Iceland is a country belonging to Europe, whose capital is Reykjavík. It has a population of about 350,000 inhabitants (172º) and an area of 102,775 km 2 (106º). Its human development index is very high (6th) and its official currency is the Icelandic krona. But what language is spoken in Iceland?
What language do they speak in Iceland?
Iceland has one official language, Icelandic. Being such an isolated country, linguistically it is a very homogeneous country.
Having been part of a union with Denmark, Danish was a minority language in Iceland. Currently, it is only spoken by a small number of immigrants. The most common immigrant languages are Polish (2.71%), Lithuanian (0.43%), English (0.32%), German (0.31%), Danish (0.31%), Portuguese (0.28%), Filipino (0.24%), Thai (0.17%) and Latvian (0.14%).
In the educational system, English and Danish (or any other Scandinavian language) are compulsory subjects at school, so knowledge of both languages is very common. Other frequently studied languages are German, Spanish and French.
The Icelandic language
Icelandic (íslenska) is the national language of Iceland, and has been official since 2011. It is spoken natively by 93.2% of the population.
In ancient times, trade routes from the north brought merchants and clergymen who settled in Iceland, and these left a mark on the culture and language (mainly in terms of trade, nautical and religious). Excluding this and Latin words, Icelandic has hardly changed since the colonization of Iceland. The living language closest to Icelandic is Faroese. It is the only living language with the runic letter Þ in the Latin alphabet.
There is a phenomenon of linguistic purism of the language, which tries to replace loanwords with new words created from Old Icelandic and Old Norse roots, trying to revive the golden age of Icelandic literature. This movement began during the 19th century, born of the independence currents, and tried to replace the Danish terms. Currently, the target is English words. The Icelandic government supports this movement through the Árni Magnússon Institute.
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