I’d just started my first job with a salary. Whaaa?! Not just a wage! A salary?! Every evening I’d come home and open the same book, ‘Europe on a Shoestring’, and plan out where I’d be spending this thing I’d suddenly been given called ‘holiday time’. Iceland was top of the list. (Shoestring? Ha!)
It took me a long time to actually get there and it wasn’t until almost 10 years and many other countries later that I ventured to the land of ice and fire, and of course, had to learn a little Icelandic for the trip. This is my Icelandic story.
Your free Icelandic travel phrases
If you’re curious to find out more about this mysterious language, get started with your free travel phrases. Woop! Just click the image below to download.
What did I know about Icelandic before?
I knew that it was a Germanic language but that it was probably distantly related, which I guessed based on geography.
I knew that it often gets “a look” when people say they speak it. (You know the look I mean – the eyebrows raise, the eyes widen, the “wow” comes out the mouth…)
I knew it had a couple of funny-looking letters that sound in some way like “th”.
That’s pretty much it.
What did I use to learn Icelandic?
Memrise is normally my starting point with any new language, and Icelandic was no different. I found a couple of basic/traveller courses there and picked one after a quick look at the words and phrases included in each level. In the end, I chose this one, which I worked on for 6 weeks or so before my trip and finished off on the plane.
I also wanted something more and Google soon led me to Icelandic Online. I stuck with the introductory course, which was great because although some of the activities were a bit glitchy, it has videos with real-speed conversations.
What was Iceland like?
I don’t really know where to begin. Iceland is INSANE. It’s one of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever been to. I’ll let the images speak for themselves…
How much Icelandic did I speak?
Hmm…not so much. Most people in Iceland speak a reasonable amount of English and most of our trip we were driving across the country with…well, not so many people around!
But one reason I love to learn a little language before travel is for understanding the world around me, and for that, what I learnt in Icelandic definitely helped. I’ve compiled some of my favourite examples in this video, Learning Icelandic In Iceland.
9 Reasons to Learn Icelandic
Curious? If you want to know more, I felt so inspired by my time with the language that I made a 9 Reasons video! Woop! (Two videos in one week?! Yes indeedy.)
Are you learning Icelandic? Have you been to Iceland? What sparked your curiosity for the language? Share in the comments!