Icelandic – Íslenska

Iceland is an island country with a unique culture. Icelandic, a Germanic language that is the official language is spoken there by 0.3 million people. Approximately 20,000 to 30,000 Icelandic speakers can be found in Canada and the U.S. It is very similar to Old Norwegian which is a term used for the Old Norse language as spoken and written in Norway in the middle Ages.

Modern Icelandic has no distinct dialects within the language. Also, most Icelanders do not have a family name. Children have a given name and their family name is based on “father’s-name-son” or “father’s-name-daughter”. For example, Jon’s son would be named “Jonsson” and his daughter named “Jonsdottir”. If a family structure is father, mother, brother and daughter, each family member has a different family name. Therefore, the last name of a person is rarely used to identify a person.