Iceland - Languages



Icelandic, the national language, derives from the Old Norse language that was spoken throughout Scandinavia at the time of settlement. It has changed little through the centuries, partly because of the country's isolation and partly because of the people's familiarity with the classical language, as preserved in early historical and literary writings. There is comparatively little difference between the old language and the modern, or between the written language and the spoken. To this day, Icelanders are able to read the great 13th-century sagas without special study.

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