Icelandic words you must know

 In Local Advises, Summer in Iceland, What you need to know

If you are traveling to Iceland these are the Icelandic words and phrases you must learn. When traveling to a foreign country it’s fun to learn a few words of the native language to be able to show the people you care about their culture and language. In Iceland you might actually not get a lot of chances to speak Icelandic, in most service jobs in Iceland we have foreigners working, so if you learn these word you might even be better than some of them in Icelandic. If you, on the other hand, visit the swimming pool in the middle of the afternoon you might meet some local Icelanders, opening hours of all swimming pools in Iceland can be found here.


Few Icelandic letters in the alphabet that you have probably never seen before. Good to at least know about them.

Æ – sounds like “eye”

Ö – sound like “eu”

Ð,ð – sound like “th” voiced th

Þ – sound like “th” unvoiced th

Here below you have the most helpful once.

Góðan dag – pronounced (ð is an Icelandic letter which is like a soft version of d) góð – an dahg) good word to give a good first impression, it means good morning or good day. When you walk into a cafe, shop or want to be friendly when walking past people on the street you say góðan dag. When it’s past 6 pm you can start to say Góða kvöldið – pronounced (góð-a kvouldið)  meaning good evening. Saying this to the cashier at the grocery market is a very nice thing to do.

Takk – pronounced (taa-kk) simple means thanks! Of all the Icelandic words this one is probably the most helpful one you can learn. Always good to know how to be polite. If you want to be extra polite you say Takk fyrir which means thank you so much.

Jæja – pronounced (jai-ja) is one of the most important of all Icelandic words you should learn. You can start any conversation with this word. What does jæja mean? If you’ll ask an Icelander it means everything and nothing. Jæja probably has over 100 meanings it all depends on how you say it. You could say it just one quick jæja, or inhale while saying it or even sound really surprised while saying it and Icelanders would understand it differently.

Here are a few examples of how you can use the word jæja

Icelandic words you should know

– pronounced (j-á) means yes, very easy. Já takk is, for example, a phrase you could use a lot.

Nei – pronounced (n-ei) means no, very simple to say Nei, takk, if you don’t want something.

Here are some helpful Icelandic phrases I have listed out for you, which might come in handy on your travel in Iceland

Icelandic words and phrases

It can also be very fun to learn how to count in Icelandic, I also added hundred and thousand into the list since our Icelandic kronas are mainly counted in hundreds an thousands.

Icelandic words and phrases

The last Icelandic words that I think might come in handy are a few travel words.

Icelandic words and phrases

I hope you have at least learned a few new Icelandic words before you travel to Iceland. When you are traveling in Iceland I can also recommend you to use our blog page which has a lot of helpful information about traveling in Iceland, check it out here. We have also made an Itinerary guide for the whole country which can help you to travel like a local in Iceland, if you would like to spend less time on planning and more time on adventures, then it’s something for you, you can buy it here.







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