Icelandic Alphabet

What is Iceland?

Iceland is a country found in the North Atlantic between Greenland and Norway. it was originally an island possession of Denmark and considered to be part of Europe. Iceland has an interesting history. The first people who were thought to have settled in Iceland island were a group of Irish monks around the year 800. It had officially become a Christian nation in 1000 CE, where it became the only legally recognized religion in the area.

Iceland was said to be founded in the Norse culture during the 9th century, when the famous Viking, Floki Vilgeroarson, landed on its shores to start a new society, free from the rule of the mainland. He had given the land its name incorrectly, unknowing that the majority of the island was covered in forests and a lush green ecosystem. The capital of Reykjavik was founded by a notable Norwegian chieftain who went to begin a new settlement in the southwest corner of the island.

The most famous tale of Iceland was the tale of Erik the Red, who had been cast out of Iceland for murder. His son, Leif Ericson, may have been the first documented person from Europe to discover the Eastern part of North America, which they had named Vinland.

What is the Icelandic Alphabet?

Iceland is a derivative of North Germanic and is not extremely similar to most Nordic languages. It can be most closely related to Faroese, which is an extinct variation of Norn. Western Norwegian dialects have similar tonalities as the Icelandic language. Most Germanic languages have great inflection and many syllables, which is not common in the Icelandic language. In this way, Icelandic follows many of the same rules as modern-day German, while being considerably more synthetic and more conservative in pronunciation.

The country's policy regarding its language maintains the concern that all new terms should be based on current or older words in the Icelandic alphabet rather than using loan words from other languages, primarily with the rise of English influence in many other languages. This maintains a lot of the country's culture - as most Icelandic people can read classic literature in Old Norse that was written between the 10th and 13th centuries.

History of the Icelandic Alphabet

Icelandic vocabulary is a derivation of Old Norse. The introduction of Christianity to Iceland at the beginning of the 11th century brought the need to add some Latin characters into the alphabet to be able to decipher, translate, write, read and communicate via religious scriptures and other Christian nations. New words were adopted from other Scandinavian languages, which had already shaped some of the words to sound similar to their English counterparts. For example, kirkja, the word for church, is found in many other Scandinavian languages.

As Iceland became a larger trading hub in the northern part of the world, new trade routes eventually brought on influences from other romantic languages, such as the French. After the 19th century, Iceland recognized that this was hurting their culture, and firmly introduced a policy into the legislature to relate new words into derivatives of current or older Icelandic languages.