Iceland Travel Tips

Hardest language in the world?


DO YOU WANNA LEARN ICELANDIC?

If you really do, you are probably a person with self-destructive predispositions. Icelandic (Íslenska / pronaunced  eez-lensk-a) is beautiful but also one of the most difficult and most tongue-breaking languages on the planet. You could probably learn two languages, for instance Spanish or Russian faster than how to properly pronounce ‘good night’ (góða nótt) in Icelandic.

 

SPECIAL LETTERS

There are a few letters and sounds typical in Icelandic. Among these letters is for example ‘Ö’ which sounds a little bit like German ‘Ö’ only three times stronger and three times more painful when trying to produce the sound. Another favourite is ‘LL’, which appears for example in the word ‘fjall’, meaning mountain. The double L is hands down the most difficult sound to make for a foreigner. It resembles the sound that your tire makes before it goes flat. The funny thing is that we don’t seem to understand why would anybody have a problem with this.

 

MISSING LETTERS

On the other hand, there are a few letters, which are regular for other languages missing in Icelandic. These letters are C, Q, Z and W. Icelanders tend to use K instead of C in words that have been taken from English. Probably the only C which appears in Iceland is in the world famous chicken selling ‘KFC’.

 

Learning Icelandic is a great challenge but it is doable with a little (or in some cases alot) extra effort. The feeling, when you actually master a few phrases, or when you start to understand dialogues is worth the cluelessness at the beginning.


Icelandic President, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson.  Really a cool guy, you should google him. 

 

And then there is this girl. 

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