ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why Learn Icelandic? Four Good Reasons

Updated on June 3, 2014

1. It Can Teach you a lot about English

Although it may seem like a very foreign language, Icelandic is actually a lot more closely related to English than you think. In fact, it is much more closely related to English than French or Spanish are. English and Icelandic are both Germanic languages. Icelandic is North Germanic and English is West Germanic.

The North Germanic languages (also known as the Scandinavian languages) consist of Icelandic, Faroese, Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish.

The main West Germanic languages are English, Dutch, and German.

All Germanic languages (West and North) have the same Proto-Germanic origins.

All of the modern Scandinavian languages were the same language about 1,000 years ago. This language was called Old Norse. Old Norse and Old English were very closely related in the same way that modern French and Spanish are closely related with one another.

English and Icelandic are the respective children of Old English and Old Norse. A major difference between English and Icelandic is how they have changed over the years. Icelandic has remained very similar to its Old Norse mother. In fact, modern Icelanders can read the Old Norse sagas as written Icelandic and Old Norse are mutually intelligible. In other words, modern Icelandic is almost the same language spoken by the Vikings. On the other hand, English has undergone drastic changes over the past 1,000 years or so. Modern English and Old English are no longer mutually intelligible and certainly not to the degree that Modern Icelandic and Old Norse are.

If you learn Icelandic, you will have a very strong understanding of Old Norse, the mother of all Scandinavian languages. Furthermore, the traditional inflection system that Icelandic maintains will make it much easier for you to learn and understand Old English, not to mention Latin as well as a plethora of modern languages that maintain an inflectional system of varying degrees of complexity such as German and Russian.

2. Similarity with other Scandinavian Languages

As I mention above, all of the Scandinavian languages were the same language about 1,000 years ago. Thus, they all have unmistakable similarities. Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish are a lot more similar to one another than any of them are to Icelandic, but the advantage of learning Icelandic is that you have mastered the complex inflectional system lost from the others (with the exception of Faroese). Because the mainland Scandinavian languages have made substantial grammatical simplifications over the years, they are wildly simple to learn with a strong basis in Icelandic.

3. It is a Great Place to Live

Despite the name, Iceland is, ironically, nowhere near as icy as her sister, Greenland. You can thank early Scandinavian (Viking) explorers for the confusion. In fact, Iceland enjoys a relatively temperate climate thanks to the Gulf Stream.

You may or may not have heard about how much power the people in Iceland have. Through demonstration they forced governmental reform putting corrupt bankers and politicians in jail (rather than bailing them out like in the United States during the recession). Iceland has also been ranked the third safest country in the world for 2013. Although English is widely spoken as a foreign language in Iceland, you will score major brownie points amongst the locals for your serious attempts at conversing in their language.

4. The Typical Benefits of Language Learning

Icelandic is a language not commonly studied outside of Scandinavia, taking a backseat to more commonly studied languages like French, Spanish, Italian, German, Arabic, Mandarin, and Japanese. That is why you would really stand out amongst employers and educators if you had knowledge of Icelandic on your resume and college applications.

Learning a new language keeps the mind young and sharp. It has been proven that using more than one language decreases your risk for age-related mental degeneration and can even increase your IQ. Mastering a language as complex as Icelandic will certainly give your intelligence a significant boost.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Brittany A Martin profile image

      Brittany Martin 

      14 months ago from United States

      I've always wanted to learn Icelandic. I am pretty decently fluent in Swedish and have a huge obsession with Germanic languages. Unfortunately, Germanic languages are harder to find resources for than the more popular Romance languages (besides English, Romance languages have the most resources online and offline, really, period).

    • Raphael Dipippo profile image

      Raphael Dipippo 

      2 years ago

      Nice article

    • profile image

      Johnk937 

      4 years ago

      Id forever want to be update on new articles on this internet site, bookmarked ! . bddfekedkebg

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)