Iceland Languages

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Description[edit | edit source]

Icelandic is a North Germanic language spoken by about 314,000 people, the vast majority of whom live in Iceland where it is the national language. It is most closely related to Faroese and Western Norwegian.

The language is more conservative than most other Western European languages. While most of them have greatly reduced levels of inflection (particularly noun declension), Icelandic retains a four-case synthetic grammar (comparable to German, though considerably more conservative and synthetic) and is distinguished by a wide assortment of irregular declensions. Since the written language has not changed much, Icelanders can read classic Old Norse literature created in the 10th through 13th centuries (such as the Eddas and sagas) with relative ease.

Icelandic is closely related to Faroese; the written forms of the two languages are very similar, but their spoken forms are not mutually intelligible.[2] It is not mutually intelligible with the continental Scandinavian languages (Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish) and is more distinct from the most widely spoken Germanic languages, English and German, than those three are. [1]

Word List(s)[edit | edit source]

Alphabet and Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

The Icelandic alphabet is notable for its retention of two old letters that no longer exist in the English alphabet: Þ, þ (þorn, modern English "thorn") and Ð, ð (eð, anglicised as "eth" or "edh"), representing the voiceless and voiced "th" sounds (as in English thin and this), respectively. The complete Icelandic alphabet is: [2]

Majuscule forms (also called uppercase or capital letters)
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
Minuscule forms (also called lowercase or small letters)
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

Pronunciation Aids

Language Aids and Dictionaries[edit | edit source]

Language Aids

Dictionaries

  • Helga Hilmisdóttir, Icelandic practical dictionary : Icelandic-English/English-Icelandic, New York : Hippocrene Books, Inc., 2017 - Available at WorldCat
  • A R Taylor, Icelandic-English, English-Icelandic dictionary, New York : Hippocrene Books, 2016 - Available at WorldCat
  • Geir Tomasson Zoega, Icelandic-English dictionary, Reykjavik : Bokaverzlun Sigurthar Kristjanssonar, 1957 - Available at WorldCat

Online Dictionaries

Additional Resources[edit | edit source]

  • Hildur Jónsdóttir, Icelandic, London : Hodder Headline, 2004 - Available at WorldCat
  • George P Marsh & Rasmus Kristian Rask, A compendious grammar of the Old-Northern or Icelandic language, Burlington : Hiram Johnson & Co., 1838 - Available at WorldCat
  • John Hogg, On the history of Iceland, and the Icelandic Language and Literature, London: J. Murray, 1859 - Available at WorldCat
  • Hildur Jónsdóttir, Complete Icelandic, London : Teach Yourself, 2010 - Available at WorldCat

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Icelandic language," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icelandic_language, accessed 21 March 2021.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Icelandic language," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icelandic_language#Writing_system, accessed 21 March 2021.