Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

https://www.duolingo.com/portsmouthfc100

Norwegian vs Swedish

Eventually, I would like to learn Icelandic, but since there is no Icelandic I have decided to learn either Norwegian or Swedish. Which language is the most similar to Icelandic, and which one is more interesting and fun to learn for an English speaker? Thank you in advance.

2 years ago

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/txredeyes
txredeyes
  • 17
  • 13
  • 12
  • 7
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

Faroese can be considered the closest (there's obviously no course for it though and it is also more difficult than Norwegian or Swedish). From googling, it seems that Norwegian is the closest. If you're somewhat new to learning languages, is also a good starting point. On which language is more fun to learn, that is a bit more subjective, learn whichever one you enjoy the most. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr_Eyl
Mr_Eyl
  • 13
  • 12
  • 8
  • 7
  • 5
  • 13

Even if you could pick which of these is the 'closest', it wouldn't be very close.

Swedes and Norwegians can understand a great deal of each other's languages, but Icelandic is different enough to be unintelligible to them.

It also contains a great deal of grammatical features that all of the other Scandinavian languages (apart from Faroese) have lost.

Learning Norwegian or Swedish will be fun, but it won't help you with Icelandic. They're as similar to it as Modern English is to Old English. Try to find an Icelandic course elsewhere, or maybe pick up some Faroese- it's the closest living language to Icelandic.

You could even try a little Old Norse if you're feeling adventurous, as Icelandic has barely changed from it- any Icelander can read the sagas without a single lesson in Old Norse.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brittalexiswm

They are both very similar in their own ways to Icelandic. I would say that Norwegian or Danish are closer vocab-wise. However, I think personally Swedish is more fun to learn!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/berit.smaa
berit.smaa
  • 25
  • 25
  • 588

Islandic is an old form of the Norwegian language which was spoken on the westcoast of Norway earlier. The first citizens on Iceland came from Norway in 874. From 1260 to 1530 Iceland wa sa part of Norway.
The Norwegian and Swedish languages are not as similar as the Duolingo-people seem to believe. Through the 1800-century the Swedish language has a strong influence from the French language, while Norwegian (and Danish) was influeded by the German and English languages.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/garpike
garpike
  • 25
  • 24
  • 22
  • 20
  • 19
  • 19
  • 18
  • 17
  • 17
  • 17
  • 17
  • 16
  • 16
  • 15
  • 15
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 8
  • 8
  • 8
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 1156

...Or you could just buy a book on Icelandic if that's what really interests you. It is possible to study languages that are not on Duolingo.

However, if you do want one that is on here, I say Swedish is wonderfully melifluous, interesting, not hard grammar and fun.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

Try a few lessons of each language and see which you like best.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Guitardude2000
Guitardude2000
  • 12
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

If you learn Norwegian, it is easier to learn and/or understand the rest of the Scandinavian languages. However, if you really want to learn Icelandic, I can almost guarantee that there is a Memrise course for it.

Sed mi Mi ŝatas Esperanto ankaŭ =)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
  • 20
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

Norwegian Nynorsk is closest to Icelandic of the Scandinavian languages.

Duolingo teaches Bokmål Norwegian which is not as close (it's influenced by Danish and so is more north-east Germanic than north-west Germanic), but probably still closer to Icelandic than Swedish or Danish.

2 years ago