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…

1 translation: I am Alex.

Icelandic for he is hann.

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

2 translation: He is Paul.

Icelandic for she is hún.

3 translation: She is Anna.

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).

4 translation: It is Paul.

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

5 translation: You are 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…

6 translation: He is standing.

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

7 translation: She is sitting.

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

8 translation: You are helping.

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

The verb to learn is að læra in Icelandic.

9 translation: I am learning.

Answers to Lesson 1

1 answer: Ég er Alex.
2 answer: Hann er Paul.
3 answer: Hún er Anna. (The letter Úú sounds like oo in book)
4 answer: Það er Paul.
5 answer: Þú ert Anna.
6 answer: Hann er að standa.
7 answer: Hún er að sitja.
8 answer: Þú ert að hjálpa.
9 answer: Ég er að læra.