The Best Way to Learn Icelandic

By OptiLingo • 7 minute read

The best way to learn Icelandic

You Can Learn Icelandic on Your Own

Icelandic is a fascinating and awesome language. And there’s no reason why you can’t master it on your own. You don’t need a teacher or a college course to reach Icelandic fluency. But, you do need a good strategy. A solid plan to learn this Nordic language. So, to make your life easier, we collected the most important steps for how to learn Icelandic. Follow these steps for the best way to learn Icelandic.

How Long Does It Take to Learn Icelandic?

Every Icelandic learner wants their fluency as soon as possible. But, learning a language isn’t like next-day delivery. There’s no tracker for how long it takes to learn a language. You just need to keep working towards fluency every day until you come to a point where you’re comfortable with speaking to locals. But, if you insist on a number for how long until that happens, here are some estimates for you.

According to the US Foreign Service Institute lists Icelandic as a Category 4 language. This means that it’s harder to learn than French for example, but it’s also much easier to master than Chinese. They also say that it would take an average native English speaker 1100 hours of study to reach fluency in Icelandic. But, that’s just an estimate. If you follow these 8 steps, you can easily master Icelandic is record time.

how to learn Icelandic

8 Steps for the Best Way to Learn Icelandic For Beginners

As a beginner, learning Icelandic can seem very daunting. But, I promise you, it’s doable. And, if you follow these instructions, you won’t just find the best way to learn Icelandic. You’ll also have fun with it. So, buckle in, cause we’re about to go on a crazy Icelandic adventure.

1. Master the Letters of the Icelandic Alphabet

If you know the alphabet and the writing system, you immediately have access to two things: reading Icelandic texts and speaking Icelandic with a good accent. If you know how to read it, you’ll also know how to pronounce it. That’s why you need to learn the alphabet of Iceland first.

Icelandic uses Latin letters, just like English. But, there are some variations and some extra letters. These account for the pronunciation differences. There are 32 letters in the Icelandic alphabet.

A a

Á á
B b
D d
Ð ð
E e
É é
F f

G g

H h
I i
Í í
J j
K k
L l

M m

N n
O o
Ó ó
P p
R r
S s
T t

U u

Ú ú
V v
X x
Y y
Ý ý
Þ þ
Æ æ

Ö ö

2. Choose the Right Icelandic Resources

How you learn Icelandic matters. You need to choose resources that get you closer to fluency. Reliable, scientifically-backed methods work best. But, you also need to have fun. So, choose Icelandic resources you enjoy, that’s how you know they’re the best for you. Here are some common choices for Icelandic learners.

  • Join a class: This is a very traditional way to learn a language, but it doesn’t work for everyone. First off, a classroom setting can easily trigger language learning anxiety. And you always have to share the teacher’s attention with your classmates. Not to mention how pricey these classes can be.
  • Hire a private tutor: Having one-on-one classes can really boost your language learning. Tutors can give you personalized advice. But, these sessions are usually very expensive.
  • Buy a textbook: Textbooks are great language learning resources. They can explain Icelandic grammar well.
  • Download an Icelandic app: Language learning apps are extremely convenient. And some are very reliable too. If they’re based on the best language learning theories, you can trust them. Plus, they’re also easy on your wallet.

3. Learn the Most Common Icelandic Words

Real Icelandic people don’t use all their vocabulary in everyday conversations. They only use about 20% of all words they know for 80% of the things they say. It’s true, it’s called the 80/20 rule, and it’s your key to learning Icelandic in record time. Just focus on the most common Icelandic words and phrases, and you’ll cut down the time it takes to reach fluency.

Wondering where you can access this list of useful Icelandic expressions? OptiLingo already collected the most crucial phrases. Use our app to learn only the essentials and reach Icelandic fluency faster. Download OptiLingo!

Psst! Did you know we have a language learning app?

  1. It teaches you useful words and phrases.
  2. Presented in a natural, everyday context.
  3. Spaced out over time, so you absorb your new language organically.
  4. It’s kind of like learning the words to your new favorite song!

You’re only one click away!


4. Practice Speaking Icelandic More

Language is a spoken form of communication. If you really want to speak Icelandic fluently, the best way to learn it is with practice. Let yourself get used to making the sounds of Icelandic. If you’re comfortable with forming the words on your own, you’ll be comfortable speaking them to the locals as well.

Don’t delay your speaking practice. A lot of language learners wait to start practicing their speaking skills. But, that’s a major mistake. You need to speak the language to reach fluency as soon as possible. Nothing else you do will help you. No amount of grammar knowledge or vocabulary will actually teach you how to say the words correctly.

5. Use Memory Tricks to Remember More Icelandic

Of course, when you’re learning something, it’s hard to keep it all in your head. That’s why you can use memory tricks to help you remember more of your Icelandic material. Plus, you can use these tips to learn anything, not just Icelandic. You’re welcome.

  • Use spaced repetition: This is the key to recalling anything you learn fast. The point of the spaced repetition technique is to reinforce your knowledge with periodic reviews. So, learn something new and review it the next day, then the next day, and so on. Soon, you’ll remember everything about it.
  • Write it by hand: Handwriting is linked to tactile learning. You’ll store more of the material in your brain if you took the time to actually put pen to paper.
  • Stick to post-it notes: Write some Icelandic vocabulary on post-it notes, and stick them all around your living space. You’re bound to stumble into them, learn that word faster, and be reminded of your Icelandic studies.

6. The Best Way to Learn Icelandic Is to Have Fun

Hands down, the best advice anyone can ever give you on how to learn Icelandic is to have fun. Enjoy it. Let it be your escape from the routine. Then, you’ll always be excited to come back for more lessons. Plus, you can also learn better if all your attention is focused on your studies.

There are plenty of things you can do that don’t involve your nose in a textbook. You can watch Icelandic YouTube videos. Listen to an interesting Icelandic podcast. Or read an Icelandic book. All of these activities are fun, relaxing, and most importantly, help you to Icelandic fluency faster.

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes

A lot of Icelandic learners are afraid to mess up. Fearing embarrassment, they try hard enough. They let their language learning anxiety get the better of them. And those people never achieve Icelandic success. The best way to learn Icelandic is to shake your inhibitions. Let mistakes guide you. These mistakes help you get better at speaking Icelandic every day.

Plus, Icelandic locals won’t think less of you is you mess up. On the contrary. They’ll be impressed that you took the time to learn their language. Be proud of yourself, you’re doing something truly incredible.

8. Use the Best App to Learn Icelandic

If you follow these steps, you’ll reach Icelandic fluency. But, you can also just download an app that combines these all for you. One that’s built on scientifically-proven methods. But one that also lets you have fun. And that’s exactly what OptiLingo offers.

OptiLingo has the list of the most common Icelandic words and phrases. This app can cut the time it takes for you to learn Icelandic significantly. Its lessons have built-in spaced repetition, and they also make you speak the language to practice. Access the best of Icelandic learning in one place with OptiLingo!