Introduction to Icelandic: Lesson 1

Icelandic is a Germanic language that hasn’t changed much since the middle ages, it is similar to Norwegian, Swedish and Danish. Also, you’ll find it easy to learn if you speak German or Dutch.

We’re gonna start with the word for I.

Icelandic for I is ég. (The letter Éé sounds like ye in yes)

Icelandic for am as in I am is er.

Let’s say your name is Alex. You would say…

?I am Alex.|Ég er Alex.

Icelandic for he is hann.

The word for is is the same as the word for am in Icelandic.

?He is Paul.|Hann er Paul.

Icelandic for she is hún.

?She is Anna.|Hún er Anna. (The letter Úú sounds like oo in book)

Now let’s introduce two characteristic letters of Icelandic: Þþ, which sounds like the th in thin. Ðð, which sounds like the th in the, but like th in thin when final.

Icelandic for it is það (resembling the word that in English).

?It is Paul.|Það er Paul.

Icelandic for singular you are is þú ert (resembling thou art in Middle English).

?You are Anna.|Þú ert Anna.

Now, let’s introduce some verbs similar to English.

The verb to stand is að standa in Icelandic.

The construction I am doing is I am to do in Icelandic. So, for He is standing, you would say…

?He is standing.|Hann er að standa.

The verb to sit is að sitja in Icelandic. (Jj sounds like a y)

?She is sitting.|Hún er að sitja.

The verb to help is að hjálpa in Icelandic. (Áá sounds like ou in out)

?You are helping.|Þú ert að hjálpa.

Let’s introduce another peculiar letter: Ææ, which sounds like i in ice.

The verb to learn is að læra in Icelandic.

?I am learning.|Ég er að læra.

Next lesson >