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Iceland Mag


Six simple Icelandic phrases and one word grunts which capture a far more complex meaning

By Staff

  • Six key phrases for everyday occasions To really know how to speak any language you need to know all those simple phrases used to capture complex expressions. Click on image to see it full frame. Photo/Björn Geir Leifsson - Facebook

According to numerous studies Icelandic is one of the most difficult languages to learn. At least formative speakers of English, mostly thanks to its complex grammar, but also due to the archaic vocabulary. English speakers also tend to find it difficult to pronounce Icelandic.

Read more: Icelandic rated among the most difficult languages to learn for English speakers

But no matter how well you master all the rules of Icelandic grammar, conjugations and what not, you will not be able to speak Icelandic like an Icelander unless you learn the correct phrases to respond to common situations. Understanding these phrases is also crucial if you wish to understand Icelanders.



Fyrir nokkru rakst ég á skýringarmynd þar sem borin var saman Enska og Danska og sýnt fram á hversu mikið einfaldari og...

Posted by Björn Geir Leifsson on Monday, January 25, 2016


Björn Geir Leifsson put together this short table of six simple and extremely common phrases Icelanders use to express things which usually require far more words in English. The table is based on a similar table translating English into simple Danish phrases, but Björn added the quintessential Icelandic motto “Þetta reddast”, which is probably best translated as “Oh, things will work out in the end!” but is used in all kinds of situations, serious to not so serious, where the outcome is uncertain.

Read more: 10 words and phrases in Icelandic that don’t exist in English

It should also be added that none of these short phrases are rude, even some might seem rather terse or dismissive. It all comes down to the tone, really.

Read more: Iceland’s crisis management In two words: "Þetta reddast"

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