Learn Icelandic

Icelandic hasn’t changed much over the centuries, meaning that the original Icelandic sagas from the 12th Century can still be read with ease by today's Icelandic speakers. The language descends from Old Norse and is closely related to Faroese, although the two are not mutually understood. Icelandic prefers to create its own words for new terms rather than borrow English loanwords, with results such as 'tölva' for computer, made up of the words 'tala' (number) and 'völva' (prophetess).

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Planet Earth

Where Is It Spoken?

Iceland

People Talking

Number Of Speakers

350,000

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Language Family

Germanic

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Fun facts about Icelandic

Gluggaveður means ‘window weather’ - the tempting bright weather you see from your window, which turns out to be impossibly cold when you get outside!

There are two ways to say 'hello': Sæll if you're greeting a man, and Sæl if you're greeting a woman.

Icelanders' second names are based on the names of their fathers, so Skorri Jónsson is Skorri, son of Jón, whilst Dimma Jónsdóttir is Dimma, daughter of Jón.

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