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
- Travelogue entries about studying foreign languages
- Study Language with Rosetta Stone
- Cheap travel means studying foreign language
- How to learn foreign languages/a>
- Shop for Rosetta Stone Foreign Language learning tools
Read more about Iceland on the travelogue