The Icelandic Languange

Icelandic is the national language and is believed to have changed very little from the original tongue spoken by the Norse settlers.  Iceland was settled by Nordic people in the 9th century - tradition says that the first permanent settler was Ingólfur Arnarson, a Norwegian Viking who made his home where Reykjavík now stands.  


The Icelanders still speak the language of the Vikings, although modern Icelandic has undergone changes of pronunciation and, of course, of vocabulary! Iceland is alone in upholding another Norse tradition, i.e. the custom of using patronymics rather than surnames; and Icelander´s christian name is followed by his or her father´s name and the suffix -son or -dóttir, e.g. Guðrún Pétursdóttir (Guðrún, daughter of Pétur). Members of a family can therefore have many different "surnames", which sometimes causes confusion to foreigners!

Here are some examples of Icelandic words:
Hotel = Hotel
Accommodation = Gisting
Car = Bill
Carrental = Bilaleiga
In plural: Carrentals = Bílaleigur
Drive = Aka
Rent a Bike = Leigja hjol