Where to Learn Icelandic

Learning Icelandic can be a rewarding experience as it allows individuals to immerse themselves in the unique culture and history of Iceland. As a minority language, finding the right resources and programs to study Icelandic may seem challenging, but various platforms cater to those interested in this Nordic language.

Online courses, language apps, and tutor-supported distance learning are all viable options for learning Icelandic. These resources typically focus on the essential aspects of Icelandic grammar and the four language skills, namely speaking, reading, listening, and writing. In addition, they utilize interactive lessons and engaging activities to ensure an effective and enjoyable learning experience for the students.

Language Schools

Physical Schools

Physical language schools in Iceland offer a more hands-on approach to learning Icelandic. The University of Iceland provides a full BA program in Icelandic as a second language, as well as a shorter practical Icelandic course specifically designed for international students. Another option is the University of Akureyri, which offers Icelandic language courses.

Online Schools

If you prefer the flexibility of learning Icelandic online, several language schools provide distance learning options. One option is Icelandic Online, a tutor-supported distance learning course that covers Icelandic grammar, speaking, reading, listening, and writing skills. Individual feedback and guidance on grammar and vocabulary are provided by tutors.

For those looking for a more casual approach, Language Drops offers a free language learning app focused on Icelandic vocabulary. The app provides playful, immersive, and beautifully illustrated lessons that help you learn the language in just five minutes a day.

Online Courses

Learning Icelandic online can be a convenient and efficient way to master the language. Various online platforms offer language courses tailored to the needs of different learners. Here, we’ll explore free and paid online Icelandic courses.

Free Courses

For those looking to learn Icelandic without spending money, there are several platforms providing free courses. One notable example is Icelandic Online, offered by the University of Iceland. This platform consists of six online Icelandic courses, including a survival course for absolute beginners and five courses for university students.

Another useful resource is Drops, which offers a fun and engaging language learning experience. Learners can acquire 2,000+ Icelandic words in just five minutes a day.

Paid Courses

While free courses are helpful, some learners may prefer a more structured, tutor-supported learning experience. In such cases, taking a paid course, like Icelandic Online PLUS, can be beneficial. This distance learning course covers all four language skills (speaking, reading, listening, and writing) along with Icelandic grammar. Students receive individual feedback from a tutor on written exercises and instructions regarding grammar and vocabulary.

Other options include summer schools such as the Árni Magnússon Institute’s courses, which are run by the University of Iceland and Nordkurs. These 4-week courses focus on language and culture, and are open to Nordic students.

By taking advantage of these online resources, learners can gain a solid foundation in the Icelandic language from their own home.

Language Exchange Communities

Language exchange communities provide another avenue for learning Icelandic. These platforms allow individuals to learn Icelandic through interaction with native speakers. By engaging in conversations, learners can become familiarized with the real Icelandic language, including slang, expressions, and casual conversation.

One such community is My Language Exchange. Here, members can find Icelandic-speaking partners, collaborate on different learning activities, and help each other in the process of mastering the language.

Participating in a language exchange community has several benefits:

  • Getting accustomed to the way native speakers speak in casual Icelandic conversation
  • Learning the real Icelandic language, including slang and expressions used by ordinary native speakers
  • Making friends within the Icelandic-speaking culture

Language exchange communities offer a unique and immersive way to gain Icelandic language skills by connecting with native speakers from Iceland.

Mobile Apps

Learning Icelandic can be convenient and engaging through the use of mobile apps. These apps provide a variety of learning methods, catering to different needs and preferences.

Pimsleur is an excellent choice for those looking to improve their conversational skills in Icelandic. It offers audio classes, flashcards, and gamification, ensuring a comprehensive learning experience that grows with the user.

Drops is another great app to learn Icelandic, as it offers learners over 100 well-curated Icelandic word lists, allowing users to customize their learning experience. Drops is available on both iOS and Android, making it easy to learn both online and offline.

The list of effective apps for learning Icelandic also includes:

Using these mobile apps, learners can study Icelandic at their own pace, from anywhere, making the learning process both convenient and effective.

Books and Textbooks

When learning Icelandic, using books and textbooks can provide structured lessons and comprehensive explanations of grammar and vocabulary. There are several highly recommended books available to facilitate your language learning journey.

One popular choice is “Beginner’s Icelandic,” which focuses on teaching practical conversational skills for day-to-day scenarios. This book is geared towards those who are looking for a solid foundation to build on before advancing to more complex topics.

Another highly recommended material is “Teach Yourself Icelandic Complete Course,” authored by Hildur Jonsdottir. This book is designed to help learners of various levels, from beginners to those with prior Icelandic knowledge. It offers structured lessons, exercises, and support materials to help learners progress confidently.

A third option is “Colloquial Icelandic: The Complete Course for Beginners,” by Daisy L. Neijmann. This book, part of the Colloquial Series, provides a comprehensive introduction, focusing on essential vocabulary and grammar. It also includes audio recordings for pronunciation practice and listening exercises.

In conclusion, there are numerous books and textbooks available for learning Icelandic. These materials cover different aspects of the language, from grammar and vocabulary to listening skills and pronunciation. Choosing the right resources for your needs can significantly help you in your language learning journey.

Language Tutors

Finding the right language tutor can significantly improve your Icelandic learning experience. Online platforms, such as italki and Preply, offer a wide selection of both professional and community Icelandic tutors to choose from.

Professional tutors are experienced in teaching Icelandic and can provide intensive tutoring sessions tailored to your learning needs. They can help you work on grammar, vocabulary, and all four language skills (speaking, reading, listening, and writing). On the other hand, community tutors are native Icelandic speakers who can provide interactive and casual conversations, giving learners an opportunity to practice their language skills in a more relaxed setting.

One of the key benefits of online language tutoring is the ability to schedule sessions at your convenience, making it easier to fit language learning into your busy schedule. Additionally, virtual classrooms allow for interactive and engaging lessons, even though you may be learning from home.

When selecting an Icelandic tutor, it is essential to find someone you feel comfortable with and whose teaching style aligns with your learning preferences. Reading reviews and watching tutor introduction videos can help you make an informed decision.

Another resource worth considering is Icelandic Online, which offers Icelandic Online PLUS, a tutor-supported distance learning course. This course covers Icelandic grammar and all four language skills while providing individual feedback from a tutor on written exercises and instructions regarding grammar and vocabulary.

Grammar Resources and Dictionaries

For learners who want to understand Icelandic grammar rules and build their vocabulary, there are several helpful resources to choose from. Here are some noteworthy grammar resources and dictionaries to consider:

Beygingarlýsing Íslensks Nútímamáls: This resource, developed by the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, aids in finding words to construct sentences required for everyday communication.

Learning Icelandic (textbook & grammar exercises): Authored by Auður Einarsdóttir, Guðrún Theodórsdóttir, María Garðarsdóttir, and Sigríður Þorvaldsdóttir, this textbook provides grammar exercises and explanations. The ISBN-10 for this resource is 0452900565, and the ISBN-13 is 5690452900567.

Ordabok.is: This online dictionary requires a modest subscription fee but offers a comprehensive Icelandic vocabulary database.

Learners can also benefit from Icelandic Online PLUS, a tutor-supported distance-learning course that encompasses all four language skills (speaking, reading, listening, writing) and covers fundamental aspects of Icelandic grammar. Students receive personalized feedback on written exercises and guidance on grammar and vocabulary.

Additionally, the Drops app offers a user-friendly platform to learn basic Icelandic grammar structures found in the Travel Talk category. This app also allows users to test their listening comprehension through its Premium listening test feature.

YouTube Channels

There are several YouTube channels you can refer to when learning Icelandic. The content available on these channels is designed to help users understand the language better and improve their pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar skills.

For example, Let’s Learn Icelandic! is a YouTube channel that offers a variety of language lessons with different levels of difficulty. Subscribers can find content ranging from beginner to advanced lessons, making it suitable for learners at any stage.

Another valuable YouTube channel for learning Icelandic is Learn Icelandic. This channel focuses on providing an introduction to the Icelandic language, by teaching pronunciation and basic vocabulary. They also offer a selection of videos with native speakers to improve listening and conversational skills.

Additionally, learners can benefit from watching Icelandic content not specifically designed for language learning but featuring Icelandic speakers. This can help immerse you in the language and gain familiarity with different accents, dialects, and slang. One such resource mentioned on Reddit is a TV show for beginners where the story revolves around a man from Canada visiting his family in Iceland.

In conclusion, YouTube provides valuable resources for those interested in learning Icelandic. By exploring the various channels and content available, learners can develop a strong foundation in the language and become more confident in their skills over time.

Social Media Groups and Forums

Learning Icelandic can become an engaging and enjoyable experience when there is support from communities and interaction with other learners. Social media groups and forums play an essential role in fostering connections and providing a platform for individuals to ask questions, share resources, and practice the language.

Learn Icelandic – Facebook is one such group where learners of all levels can join in and benefit from the collective knowledge of other participants. Here, people can exchange helpful tips, seek guidance on grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, and discuss various aspects of Icelandic culture.

Additionally, learners can explore dedicated forums and discussion boards for language enthusiasts, such as the r/learnIcelandic subreddit. Reddit offers comprehensive threads on various topics, from beginner guides to questions posed by advanced learners. The platform encourages constructive feedback and active discussions, making it an excellent choice for those who enjoy real-time engagement.

When participating in these communities, it’s important to maintain a respectful and supportive attitude towards other members. This collaborative environment not only facilitates personal growth in language skills but also fosters an appreciation for Iceland’s linguistic heritage.

Additional Advice and Tips

When embarking on the journey of learning Icelandic, it is essential to consider these additional pieces of advice.

First and foremost, immerse yourself in the language. Listening to Icelandic audio resources, such as podcasts or radio shows, can be an excellent way to get familiar with the rhythm of the language. Similarly, watching Icelandic TV shows or movies can also expose you to different accents and colloquial expressions. This enables you to pick up the language more effectively and immerse yourself in the culture.

Another essential tip is to practice speaking Icelandic regularly. Engaging in conversations with native speakers helps to improve your pronunciation and boost your confidence. Seek out language exchange partners, attend Icelandic language meetups, or consider taking group classes to expand your speaking opportunities.

Additionally, while Icelandic grammar is generally straightforward, it can still be beneficial to study the basic structures to establish a strong foundation. This also enables you to better understand the unique aspects of the language that may not be present in your mother tongue.

Finally, make use of available resources that cater to learning Icelandic. Online courses, language apps, and grammar books can all provide helpful materials and structure for your study. It’s also important to remember the 80/20 rule, focusing on the most commonly used vocabulary to make progress in a short amount of time.

By following these tips and incorporating them into your Icelandic learning journey, you will find that the process becomes more enjoyable and efficient.