Languages of Iceland
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (March 2012)|
|Languages of Iceland|
|Official language(s)||Icelandic 93.2%|
|Main immigrant language(s)||Polish 2.71%
|Main foreign language(s)||English
Danish / Norwegian / Swedish
French / German / Spanish
|Sign language(s)||Icelandic Sign Language|
|Common keyboard layout(s)||
|Source||Statistics Iceland (2008)|
Iceland has been a very isolated and linguistically homogeneous island historically, but has nevertheless beheld several languages. Gaelic was native to many of the early Icelanders, the Icelandic or Norse language however prevailing, albeit absorbing Gaelic features. Later, northern trade routes brought German, English, Dutch, French and Basque. Some merchants and clergymen settled in Iceland throughout the centuries, leaving their mark on culture, but linguistically mainly trade, nautical or religious terms. Excluding these and Latin words, Icelandic has altered remarkably little since settlement, the island's residents living in seclusion.
Today, the country does not have an official language but Icelandic is the de facto official and national language, while Icelandic Sign Language was officially recognised by law in 2011 as a minority language with constitutional rights and the first language of the Icelandic deaf community. Danish is also a minority language in Iceland, and has been spoken there for at least two hundred years, but it has yet to gain government recognition.
Studying English and Danish (or another Scandinavian language) is mandatory for students in compulsory schools and also for many gymnasium courses, so knowledge of the two languages is widespread. German and French are also studied by many.
Temporary visitors and residents often make up a large portion of the population, especially in the capital Reykjavik. Thus, varying greatly from day to day, languages such as Basque, Dutch or Japanese may be prominent on the city's streets.
See also 
|This Iceland-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|
|This language-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|