðvær",
however, is a specialized term that

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English Translation Comment
is only known to programmers and
IT-professionals and is not used in
everyday speech, so "altækur" is the
correct choice.

Style
The style should be informal and straight-forward.

Example:
(+) Smelltu á Já til að gá að uppfærslu eða á Nei til að hætta uppsetningu.
(-) Smella skal á Já til að athuga með uppfærslu eða á Nei til að hætta uppsetningu.

Tone
The tone should be informal, but clear and straight-forward. Imperatives and direct address should be toned down
and only used where appropriate.

Example:

(+) Þú verður áfram tengd/ur og getur fengið spjallskilaboð frá vinum þínum.
(-) Tenging verður áfram til staðar og spjallaskilaboð frá vinum munu berast.

Voice
Direct address should not be avoided, but should be toned down. In most cases a direct address is not necessary
(and in some cases not desirable) in Icelandic. When providing general information to the user (as in the first
example below), direct address is not appropriate. When asking the user to take some action, direct address is
appropriate. When direct address needs to be changed, one can do so by changing word order or using passives.
Example:

English Translation

You are now connected to the Internet. (+) Tengingu hefur verið komið á við internetið.

You cannot drop directories here. (+) Ekki er hægt að sleppa skráasöfnum hér.

Game Over -- You Win (+) Leik lokið -- þú vannst

Confirm your password (+) Staðfestu aðgangsorðið

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Localization Guidelines
This section contains guidelines for localization into Icelandic.

General Considerations
The language in Microsoft products should have the ―Look and Feel‖ of an original Icelandic text. It has to be
consistent in terminology and style.

Abbreviations
Common Abbreviations

You might need to abbreviate some words in the UI (mainly buttons or options names) due to lack of space. This
can be done in the following ways:
A word is abbreviated by omitting a part of the word and denoting the abbreviation with a period.
Example:
Skilaboð – Skilab.
When it is necessary to abbreviate words in a sentence due to lack of space, it is important to maintain a clear
meaning and legibility. Avoid abbreviating verbs.

List of common abbreviations:

Expression Acceptable Abbreviation

að minnsta kosti a.m.k.

athugið ath.

blaðsíða bls.

dagsetning dags.

framhald frh.

með tilliti til m.t.t.

með öðrum orðum m.ö.o.

númer nr.

og fleira o.fl.

og svo framvegis o.s.frv.

og þess háttar o.þ.h.

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Expression Acceptable Abbreviation

samanber sbr.

skammstöfun skst.

samkvæmt skv.

svo sem s.s.

stykki stk.

til dæmis t.d.

um það bil u.þ.b.

það er þ.e.

það er að segja þ.e.a.s.

þar á meðal þ.á m.

Exclusion list
There really are no restrictions in Icelandic on which words should not be abbreviated. The general rule is to not
use abbreviations if it is not necessary, and when it is necessary due to length restrictions, it is important to use
abbreviations judiciously and keep the text easy to understand and the meaning intact.

Accessibility
Microsoft provides people with disabilities with more accessible products and services. Accessibility options and
programs are designed to make the computer usable by people with cognitive, hearing, physical, or visual
disabilities.
Hardware and software components engage a flexible, customizable user interface, alternative input and output
methods, and greater exposure of screen elements. Some accessible products and services may not be available
in Icelandic. Please double-check with the appropriate resources.

Acronyms
Acronyms are words made up of the initial letters of major parts of a compound term. Some well-known examples
are WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get), OLE (Object Linking and Embedding), or RAM (Random
Access Memory).
Acronyms are not written with a period like abbreviations.
Acronyms are not as widely used in Icelandic as they are in English. Where they are used they tend to be of
English origin or ―loan words‖. A high frequency of acronyms gives the impression that the text is ―foreign‖.
The first time they occur in a text they are written non-abbreviated with the acronym in parenthesis following
directly behind. Most of the acronyms are proper nouns and are not translated. If they are translated they should
be included in their non-translated form in parenthesis with the acronym.

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Localized Acronyms

In online help or documentation, spell out the words that comprise an acronym or abbreviation the first time that
acronym is used in the text. You should include the language-specific translation, the US term, and the acronym
as in the following example:
 Gagnaaðgengishlutir (Data Access Objects, DAO)
 ActiveX-gagnahlutir (ActiveX Data Objects, ADO)

In the user interface, there is usually not enough space for all three terms (US term, language-specific translation,
and the acronym); only in wizards, the acronym can easily be spelled out and localized on first mention. If there
are space constraints or there is no ―first‖ occurrence, it is up to you to judge to the best of your knowledge
whether the acronym or abbreviation can be left as is or should be spelled out and localized.

Note: Although the English acronym cannot generally be derived from the language-specific translation, creating
a new acronym derived from the language-specific translated term is not an option. For example, do not replace
an English acronym with a language-specific acronym; instead, leave the English acronym or abbreviation intact,
as in the following examples ―where DLL‖ and ―DPI‖ are correctly rendered as ―DLL‖ and ―DPI‖:
Example:

Language English example Acceptable translation

Hausa Application Initialization DLL Farawa Afilikeshon DLL

Kiswahili DPI Scaling Urekebishaji DPI

Icelandic OLE/DDE link (+) OLE/DDE-tengill

Unlocalized Acronyms
Many abbreviations and acronyms are standardized and remain untranslated. They are only followed by their full
spelling in English if the acronym needs to be explained to the speakers of a different language. In other cases,
where the acronym is rather common, adding the fully spelled-out form will only confuse users. In these cases,
the acronym can be used on its own.

The following list contains examples of acronyms and abbreviations that are considered commonly understood;
these acronyms and abbreviations should not be localized or spelled out in full in English:
 ANSI (American National Standards Institute)
 ISO (International Standards Organization)
 ISDN
 DOS
 DSL
 CD
 DVD
If you are unsure what an acronym or abbreviation stands for or refers to, please contact the Moderator
responsible for this Style Guide.

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Applications, Products, and Features
Application/product names are often trademarked or may be trademarked in the future and are therefore rarely
translated. Occasionally, feature names are trademarked, too (e.g. IntelliSense™). Before translating any
application, product, or feature name, please verify that it is in fact translatable and not protected in any way.
In Icelandic, application or product names are not translated, although there are exceptions. Small applications
from Microsoft that are included in the release of the Windows operating system, and appear in the Accessories
menu, are often translated.

Frequent Errors
This section does not apply to Icelandic.

Glossaries

You can find the translations of terms and UI elements of Microsoft products at Microsoft Language Portal
(http://www.microsoft.com/Language/en-US/Default.aspx).

Other useful glossaries and search engines are:


 Hugtakasafn þýðingarmiðstöðvar utanríkisráðuneytisins (http://www.hugtakasafn.utn.stjr.is/)
 Orðabanki Íslenskrar málstöðvar (http://ordabanki.hi.is/wordbank/search)

Fictitious Information
Fictitious content is legally sensitive material and as such cannot be handled as a pure terminology or localization
issue. Below is some basic information and contact points when dealing with fictitious content:
Vendors and Localizers are not allowed to create their own fictitious names. You must either use the source
names or use the list of legally approved names.

Please contact your product team representative for further information on how to deal with fictitious companies,
names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, etc. in your product. For technical products, you may also
check with the product team representative whether localized fictitious content is required or not (e.g. Visual
Studio).

Recurring Patterns
For recurring patterns, please refer to the Links provided in the following section

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Standardized Translations
There are a number of standardized translations mentioned in all sections of this Style Guide. In order to find
them more easily, the most relevant topics and sections are compiled here for you reference.
 Language Specific Conventions
 Abbreviations
 User Interface
 Status Messages
 Error Messages

Unlocalized Items
Trademarked names and the name Microsoft Corporation shouldn’t be localized. A list of Microsoft trademarks is
available for your reference at the following location: http://www.microsoft.com/trademarks/t-mark/names.htm.
UI words are always translated in Icelandic, except for certain product names. Please refer to the Microsoft
terminology databases and always verify the respective term in context.

Using the Word Microsoft


In English and Icelandic, it is prohibited to use MS as an abbreviation for Microsoft. The same applies to the
Icelandic translation.
Exception: MS-DOS

Software Considerations
This section refers to all menus, menu items, commands, buttons, check boxes, etc., which should be consistently
translated in the localized product.

Refer to http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/aa511258.aspx for a detailed explanation of the Windows user interface


guidelines (English).

User Interface

This refers to all menus, menu items, commands, buttons, check boxes, etc., which should be consistently
translated in the localized product.

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Main Menus
 Main menus are the menus that appear at the top of the user interface. Main menus typically include File,
Edit, View, Insert, Format, Tools, Table, Window, Help.

 Typically, main menus should be Noun, nominative case, or Infinitive Verb.

Examples:
English Translation
View (+) Skoða
Edit (+) Breyta
Insert (+) Setja inn
Format (+) Snið
Tools (+) Verkfæri

Menu Items and Commands


 Typically, commands and menu items should be Infinitive Verb or Substantive (Noun or Adjective),
nominative case.

Examples:
English Translation
Save As… Vista sem…
Print… (+) Prenta…
Select All (+) Velja allt

 Do not use Imperatives for menu items.


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Static text

Static text should be consistent with the language style of the translation. This means that commands should be
infinitives.

English Translation
Print more than one copy (+) Prenta fleiri eintök

Dialog Boxes
When translating dialog box interface you are expected to use consistent terminology and language style in all
dialog boxes and ensure that your translations are consistent with translations in other localized applications.
Take also into account that some applications, currently not localized, may be localized in the future and the same
solutions adopted now will be re-used later. This is particularly important when localizing identical dialog boxes
found in several applications.

Dialog Box Titles

Dialog titles should be consistent with the menus items or menu commands that call them. Typically, menus are
Infinitive Verb or Noun, nominative case, therefore dialog titles should be Infinitive Verb or Noun, nominative case.
For example, if menu items are infinitives, dialog titles will typically be infinitives. The important thing is to maintain
consistency; if a menu item is a noun then the corresponding dialog title should be a noun.

Examples:
UI Category English Translation
Menu Item Split cells (+) Skipta reitum
Dialog Title Split cells (+) Skipta reitum

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Group Box Titles

 Typically, group box titles should be Noun, nominative case, or Infinitive Verb.

Examples:
English Translation
Include with document (+) Hafa með skjali
Printing Options (+) Prentunarvalkostir

Check boxes

 Typically, check boxes should be Substantives (Nouns or, in a few cases, adjectives), nominative case,
Infinitive Verb, or a short phrase.

Examples:
English Translation
Enable reminder (+) Gera áminningar virkar
Don't show me this dialog again. (+) Ekki birta þennan svarglugga aftur.

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English Translation
Always ask me first (+) Spyrja alltaf áður

Buttons

 Typically, buttons should be Infinitive Verb or Noun, nominative case.

Examples:
English Translation
Add (+) Bæta við
Cancel (+) Hætta við
Continue -> (+) Halda áfram ->

Dialog Box Tabs

 Typically, dialog box tabs should be Noun, nominative case, or Infinitive Verb.

Examples:
English Translation
Print (+) Prenta
Changes (+) Breytingar
Format (+) Snið

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Lists Boxes/Tables

 Use parallel language for UI elements that are parallel in function, such as lists and tables. Make sure to
make all items:
o Similar in form.
o Use the same part of speech.

For example, make them all begin with an infinitive verb, or make them all Noun/Gerund, or make them all
imperative verbs.

Instruction Text in Dialog Boxes

 When a user is expected to take action on a page or in a section, use Imperative, if appropriate.

Examples:
English Translation
Change settings for the files Outlook uses to store (+) Breyttu stillingum á skrám sem Outlook notar til að
e-mail messages and documents. geyma tölvupóst og skjöl.
Select a data file in the list, then click Settings for (+) Veldu gagnaskrá af listanum, smelltu svo á Stillingar til
more details or click Open Folder to display the að fá frekari upplýsingar eða á Opna möppu til að opna
folder that contains the data file. möppuna þar sem gagnaskráin er geymd.

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Messages

Status Messages
What is a Status Bar Message?

A status bar message is information about the active document, a selected command, or any active selected
interface item. The messages are shown in the status bar at the bottom of the window when the user has chosen
a menu, a command or any other item, or has started a function. Some status bar messages refer to actions
being performed or already completed (for example in Microsoft Internet Explorer).

Icelandic Style in Status bar Messages


In English, the status bar messages have different forms dependent on the information they must convey. In
Icelandic, menu and commands status bar messages should follow the format below.

English Status Bar Icelandic Status Bar


Name Icelandic Name Category
message message

Breyta (+) Inniheldur


Edit menu Contains editing commands
breytingaskipanir

Copy to Afrita í möppu... Copies the selected items to (+) Afritar valin atriði á
menu
Folder... a new location nýjan stað

New Nýtt command Creates a new document (+) Býr til nýtt skjal

Make object visible? (+) Gera hlut sýnilegan?

Word is converting the (+) Word er að umbreyta


document. Press Esc to skjalinu. Ýttu á Esc til að
stop. stöðva.

Datasheet View (+) Gagnablaðsgluggi

Done (+) Lokið

The importance of standardization


In the US product you can often find messages that are phrased differently even though they have the same
meaning. Try to avoid this in the localized Icelandic version. Use one standard translation as in the examples
below:

English term Correct Icelandic translation

Press F1 to get Help (+) Ýttu á F1 til að fá hjálp

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If you want Help press F1

To get Help press F1

Not enough memory (+) Ekki nægt minni

Insufficient memory (+) Minni á þrotum

There is not enough memory

Save changes to %1? (+) Viltu vista breytingar á %1?

Do you want to save changes to %1?

Error Messages
What Is An Error Message?
Here is an example:

Error messages are messages sent by the system or a program, informing the user that there is an error that
must be corrected in order for the program to keep running. For example, the messages can prompt the user to
take an action or inform the user of an error that requires rebooting the computer.

Icelandic Style in Error Messages

It is important to use consistent terminology and language style in the localized error messages, and not just
translate as they appear in the US product. Please apply the following guidelines when localizing error messages.

Standard Phrases in Error Messages

When translating standard phrases, standardize. Note that sometimes the US uses different forms to express the
same thing.
Below is a comprehensive list of examples of error messages.

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Examples:

English Translation Example Comment


(+) Ekki er hægt að birta
upplýsingar.
Cannot … Ekki tókst ... (+) Outlook getur ekki
Could not … ... getur ekki
vistað veffangið (URL) í
skrá.

Failed to … (+) Ekki tókst að koma á


Ekki tókst ...
Failure of … tengingu við þjóninn.

Cannot find …
Could not find …
... finnst ekki (+) Skjalið finnst ekki.
Unable to find …
Unable to locate …

Not enough memory


Insufficient memory
(+) Ekki er nægt minni til
There is not enough memory Ekki nægt minni
að ljúka þessari aðgerð.
There is not enough memory
available

... is not available (+) Vefsíðan er ekki tiltæk


… er ekki tiltækt
... is unavailable utan nets

Error Messages Containing Placeholders


When localizing error messages containing placeholders, try to find out what will replace the placeholder. This is
necessary for the sentence to be grammatically correct when the placeholder is replaced with a word or phrase.
Note that the letters used in placeholders convey a specific meaning, see examples below:
%d, %ld, %u, and %lu means <number>
%c means <letter>
%s means <string>

Examples of error messages containing placeholders:


"Checking Web %1!d! of %2!d!" means "Checking Web <number> of <number>".
"INI file "%1!-.200s!" section" means "INI file "<string>" section".

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Placeholders are often problematic in Icelandic due to the inflective nature of the language. Therefore, it is even
more important to find out what will replace the placeholder. This applies especially to the placeholder %s.
Sometimes it is necessary to rephrase a sentence to make it grammatically correct, even if that means sacrificing
fluency and simplicity.

US English Icelandic Comment

Are you sure you want to delete the (+)Viltu örugglega eyða reikningi (Where %s is a placeholder for a
'%s' Account? sem '%s' á? name of a person, f.x.
-Viltu örugglega eyða reikningi '%s'? ―Guðmundur‖)
The sentence has to be rephrased,
as the name in the placeholder will
appear in the nominative case (the
usual action, as placeholders are
used in different context, and the
nominative case is most commonly
used), but the context in the latter
example would require a genetive
case.

Keys
The keyboard is the primary input device used for text input in Microsoft Windows. For accessibility and efficiency,
most actions can be performed using the keyboard as well. While working with Microsoft software, you use keys,
key combinations and key sequences.
In English, References to key names, like arrow keys, function keys and numeric keys, appear in normal text (not
in small caps). The same applies to Icelandic.

Access Keys/Hot keys

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Sometimes, there are underlined or highlighted letters in menu options, commands or dialog boxes. These letters
refer to access keys (also known as hot keys) that allow you to run commands, perform tasks, etc. more quickly.

Hot Key Special Options Usage: Is It Allowed? Notes

"Slim characters", such as I, l, t, r, f yes


can be used as hot key

Characters with downstrokes, such yes


as g, j, y, p and q can be used as
hotkeys

Extended characters can be used as yes should be avoided


hotkeys

An additional letter, appearing yes


between brackets after item name,
can be used as hotkeys

A number, appearing between yes


brackets after item name, can be
used as hotkey

A punctuation sign, appearing yes do not use ―upper case‖ signs,


such as : (Shift+.)
between brackets after item name,
can be used as hotkey

Duplicate hotkeys are allowed when yes


no other character is available

No hotkey is assigned when no more yes


characters are available (minor
options only)

Additional notes: n/a

Arrow Keys

The arrow keys move input focus among the controls within a group. Pressing the right arrow key moves input
focus to the next control in tab order, whereas pressing the left arrow moves input focus to the previous control.
Home, End, Up, and Down also have their expected behavior within a group. Users can't navigate out of a control
group using arrow keys.

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Numeric Keypad

It is recommended that you avoid distinguishing numeric keypad keys from the other keys, unless it is required by
a given application. In case which keys to be pressed is not obvious, provide necessary explanations.

Shortcut Keys

Shortcut keys are keystrokes or combinations of keystrokes used to perform defined functions in a software
application. Shortcut keys replace menu commands and they are sometimes given next to the command they
represent. In opposition to the access keys, which can be used only when available on the screen, shortcut keys
can be used even when they are not accessible on the screen.

Standard Shortcut Keys

US US English Icelandic Icelandic


Command Shortcut Key Command Shortcut key

General Windows Shortcut keys

Help window F1 Help window F1

Context-sensitive Help Shift+F1 Context-sensitive Help Shift+F1

Display pop-up menu Shift+F10 Display pop-up menu Shift+F10

Cancel Esc Cancel Esc

Activate\Deactivate F10 Activate\Deactivate menu bar F10


menu bar mode mode

Switch to the next Alt+Tab Switch to the next primary Alt+Tab


primary application application

Display next window Alt+Esc Display next window Alt+Esc

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US US English Icelandic Icelandic
Command Shortcut Key Command Shortcut key

Display pop-up menu Alt+Spacebar Display pop-up menu for the Alt+Spacebar
for the window window

Display pop-up menu Alt+- Display pop-up menu for the Alt+-
for the active child active child window
window

Display property sheet Alt+Enter Display property sheet for current Alt+Enter
for current selection selection

Close active Alt+F4 Close active application window Alt+F4


application window

Switch to next window Alt+F6 Switch to next window within Alt+F6


within (modeless- (modeless-compliant) application
compliant) application

Capture active window Alt+Prnt Scrn Capture active window image to Alt+Prnt Scrn
image to the Clipboard the Clipboard

Capture desktop Prnt Scrn Capture desktop image to the Prnt Scrn
image to the Clipboard Clipboard

Access Start button in Ctrl+Esc Access Start button in taskbar Ctrl+Esc


taskbar

Display next child Ctrl+F6 Display next child window Ctrl+F6


window

Display next tabbed Ctrl+Tab Display next tabbed pane Ctrl+Tab


pane

Launch Task Manager Ctrl+Shift+Esc Launch Task Manager and Ctrl+Shift+Esc


and system system initialization
initialization

File Menu

File New Ctrl+N File New Ctrl+N

File Open Ctrl+O File Open Ctrl+O

File Close Ctrl+F4 File Close Ctrl+F4

File Save Ctrl+S File Save Ctrl+S

File Save as F12 File Save as F12

File Print Preview Ctrl+F2 File Print Preview Ctrl+F2

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US US English Icelandic Icelandic
Command Shortcut Key Command Shortcut key

File Print Ctrl+P File Print Ctrl+P

File Exit Alt+F4 File Exit Alt+F4

Edit Menu

Edit Undo Ctrl+Z Edit Undo Ctrl+Z

Edit Repeat Ctrl+Y Edit Repeat Ctrl+Y

Edit Cut Ctrl+X Edit Cut Ctrl+X

Edit Copy Ctrl+C Edit Copy Ctrl+C

Edit Paste Ctrl+V Edit Paste Ctrl+V

Edit Delete Ctrl+Backspace Edit Delete Ctrl+Backspace

Edit Select All Ctrl+A Edit Select All Ctrl+A

Edit Find Ctrl+F Edit Find Ctrl+F

Edit Replace Ctrl+H Edit Replace Ctrl+H

Edit Go To Ctrl+B Edit Go To Ctrl+B

Help Menu

Help F1 Help F1

Font Format

Italic Ctrl+I Italic Ctrl+I

Bold Ctrl+G Bold Ctrl-G

Underlined\Word Ctrl+U Underlined\Word underline Ctrl+U


underline

Large caps Ctrl+Shift+A Large caps Ctrl+Shift+A

Small caps Ctrl+Shift+K Small caps Ctrl+Shift+K

Paragraph Format

Centered Ctrl+E Centered Ctrl+E

Left aligned Ctrl+L Left aligned Ctrl+L

Right aligned Ctrl+R Right aligned Ctrl+R

Justified Ctrl+J Justified Ctrl+J

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Document Translation Considerations
Document localization may require some specific considerations that are different from software localization. This
section covers a few of these areas.

Titles
In English the titles for chapters usually begin with "How to …" or with phrases such as "Working with …" or
"Using …". In the Icelandic version of Microsoft documentation, it is customary to use the past participle to
translate the gerund.
Example:

English Translation comment

Working with... (+) Unnið með...

How to... (+) Hvernig...

Copyright
Copyright protection is granted to any original work of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression from
which it can be perceived, reproduced, or communicated.
Here are some examples of aspects on legal information and copyright which need to be taken into
account:

 Competitions offered legally in the United States may be illegal in other countries
 The privacy laws and rules for storing personal information on Web sites vary from country to country
 Check if the following aspects need to be modified or deleted for your market: prices, special offers, product
support services/offers, postal or email addresses, telephone numbers, accessibility services and competitive
comparisons
 Each web page must contain the copyright statement using the correct calendar year - in Icelandic: "©2011
Microsoft Corporation. Allur réttur áskilinn.", plus the mandatory links to Terms of use ("notkunarskilmálar"),
trademarks ("vörumerki") and information on data privacy ("upplýsingar um persónuvernd").

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided in this section is for general information only.

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