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Study Icelandic

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As there are only a little over 300,000 Icelandic speakers in the world, there is little use in learning to speak Icelandic unless you intend to live in Iceland or want to study the old Norse sagas. If you can answer yes to either of these parameters, then there are options available for you to study Icelandic. Though keep in mind that the majority of Icelanders speak English, so the times when you would NEED to speak Icelandic are very rare.

The University of Iceland offers two options for foreign students looking to study Icelandic. The first is a full on university course where a B.A. is awarded and the second is non-matriculated instruction that will provide you with the basics of the language. For more information on this, go to University of Iceland’s foreign students Icelandic courses.

Other universities in Iceland, including the University of Akureyri, and the University Center of the Westfjords also offer similar Icelandic as a second language programs.

There are also numerous study abroad programs in Iceland offering language instruction, including the Cell program and the School for International Training.

Watch a video teaching basic Icelandic

Basic Icelandic phrases

Hello – Halló
Good morning – Góðan daginn
Good afternoon – Góðan dag
Good evening – Góða kvöldið
Welcome – Velkominn
How are you? – Hvernig hefur þú það?
Fine, thank you – Fínt takk fyrir
What is your name? – Hvað heitir þú?
My name is… – Ég heiti …
Bye – Bless
Goodbye (formal) – Vertu blessaður (to a man) Vertu blessuð (to a woman)
Good night – Góða nótt
Yes – Já
No – Nei
Thank you – takk
Thank you very much – takk fyrir
You’re welcome – Verði þér að góðu
Good luck! – Gangi þér vel!
I don’t understand – Ég skil það ekki
Excuse me – Afsakið! Fyrirgefðu!
I’m Sorry – Mér þykir það leitt
Mother – móðir
Father – faðir

More basic phrases at Learn to Speak Icelandic

Return to the Iceland Travel Guide

More information about studying foreign languages

Read more about Iceland on the travelogue

More Vagabond Journey.com Travel Guides

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Filed under: Europe, Iceland

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3048 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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