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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Iceland

Useful phrases for Iceland

Icelandic is a Nordic language and has changed little since the time of the country's first settlers, the Vikings, in the 9th century. Today most Icelandic people speak English - but that's no excuse to leave your phrasebook at home. It's helpful to know how to read road signs, understand a menu as well as ask for a drink or directions. Icelandic is notoriously difficult to pronounce, with accent and context changing word meanings entirely.

Some Icelandic place names look impossibly long, but once you break the word down it will gradually begin to make sense. For example, the troublesome volcano that erupted in 2010, causing international air traffic havoc, is known as Eyjafjallajökull. Its name is made up three individual words. Eyja means island, fjall means mountain and jokull means glacier, so dissecting a word into its component parts can help massively with your Icelandic pronunciation.

Here are some of Iceland's most-used phrases. We haven't provided phonetic translations due to the issues with getting accents correct, but these words will help you to be able to read Icelandic.

Common Icelandic phrases

Hello/good morning - Góðan dag
Good evening - Gott kvöld
Goodnight - Góða nótt
What is your name? - Hvað heitir þú?
My name is... - Ég heiti
How are you? - Hvað segirðu gott?
Fine, and you? - Allt fínt, en þú?
Fine - Allt fínt
Alright - Allt í lagi
Goodbye - Bless
Yes - Já
No - Nei
Thanks - Takk
Thank you very much - Takk fyrir
Yes please - Já takk
No thank you - Nei takk
May I have…? - Má eg fá…?
When? - Hvenær?
Today - Í dag
Tomorrow - Á morgun
Yesterday - Í gær
In the morning - Fyrir hádegi
In the afternoon - Eftir hádegi
Cheers! - Skál!
How much does this cost? - Hvað kostar þetta?
Where is ...? - Hvar er ...?
I would like to buy ... - Ég mundi vilja kaupa ...
Do you accept credit cards? - Takið þið við krítarkortum?
One ticket to ... - Einn miða til ...
Where are you going? - Hvert ertu að fara?
Come! - Komdu!
Excuse me - Afsakið
Sorry - Fyrirgefðu
I don't understand - Ég skil ekki

Numbers

Zero - Núll
One - Einn
Three - þrír
Four - Fjórir
Five - Fimm
Six - Sex
Seven - Sjö
Eight - átta
Nine - Níu
Ten - Tíu

Out and about

Toilet - Snyrting
Where is the bathroom? - Hvar er klósettið?
Gents - Karlar
Ladies - Konur
Open - Opið
Closed - Lokað
Danger - Hætta
Forbidden - Bannað
Campsite - Tjaldstæði
Entry - Inngangur/Inn
Exit - Útgangur/út
Parking - Bílastæði
Schedule - Áætlun
Airport - Flugvöllu
Doctor - Læknir
Dentist - Tannlæknir
Bank - Banki
Post Office - Póstur
Chemist - Apótek
General store - Kaupfélag
Swimming pool - Sundlaug
Mechanic/garage - Verkstæði

Eating out

I would like… -Ég ætla að fá…
Have you got any…? - Áttu til…?
More… - Meira…
No more thank you - Ekki meira takk
Very good - Mjög gott
I am vegetarian - Ég er grænmetisæta
One beer, thanks - Einn bjór, takk
The bill, please - Reikninginn, takk

Food and Drink terms

Menu - Matseðill
Starters - Forréttir
Soup - Súpa
Bread - Brauð
Butter - Smjör
Meat - Kjöt
Lamb - Lambakjöt
Beef - Nautakjöt
Pork - Svínakjöt
Chicken - Kjúklingur
Fish - Fiskur
Haddock - ýsa
Halibut - Lúda
Prawns - Rækjur
Salmon - Lax
Trout - Silungur/Bleikja
Tea - Te
Coffee - Kaffi
Milk - Mjólk
Sugar - Sykur
Orange juice - Appelsínusafi
Beer - Bjór
Low-alcohol beer - Pilsner
White wine - Hvítvín
Red wine - Rauðvín
Water - Vatn