Icelandic language

A special thing in Europe

If you want to learn a few words in advance while traveling to Iceland, you should start early enough, because the language is difficult to learn and in addition, there are a few letters that do not exist in English. Again, the origin goes back to the Vikings from Norway, who populated Iceland.

Around 330,000 people speak the Icelandic language. Even though the Norwegian language has changed since the settlement of the Vikings in the 9th century and a few influences from abroad have been added, the typeface has largely been preserved. Therefore, the inhabitants of Iceland can read the old legends of the Vikings in the original text, i.e. in the Old Norse language.

The isolation of the island has preserved letters that have long since disappeared in the rest of Europe. The ð and the þ. You won’t find any dialects on your Iceland holiday.

If you speak the language, you will notice small differences in pronunciation between South Iceland and North Iceland at most.

The Icelandic alphabet

Old Norse alphabet collection

This consists of 32 letters, most of which come from Latin. As mentioned above, there are a number of letters that exist only in this language. The letters C, W, Q, and Z are missing in return.

If you want to correctly write an Icelandic word on your computer, you have to use keyboard shortcuts.

Icelandic alphabet

A/a    Á/á    B/b    D/d    Ð/ð    E/e    É/é    F/f
G/g    H/h    I/i    Í/í    J/j    K/k    L/l    M/m
N/n    O/o    Ó/ó    P/p    R/r    S/s    T/t    U/u
Ú/ú    V/v    X/x    Y/y    Ý/ý    Þ/þ    Æ/æ    Ö/ö

Creative people

Icelanders invent words

On your trip to Iceland, you may wonder why English terms, which have long since become commonplace in our latitudes, are not used in Iceland. For example, a "computer" is a "number predictor."

Icelanders don’t want to adopt terms from another language, and that is why many words have often been reinvented. There has even been a separate committee since the 1960s that is tasked with inventing Icelandic expressions for new words. Another example is "office", which is called "writing room" in Iceland. 

However, even without speaking a word Icelandic, you will get by on your holiday in Iceland. English is a common language.

Many Thanks! = Takk fyrir (taHk feerir)!
Good day! = Góðan daginn (gouthan daijenn)!
Good evening! = Gott Kvöld (goHt kvöld)!
Good night! = Góða Nótt (gouða noHt)!
Goodbye! = Bless (bläss)!

The pronunciation

Although Icelanders can still read the ancient scriptures, the pronunciation of the past has changed considerably. The reason for this is that the foreign nations that have dominated the history of the volcanic island. The emphasis of every word in Icelandic lies on the first syllable. Each vowel can be both short and long.

Isländische Sprache erleben

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