Some Icelanders may not be very confident in their ability to speak English, but they are usually happy to try and help. So it is a very friendly country language-wise for foreign tourists. English is mandatory in schools in Iceland from around the age of 7 or 8 and they also receive a lot of English language media which is not dubbed into Icelandic but played in the original English with subtitles. In some cases like Swedish and Danish, it is because the language is actually quite similar to English in many ways, but this is less so with Icelandic, which as a language stands largely on it’s own and has remained pretty much unchanged since the 9th and 10th centuries. Icelanders can still read and understand ancient Icelandic texts, such as the Icelandic Sagas, without difficulty. Yes, most Icelandic people speak very good English, you will be fine. Almost the entire population can speak it to some degree. Why is this the case? And more so, most Icelanders speak several other languages including Danish, German, Spanish and French and welcome the opportunity to practice their language skills. For starters, English is taught as a second language in Icelandic schools, meaning that children begin learning to speak the language at a young age. Their language is indeed called Icelandic, and is fascinating in regards to its history. But is English widely spoken there and can an American or British tourist expect to get by there just speaking English?eval(ez_write_tag([[468,60],'howwidelyspoken_com-box-3','ezslot_0',107,'0','0'])); English is almost universally spoken in Iceland, with many people very fluent as well, so tourists will have no problem conversing in English there. Yes, We Speak English | Visit Reykjavik Yes, We Speak English 04/09/2017 - Blog Icelandic has been spoken in Iceland since the country was settled in the 9th century and has changed little since then. Particularly in the service and tourism industry (servers, tour guides, taxi drivers, etc) speak English incredibly well. If you are not a native speaker, note that fluency is absolutely required if you want to do anything other than housekeeping or dishwashing. By using the website you agree on our policy on cookies.Close, Soak up some culture at Reykjavik's best museums and galleries. link to How Widely Spoken is English in Malta? And those who aren’t fluent still typically have a firm grasp of the English language – certainly enough to communicate with visitors and answer questions you have about directions or other basic questions you might have. As a rule, Icelanders speak English very well. However, there are some useful rules to follow when trying to converse with Icelanders. The Icelandic language is actually quite fascinating and has changed very little since Iceland was settled in the 9th century AD. But how widely spoken is English there? Icelandic has been rated as one of the hardest languages to learn as a result of the archaic vocabulary and complex grammar. link to How Widely Spoken is English in Malaysia? Icelanders learn English from a very early age and are exposed to English language film and TV a lot and so are very proficient at English. The simple answer is yes. As a result, many of these tourists wonder if they will easily be able to communicate in English with Icelandic locals. If anything, you could learn the three basic phrases: Hello, Goodbye and Thanks; here they are:eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'howwidelyspoken_com-box-4','ezslot_4',110,'0','0'])); Other than that you are best leaving the Icelandic language alone! So, why is it that Icelanders speak English so well? Can tourists from America, the UK... Malta is a picturesque and scenic small Island off the south coast of Italy, with one of the best climates in all of Europe and very good tourist attractions and cuisine. How Widely Spoken is English in Gibraltar. We use cookies on this site to improve the user experience. Education is part of the picture, with youngsters in Iceland learning English from a very early age in schools like all the other Nordic countries, but this isn’t the whole reason, since many other countries like Japan and South Korea also invest heavily in teaching English in schools, yet spoken proficiency in these countries remains poor. The language is astoundingly difficult to speak and even harder to pronounce. The majority of these texts are poems or laws, preserved orally for generations before being written down. Icelandic has been spoken in Iceland since the country was settled in the 9th century and has changed little since then. While Icelandic is the official language, appr. English will get you by fine. In fact, Icelandic has changed so little that most Icelanders can read ancient texts like the Sagas, or the histories of Iceland’s early settlers. While the languages may have similar roots, the pronunciation of each languages alphabet is actually very different. Almost the entire population can speak it to some degree. The simple answer is yes. Their learning extends beyond just classroom lessons and is more practical. Therefore there isn’t much point in this case, since the language is so hard, plus the fact that English is so widepsread that you won’t need to use Icelandic anyway. From wikipedia: The oldest preserved texts in Icelandic were written around 1100AD. Icelanders learn English from a very early age and are exposed to English language film and TV a lot and so are very proficient at English. While not everyone in the country of Iceland speaks fluent English, the majority of Icelandic citizens do. Many of Iceland’s tourists come from English speaking countries, like the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. This along with them starting to learn so young means that almost all people are proficient in English once they are adults in Scandinavia. How Widely Spoken is English in Malaysia? However, the Icelandic language is renowned for being one of the hardest in the world, brutally difficult to learn and pronounce. English is taught as a second language in Iceland and almost every Icelander speaks the language fluently. The majority of current long term residents will already have full registration. Due to Iceland’s isolated location, the island has not been heavily influenced by other languages throughout history, meaning Icelandic has remained much more pure compared to some other languages that have been influenced by the languages of bordering countries. Malaysia is a very vibrant and growing country in South East Asia, with a tropical climate and plenty of lure for tourists. Continue browsing or click to consent. 98% of Icelanders speak English fluently, so the latter is enough to start a new life in Iceland. They are known for being quite a shy and introverted population and do not appreciate loudness or boisterousness, so approach them tactfully and quietly. Iceland is a small country with a population of only about 350,000 people, yet it still attracts some tourism and is famous for it’s outdoor baths and beautiful scenery. This website uses cookies to help you browse on the website/ web. This means you won’t have to worry when you’re trying to tell your taxi driver where it is you want to go or when you’re trying to place your dinner order. Most Icelanders also learn a second and sometimes a third foreign language as well, with many also being fluent in Danish, German, French or Spanish. It is consistently ranked as one of the most difficult languages in the world to learn, so beyond the vary barest of basic greetings it is best to save yourself the hassle when visiting Iceland. In most of our posts we provide a section on some basic phrases in the language of a country to help you get by with the locals in case there is a language barrier. one of the most difficult languages in the world. Click here to book your flights, hotels and more for trips to Iceland using the popular Agoda booking tool, with free cancellation and over 2 million hotels to choose from worldwide. So how do Iceland and all the other Nordic countries nail English fluency so well compared to the rest of the world? So – does everyone speak English in Iceland? Unlike the rest of the non–English-speaking European countries, you have to get by speaking English in Iceland, unless you had formal tutoring in Icelandic. You can certainly get by very easily with English anywhere you go in Iceland. 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