- Education and Science
(How to) Learn Icelandic
Why should you learn Icelandic?
Unless you live in Iceland, it doesn't seem like a very practical language to learn. If you are a native English speaker like me, you probably either don't know another language or only a little bit. Being able to speak multiple languages dramatically increases your brain's ability to form connections and think logically. It is a great way to stay sharp and impress yourself.
Why Icelandic, specifically?
There isn't necessarily one specific reason to learn Icelandic over any other language, but there are a few things you should keep in mind:
1) The Icelandic language, just like English, is derived from Old Norse. Because of this, many of the grammatical rules are similar. Grammar can be one of the most difficult concepts to grasp while learning a new language.
2) The pronunciation is extremely different from English. If you're learning a new language to have fun with it and to challenge yourself, Icelandic is for you. A native English speaker will find much of the pronunciation difficult at first, but, if you're not in it for the challenge, learn Spanish instead.
3) Iceland is cool, but Icelandic is hot. Okay, so I don't really have any way of proving that Icelandic is hot. But, anyone trying to learn an exotic language like Icelandic is awesome in my book. To be honest, I just started learning the language, but I found some amazing resources that I want to share with everyone...
Learning Icelandic is FREE (no bs):
The University of Iceland wants you to learn Icelandic. They have this amazing website called "Icelandic Online" that progressively walks you through their language. I suggest opening up "Google Translate" while you take the courses because nearly all of the instructions are in Icelandic, which happens to be an effective way of teaching.
Note: Don't use Google Translate's "listen" button for Icelandic. It will sound like an alien is having an aneurysm.
The crucial first step is reviewing the languages pronunciation. I started learning Icelandic without reviewing their alphabet - this is a big no-no... If you don't begin with the alphabet, you won't understand how the words you are hearing match up with the words you are reading. Furthermore, there are a lot of characters in Icelandic that aren't in the English alphabet.
I have an odd obsession with Iceland, so I don't expect most people to consider Icelandic an ideal language to learn. It's challenging, unique, esoteric and almost completely impractical. Still, there is an unusual allure that keeps me enticed.
If you are learning Icelandic, please feel free to contact me. We can practice together!
If you would like any more information, comment below and I will see if I can help. Thanks for reading!