Icelandic

IcelandicFlagIcelandic is a North Germanic language like the other Scandinavian languages Swedish, Norwegian and Danish. It is the official language in Iceland, spoken by some 330.00 people. But due to Iceland being so far from the rest of Scandinavia, the language has remained much closer to Old Norse. It sounds much older, and there also seems to be a special type of resistance to foreign linguistic influence (i.e. linguistic purism) in Iceland. New words are not readily accepted into the language but are “icelandized” –  given a unique Icelandic equivalent.  Modern Icelanders can actually easily read the Eddas and other classic Old Norse literary works created in the 10th  through 13th centuries!

Modern Icelandic is still a heavily inflected language with four different cases: nominative, accusative, dative and genitive. All nouns, adjectives and pronouns are declined in the four cases. There are three genders just like in German: masculine, feminine or neuter.  The Icelandic alphabet differs from that of other Scandinavian languages mainly by the use of vowel accent and the consonants ð and þ:

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