Iceland with Parents, Preparation

Icelandic with Blaer 2: Essential Phrases

Welcome to another installation of Icelandic with Blaer! I know it’s been a while, but since we’re actually in Iceland now, I can’t let my parents steal all the thunder! I’m going to share with you a bit of what I’ve learned so far: the most essential parts of Icelandic. (If you only read one post, make it this one.)

First off: how to say hi. This is the most complicated part! There’s two types of commonly used greetings: a formal one (sort of an equivalent to “hello”) and a less formal one (more like “hi”). The more formal one is easier: góðan daginn. I know all those accents look scary, but it’s pronounced something like GOthen DYEinn. (Or, for the morbidly minded, “go-then-die-in.”) The less formal greeting is more complicated. There are multiple versions of it, depending on the gender and number of the person/people you’re talking to. The two versions you’ll want to use most often are sæl (sile) and sæll (sitle; a double l is pronounced tl). Sælis for a man alone, and sæl is for either a woman alone or a group of mixed gender. To say “bye,” simply say bless! (Pronounced how it looks to English speakers, for once.)

To thank someone, say takk! (Pronounced like talk.) And to answer questions, say  (yes, yow) or nei (no, nay). In an emergency, say hjálp (help, hyalp).

That’s about it for bare essentials. Stay tuned for more!

(Here‘s another page with some good Icelandic phrases which I also used as a resource for this post. Go, Omniglot!)

Icelandic with Blaer 2: Essential Phrases was last modified: May 20th, 2016 by Blaer