If you’re interested in visiting Iceland or exploring Nordic myths, learning Icelandic (Íslenska) could be a great idea.
In the past, learning the language has been challenging due to its intricate grammar and complex spelling. However, with technological advances and the advent of language-learning apps, anyone can learn this unique language without taking a trip to Iceland.
Let us guide you on how best to learn Icelandic so you can be a step ahead.
Does Duolingo Have Icelandic?
If you are looking for Duolingo Icelandic, there is some bad news. Duolingo is a popular app with a wide range of language options, but it hasn’t offered an Icelandic course yet.
Last year, there was even a petition signed by 817 people requesting that Duolingo add an Icelandic course. Despite the level of interest, we have yet to hear if Duolingo will add the language.
Why Doesn’t Duolingo Have Icelandic?
Although many people may be interested in learning Icelandic, it is not among the most popular languages. This may explain why Duolingo has yet to offer an Icelandic course.
Also, creating a language curriculum and modules requires a reliable teaching resource. Icelandic is a difficult language; hence, the availability of qualified language educators to teach it is unclear.
This may be why Duolingo has not yet made Icelandic available on its platform. But don’t worry! There are alternative resources for learning Icelandic, which we will share with you.
Who Speaks Icelandic?
You will find 356,502 native speakers of Icelandic. Icelandic is the national language of Iceland. Iceland is a beautiful island nation in the Nordic region. It is famous for its breathtaking landscapes and vibrant cultural heritage.
Icelandic is also a mother tongue in Greenland, but it is not limited to that area. Icelandic is spoken by people all over the world, including in Denmark, Canada, Norway, and the U.S.
Is Icelandic Hard To Learn?
Icelandic is a North German language. Though it’s a very old language, it hasn’t changed much. Even some committees prevent the language from changing. It resembles Old Norse, which Vikings spoke.
Icelandic has unique pronunciation, archaic vocabulary, and complex grammar. And you will not find dialectal variations.
The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) categorizes it as Category III or Hard Language. Hard languages are very different from English culture or language. But don’t lose hope since it isn’t the most difficult language, as the FSI rankings go from 1 to 5.
Moreover, the difficulty level of a language also depends on who you ask. For example, people who live in Scandinavian countries find it easy to learn Icelandic. The reason is that Icelandic shares similarities with other Nordic languages.
Which Language Is Closest to Icelandic?
Icelandic is a West Scandinavian language. Hence, Icelandic resembles other Nordic languages: Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, and Finnish.
The language that Icelandic most closely resembles is Old Norse, which was spoken by Vikings. As a result, individuals who are fluent in Icelandic can typically read Old Norse texts without difficulty.
How Can I Learn Icelandic?
After understanding the basics of Icelandic, let’s find out how you can learn Icelandic. According to FSI’s language learning timeline, it will take approximately 44 weeks or 1,100 class hours to achieve proficiency in Icelandic.
However, it also depends on different factors. Such factors include your ability to learn a language and any previous experience with the language. It also depends on how much time you spend.
Here are a few tips and resources to ease your Icelandic learning:
- Try some beginner courses and get stuck in! Start off by learning 100-200 of the core words to get a feel for Icelandic.
- If you have difficulty with grammar or conjugating words, don’t worry about it. Instead, focus on pronunciation and learn basic conversational Icelandic.
- Get speaking and writing as soon as possible. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! You can speak with tutors online at iTalki at a low cost.
What Apps Can I Use To Learn Icelandic?
Duolingo doesn’t offer Icelandic. But there are other helpful apps you can use to learn the language. Here are a few alternatives to assist you in your Icelandic learning journey.
OptiLingo has a rating of 4/5 on the Google App Store. It claims you can learn a new language by spending 20 minutes daily.
With Guided Immersion, OptiLingo teaches useful words and phrases. The spaced repetition technique of OptiLingo helps you remember everything you learn.
OptiLingo offers three subscription plans starting at $5.99.
- Well-organized curriculum that covers all aspects of Icelandic language learning. It includes vocabulary, grammar, listening, speaking, and reading comprehension.
- OptiLingo offers interactive exercises, audio recordings, and quizzes. These engage learners and reinforce their understanding of the Icelandic language.
- Spaced repetition is a proven learning method. It reinforces vocabulary and grammar concepts, ensuring long-term retention.
- Integrates cultural information and context into lessons. This gives you a deeper understanding of Icelandic culture and society.
- A User-friendly interface makes navigation and accessing learning materials intuitive and convenient.
- It primarily focuses on teaching Icelandic. It has a limited range of languages available compared to other language-learning platforms.
- It does not provide individualized feedback or correction on user exercises.
- Access to the full range of learning materials and features requires a subscription.
With a 4.9/5 rating on the Google App Store, Clozemaster is one of the best apps to build your Icelandic vocabulary.
Through fill-in-the-blank exercises, you get to learn different words and phrases in context. It expands not only your vocabulary skills but also your comprehension skills.
Clozemaster offers a freemium model. It allows you to access a limited amount of content for free. To unlock additional features and access more sentences, you need to subscribe.
Subscription prices start at $8 per month.
- Community features enable users to interact with other learners.
- Besides Icelandic, Clozemaster supports many languages.
- Progress tracking provides insights into your performance and areas for improvement.
- Clozemaster helps with vocabulary and comprehension but focuses less on grammar.
- It does not offer individualized feedback on user exercises
- It requires a premium subscription and full access
Label Icelandic – Full course
What could be a better app than the one made in Iceland to help you learn Icelandic? With a rating of 4.8/5 in the Google App Store, Label Icelandic is a game-changing app, as it claims.
It offers you 51 lessons that cover everything. You get tips, grammar tables, a glossary, and much more. You can get this at $4.99.
- Native voicing helps learners develop accurate speaking skills.
- 2500+ exercises for practice help reinforce your understanding of the language.
- Pricing is reasonable.
- Sometimes, the same exercises repeat.
- The audio needs fixing.
- No community features are available.
In addition to these, here are some other apps you can try. These apps include Drops, Mango Languages, Pimsleur, and Memrise.
Duolingo Icelandic is not available for now. There are other excellent options to help you learn this captivating language.
You can explore online courses, language exchange programs, and apps. The important thing is to stay motivated and consistent.
Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.