Icelandic from zero: Lesson #1

Hi, my name is Freyja/Freya, and I was born in Iceland (Kopavogur). I moved to America when I was 8 and have been living here ever since. Some people expressed an interest in me posting some Icelandic lessons so here is the first one!

The Alphabet | Stafrófið


a: 'a' as in 'father'

á: 'ow' as in 'down'

e: 'e' as in 'bed'

é: 'ye' as in 'yes'

i: 'i' as in 'bid'

í: 'ea' as in 'heat'

o: 'aw' as in 'law'

ó: 'o' as in 'oh!'

u: 'ü' as in the German word 'fünf'

ú: 'o' as in 'who'

y: 'i' as in 'bid'

ý: 'ea' as in 'heat'

æ: 'i' as in 'hide'

ö: 'e' as in 'bed' with rounded lips

ei: 'a' as in 'came'

ey: 'a' as in 'came'


b: Same as Enlgihs 'b' but with a bit more air, like the 'p' in 'spin'

d: Same as Enlgihs 'd' but with a bit more air, like the 't' in 'stop'

ð: 'th' as in 'father'

f: 'f' as in 'father'

g: At beginning- 'k' as in 'skip', between vowels- 'g' as in the Spanish word Tarragona, all other cases-'ch' as in 'loch'

h: 'h' as in 'he'

j: 'y' as in 'yes'

k: At beginning- 'k' as in 'kick', between vowels or at end-'k' as in 'skip', all other cases-'ch' as in 'loch'

l: 'l' as in 'land'

m: 'm' as in 'mother'

n: 'n' as in 'night'

p: 'p' as in 'pen'

r: 'r' as in 'brr!' (rolled)

s: 's' as in 'sea'

t: 't' as in 'time'

v: 'v' as in 'very'

x: 'gs' as in 'bugs'

Þ: 'th' as in 'thriller'

In Icelandic, the first syllable of a word is stressed (spoken with more emphasis). One of the few exceptions is the word halló which of course means "hello".

Vowels without stress are short, stressed vowels are long. Lastly, consonants are long only if they are written double and come directly after the stressed vowel. For example: finna (find).

I hope this helps you in your quest to master Icelandic, or perhaps even encourage you to learn a little! If you have any questions, please leave a comment :) If you would like to see new lessons, leave a like.

Want to hear how icelandic sounds? Here's my fav song:

January 2, 2018


THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS!! Icelandic is one of the languages i like the most, because I love Iceland, and love it's traditions, landscapes, foods, football and language. Have you considered to apply on the incubator? Here's the link:

January 2, 2018

No problem, thank you for the support! Sure, I can send an application to the incubator :) (thanks for letting me know by the way, I had no idea users could contribute to building a course).

January 2, 2018

People can make language courses here, but, only with Duolingo Staff approval, I really want Icelandic to be here, and I hope it'll come here soon. Good Luck! Also, congratulations for reaching 2018 FIFA World Cup!

January 2, 2018

Yes please, help build the Icelandic course, I'd love to learn it! Thanks for the lesson :)

January 2, 2018

Yeah they can, they can help build new courses.

January 2, 2018

This is THE course I'm waiting for. Good thing I'm Scandinavian, which has given me a great advantage in my learning process on my own already. But please, halda áfram að gera þessar lærdómar. Oh, and that's my fav song too.

January 2, 2018

Thanks for sharing the song! I love it!

January 2, 2018

Amazing! Thank you so much!

January 2, 2018

Thank you so very much! Icelandic has been on my to-learn list for a long time, and I hope Duolingo makes a course for it.

January 2, 2018

Thank you for this. :)

I am still hoping that Duolingo gets around to making an Icelandic course. Lots of folks here have been eagerly waiting for it.

January 2, 2018

Isn't this the raisin on the end of the hotdog! Is it too late for jolebokeflod?

I am looking forward to some Icelandic!

January 2, 2018


January 2, 2018

Þú getur bara sagt "Takk,, "Takk Fyrir,,. Þarft ekki að segja "þakka þér fyrir,, en það er formlegra.

July 29, 2018

YASSSS!!! thank you so much for this!! Icelandic was the course i was writing for on Duolingo!! :D thank youuuu!!

January 4, 2018

Hey Freyja, thanks so much for such a helpful post! I was wondering if you could tell us if you got any response from Duolingo when you applied to the incubator? I’ve been desperate for an Icelandic course for approaching 5 years now (one day !!) Also thanks for the song recommendation- I absolutely love it! Xx

February 17, 2019 these are the links that started me off- and now im able to maintain quite ling convos with icelanders so knock urself out man

April 18, 2019
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