Icelandic is now free to learn on LingQ

I should probably have waited for LingQ to officially announce this here on the forum, but I am a little too excited I guess.

It is absolutely great how Mark and Steve agreed to help me achieve my vision of making it easier to learn my mother tongue and thus protect our language. Since I have been one of the most active LingQ users in the last few years, I certainly know how effective LingQ is, as long as people are willing to put in the work.

As I see it, there are two main threats for Icelandic. Both have a lot to do with the dominance of Engish. The first is the Icelandic youth starting to prefer English to their own mother tongue. The second is the difficulty non-natives who live here have learning the language. This has to do with the tendency of Icelanders to switch to English if someone speaks limited Icelandic to them, the dominance of English in many aspects of the work market and society and of course how little resources there are to learn the language. Icelandic becoming free is a huge step in eliminating that very last problem.

Lots of media attention for this already. Understandably it is still drowning a bit in all the news of the potential eruption and the whole village of Grindavík having been evacuated. Of course we all hope for the best and that the village won’t be destroyed. Not much one can do to fight the elements, but it is possible to fight against Icelandic dying out.



Wow mate, congratulations.
The low number of Icelandic speakers is difficult to think about, as you point out probably stemming from the lack of relevance and difficulty finding good material. I watched a video lately on the revival of Welsh, maybe you and LingQ have just started a similar revolution for Iceland!

Not a single smile in any of the News pictures, is that an Icelandic thing?

Great job LingQ team and Rökkv.

Going to check out the mini stories now


I don´t think Iceland has anywhere near the trouble Welsh has. I don´t think any Icelandic kids don´t know how to speak Icelandic? Welsh is quite a different situation where people were actively discouraged from speaking it rather than because they found English useful. I don´t think there is an accepted standard Welsh either?

Are there different types of Icelandic? I was amused to see Welsh speakers are often quite at odds with each other over what is “Welsh” with one Welsh native speaker criticising Duolingo then finding out later he just didn´t know what people said in southern wales.

I learn Icelandic because it is very interesting to see it in relation to the other Scandinavian languages. It is far more complicated though. Of course, one guy learned it in a week so what is my excuse.

Savant learns how to speak Icelandic in a week - YouTube


@rokkvi congratulations to this achievement, and kudos to LingQ for providing this language for free.

I guess now it is the beginning of a new journey - on bringing people in, and creating for them an easy roadmap to follow. Something most users don’t even have in all other languages.



Takk fyrir allt sem þú hefur gert! Ég er viss um að við munum halda áfram að fá nýja notendur/nemendur í íslensku :iceland:.

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You are right. The story with Welsh and the story with Icelandic are vastly different. Welsh is a language in the country where the majority of people are only English speaking. The vast majority of Icelanders do speak Icelandic and speak it as a mother tongue. Icelandic is also the only official language of Iceland. They key to maintain and save a language like Icelandic is also to step in early, not after it’s too late. That is what we are doing here.


Rooster, I loved your question about "not a single smile in any of the pictures . . . " because I wondered about that when I visited Iceland. I had read in The Geography of Bliss that Iceland is one of the happiest countries in the world. I had to visit. When I got there, everyone seemed so serious as you noted. At a gas station, the clerk asked if we wanted the reciept. We said no, and he said gruffly, “Always get the receipt.” Then gave us a little wink as he handed us the receipt.

My daughter and I decided that this is just “the Viking way.” I mean one can be happy and pleasant without smiling. It’s been a few years, but I still always get the receipt and inwardly smile thinking of that gentleman.

@rokkvi I love Iceland, even though I have only visited once…I left my heart there. When I am a bit more established with the languages I’m working on now, I’ll give Icelandic some serious consideration!

That’s the real North!

the real north

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Now you tell me! LOL! Gotta love the North.

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Thanks for all your work with Icelandic!

Did you frame the receipt?

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Comically enough, I am a comedian, so if I never smile, what does that say about the rest of us?


Waiting for your arrival…


Here’s your audience.

iceland aquaman

She’s looking at you going back home after the show.

aquaman song

:rofl: :rofl:


Begreep ik het nou goed, dat je ook Nederlands leert? In ieder geval, hopen dat IJsland in staat is om het tij te keren en de taal weer primair te laten zijn. Het grootste punt is de jongeren denk ik, die bepalen ongeveer de toekomst. Dat betekent dat er werk aan de winkel is voor de beleidsmakers, leraren, onderwijzers en alle andere invloeden op kinderen.

Als ik het Fins eenmaal goed onder de knie heb, dan zal ik eens een blik naar deze taal werpen. Het lijkt me zeker de moeite. Ik verwacht dat het niet lijkt op Fins, of wel?


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Ijslands lijkt niet op Fins. Fins is heel anders. Ik lerde heel veel Nederlands hier in LingQ en ik oefene mijn Nederlands soms, als ik Nederlandse touristen tegenkome ezv. Ik he ook en kollege die ook gids is en wij praten dan soms Ijslands en soms Nederlands met elkander. Mijn Nederlands is niet heel vlooiend, ik kan praten maar ik mak vouten, vermenge Duitse worde and vinde die Nederlandse worde niet altijd terstonds.

Het is zeker niet slecht. Als Nederlander zou ik hier geen moeite mee hebben. Het neigt misschien een beetje naar Vlaams, met woorden zoals terstonds (de generatie van mijn vader gebruikte dat). Ik herken er geen Duits in. Ik vind het best een prestatie dat iemand uit het IJslandse continent Nederlands begrijpt en zelfs spreekt. Kudos!

Ik verwachte eigenlijk half en half dat IJslands inderdaad niet op Fins lijkt, maar ik hoopte dat het net zoals Fins, agglutinative is. Ach, je kan niet alles hebben. Dank voor je response!

LOL, no. BUT if I had realized at the time that it would become a fond memory and story that I would share years later, I would have. :slight_smile:

Polish news in Iceland published a piece on it too. I imported into LingQ and read it here already: Bezpłatny dostęp do nauki islandzkiego w aplikacji LingQ – ICELAND NEWS


This has inspired me. I first visited Iceland in April 1997 when my children were young. When we went to Gullfoss there was only us and a honeymoon couple from Germany there. A total of six people! When we went to Þingvellir we were literally the only people there. The Blue Lagoon was in a different place and with only a couple of wooden buildings. I fell in love with Iceland then and started learning Icelandic but at the time the materials were few and of terrible quality and I gave up after a while. I’ve been back twice since then in 2007 and 2013 so I’m due for another visit. And now there are all kinds of materials like ‘Íslenska Fyrir Alla’. I am determined to go back to Icelandic and try again. I don’t even care if Icelanders don’t want to talk to me in Icelandic. I can read and listen.
By the way, I read once of a tourist who’d made a big effort to learn some Icelandic and was quite proud to ask for his coffee and some cake in the café at Geysir only to have the employee look at them blankly as say ‘Sorry, I don’t speak Icelandic’. Ouch.


Yes there are more people working in the tourist industry in Iceland who are not Icelandic than who are it seems, especially store clerks and service people at restaurants.

Back in the late 90s the country wasn’t that well known around the world, as a tourist destination or even in general. Now it seems to have become quite iconic and everybody wants to visit.

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