Trips Holidays and Vacations Travel Europe - Iceland Destination
Language in Iceland
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Iceland's official written and spoken language is Icelandic, a North Germanic language descended from Old Norse. It has changed less from Old Norse than the other Nordic languages, has preserved more verb and noun inflection, and has to a considerable extent developed new vocabulary based on native roots rather than borrowings from other languages. It is the only living language to retain the runic letter Þ. The closest living language to Icelandic is Faroese. In education, the use of Icelandic Sign Language for Iceland's deaf community is regulated by the National Curriculum Guide.
English is widely spoken as a secondary language. Danish is also widely understood. Studying both these languages is a mandatory part of the compulsory school curriculum. Other commonly spoken languages are Spanish, German, Norwegian and Swedish. Danish is mostly spoken in a way largely comprehensible to Swedes and Norwegians – it is often referred to as "Scandinavian" in Iceland.
Rather than using family names as is the custom in all mainland European nations, the Icelanders use patronymics. The patronymic follows the person's given name, e.g. Ólafur Jónsson or Katrín Karlsdótti. It is for this reason that the Icelandic telephone directory is listed alphabetically by first name rather than surname.
Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia