So you want to learn Icelandic, do you? Here are some things to keep in mind when you learning Icelandic:
Visiting Iceland is a must!– If you have a genuine interest in Icelandic then it would only make sense to go to Iceland and make friends with the locals. You probably won’t use the language outside of the country (unless you befriend the locals while in Iceland get their Facebook, Twitter, Email, Skype, etc then that’s another story! 😉 ) otherwise and end up losing your ability in the language and that would NOT be a good idea at all.
Don’t give up and be persistent! Many people will tell you how useless Icelandic is and that they are more Kangaroos in Australia than there are Icelanders. While this maybe true but if you plan on making friends with Icelanders and actually plan on going to Iceland at some point in your life then Icelandic really isn’t that useless after all. Yes, most Icelanders do speak English quite fluently (and may speak other languages too) but the point is to get to them to speak to you in Icelandic as much as possible. They will also be very impressed that you took time to learn their language. If you don’t look Icelandic it may require a bit of convincing before they will actually speak their native language with you but you can make it happen. Keep speaking Icelandic even if they keep speaking English with you.
Now let’s move on to my collection of resources for you to use for your immersive environment. Unlike languages like German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, etc where you can find popular movies dubbed into the appropriate languages. Icelanders do NOT do that. In fact the only thing they will dub into Icelanders are children’s shows. Otherwise there will only be Icelandic subtitles accompanying the movies which really won’t help your Icelandic unless you put it on mute, put an Icelandic podcast on in the background and then read the subtitles aloud, I suggest avoiding non-Icelandic movies in the long run.
Icelandic Movies: You may not be able to find a lot of these online per se but I am sure that you can buy the DVDs online and make sure you have a region-free DVD player if you are outside of Europe.
You can use a site like Let’s Sing It to look up the lyrics and use them as a part of your Icelandic learning.
Icelandic TV and Radio: There may be geographical blocking for clips with specific copyrights and you may not be able to view it outside of Iceland.
Blogs in Icelandic :
Books (Hardcover, paperback, audio books, e-Books):
Orðabók – An Icelandic to English/English to Icelandic and Danish to Icelandic/Icelandic to Danish online dictionary.
Icelandic-English Dictionary (You can also buy the print version at Forlagið as well.) I don’t really like the interface of the site to be honest and you can do an English to Icelandic search by selecting the “Entire entry” option as well.
Íslenkur Orðasjóður– The University of Leipzig’s (Germany) Icelandic dictionary. (Completely in Icelandic when you search for words)
Orðabanki– You can switch between what you want the target language to be and the search language.
Tungumálatorg– This resource has a lot video lessons that are completely in Icelandic with an explanation of what the video comes in your choice of English, French, Polish, Spanish or just in Icelandic only if you wish. It goes over everyday things for the most part but it is useful considering the lack of Icelandic materials out there.
Icelandic Online Lessons – It doesn’t look like much of a site but you can have online lessons with a native speaker via Skype. Definitely worth checking out especially if you like one-on-one lessons.
Já– An Icelandic search engine.
If there is anything that you find groundbreaking and quite useful as a Icelandic learning resource feel free to contact me and I will add it here.