LivingTravel9 Icelandic words every visitor needs

9 Icelandic words every visitor needs

If you speak English and are heading to Iceland on vacation, fear not how you will communicate. Most of the people in Iceland speak English as it is taught in schools. However, if you try to speak Icelandic, your efforts will surely be appreciated. To get started, we have compiled the top ten words that we consider most important for your visit.

  1. Hállo: Simply translated, this is the Icelandic word for ‘Hello’. Most English speakers don’t have too much trouble adapting their version of the same word to communicate this simple greeting. Hæ (pronounced “Hello”) is a more informal version of the greeting and conveniently sounds exactly like the English word “Hello.”
  2. Takk: In English, this Icelandic word means thank you. One of the most important phrases to know in Iceland, as everyone loves to hear that their work is appreciated!
  3. Já: In English, this word means “Yes.” Of course, it is important to know how to respond positively or agree with your audience, if applicable. This word is simple and you can impress your Icelandic listeners if you use it instead of the English alternative.
  1. Nei: Contrary to Já, this word means “no.” In addition to knowing how to say yes, it is important to also know how to say no if necessary.
  2. Hjálp! I hope you don’t need this word, but if you have to yell for help, this is the word you need. Directly translated into English, this word means »Help! If you are in a pinch, this could be a good reference word.
  3. Bjór: This is the Icelandic word for beer. Chances are, if you are really enjoying your vacation, you will use this word once or twice on your way. (pronounced skaoul) This is the word for “cheers!” So if you have a Bjór in Iceland, be sure to start with this phrase. The people of Iceland love to eat, drink and have fun, so why not impress them with your knowledge of their language as well while taking part in libations.
  1. Trúnó: If you end up drinking more than you thought and then opening your deepest secrets to someone on the same night, the people of Iceland have a word for this act: Trúnó. Don’t worry, we’ve all done it once or twice. Now you know what to call it if it happens to you in Iceland.
  2. Namm !: Directly translated into English, this is the word for Yum! When eating something delicious in Iceland, be sure to compliment the cook with this word for added impression and emphasis.
  3. Blessing: the perfect word to leave you, this word translated directly into English means “Goodbye.” It is often said twice when separated.

With these Icelandic words in your vocabulary, you’ll have a great starting point for the essentials of the language. Also, in more rural areas, you may need them in case the locals don’t speak English at all. But overall, since most locals speak English easily in Iceland, these words should provide you with a conversation starter when trying to impress the local people with your friendly and respectful attempts to speak their language.

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