Icelandic is considered difficult and archaic - the least developped of the modern Germanic languages (to which, among others, belong the Scandinavian languages, German, Dutch, Afrikaans, Frisian and English).
The University of Reykjavík, however, recently posted a free online beginner's course in Icelandic on the internet! Very neat site I must say. Most Icelanders speak very good English, that's true. But it's always much appreciated if you can at least mutter a few words in the language of your host!
Icelandic is a beautifull language but difficult to learn, in Icelandic there are some letters that don't exist in other European languages. The letter thorn (Þ and þ) and letter eth (ð and Ð) for example... That makes the languages interesting and mysterious. But there are only
300 000 people who are aible to speak and understand Icelandic.
I try to learn the local language wherever I go, however I must say that Icelandic is pretty difficult. It is a language that has been relatively unchanged over the past millenia.
Although the government actively promotes the language, most Icelanders speak English. Nevertheless, you will be well received if you at least pick up a few words and basic phrases.
Hvar er......where is
-post hus.....post office
-Bilaleiga.....car rental agency
Hvat kostar.....how much is it
Eg vael fa.....I would like
Eg er.....I am
Eg heiti......My name is
Takk fyrir.....Thank you very much
Talarthu Ensku.....Do you speak English
Eg skil ekki.....I do not understand
Everybody speaks good english. That's a good thing as the Icelandish is just alien. Well, actually it's the original language spoken by the Vikins. It just hasn't changed much while the other Scandinavian languages have.
SOME USEFUL WORDS YOU MIGHT NEED
Hello (good day) góðan dag
Hi hæ, halló
Excuse me afsakið
Thank you takk fyrir