When you make the decision to plan an international destination wedding you may want to embrace the cultural traditions and language. That way, you enhance your experience within the country and feel more connected. So today we would love to share with you some Icelandic words to learn before your wedding day!
History of the Icelandic Language
Believe it or not, the Icelandic language goes as far back as the 9th century. Then when Norwegians found their way here to settle, they came bearing the Old Norse dialect. Further, to the world, it is considered a North Germanic language. Also, it is very similar to Faroese (language spoken in the Faroe Islands).
Meanwhile, during the Danish rule of Iceland between 1380-1918, the language still remained intact. Likely because of the isolation from the rest of world. Overtime and influence (IE, British / American soldiers stationed here in WWII), the language has adapted to adding in more slang language.
However, English is taught in schools and movies / tv shows are not dubbed, just Icelandic subtitles. Therefore, locals learn English quite quickly. So do not be worried about planning your wedding in Iceland and feeling like the language could be a challenge for you. Especially if you hire Iceland Weddings and Honeymoons to light the way =) All that said, are you ready for the best Icelandic words to learn for your big day?
Best Icelandic Words to Learn before Your Wedding Day
Don’t be shocked when I tell you that learning Icelandic is hard, really hard. I’d even dare to say it is the hardest language on the planet! Beautiful when spoken, but freaking hard for those of us out here that only have English under our belts! For example, there are like five sounds my mouth doesn’t want to make…
- æ – Pronounced as “eye.”
- ð – Pronounce as a “th” sound.
- ll – The double “ll” is pronounced “tl” but with putting the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth and then as you pronounce the “l” blow air out the sides of your cheeks.
- Þ -Pronounce as a “th” sound.
- ö – Pornounce as “ew.”
Next, so I bet you adore the idea of knowing just a few words to bust out here and there when you’re in Iceland for your wedding adventure. Maybe even read this Icelandic words to learn post during a date night! But let’s keep it sweet and simple so you can remember easily…
Good Day = Góðan Daginn
Typically Góðan Daginn is a general greeting we use daily whether to your family, friend, or stranger until around 6pm. Long ago, a local said the easiest way to remember how to pronounce it was thinking you were saying “Go-on-dyin‘.” And said quick enough it works!
Good Evening = Gott Kvöld
After 6pm, the greeting changes to Gott Kvöld. So as you head to dinner or your Iceland wedding reception, you can greet your guests or the staff serving you with this fabulous saying. Best way to pronounce it can be found here.
Good Night = Góða Nótt
When you are ready to retire to your home or bed for the night, the simplest of Icelandic words to learn Góða Nótt. Best way to pronounce it would be, < Go-tha-note >.
Yes = Já / No = Nei
One cannot go wrong in learning the easiest of one word answers… Yes and No! Pronounced: Yes = y-ow / No = ney.
Wedding = Brúðkaup
If you’re planning a wedding in Iceland you may want to know what word we use here, right? Brúðkaup means wedding in Icelandic. But how do you pronounce it? We have found it is easiest by saying slowly, < brew-th-cup >.
Wedding Day = Brúðkaupsdagur
Woot, woot, it’s your wedding day! But how do you announce it? By saying Brúðkaupsdagur < brew-th-cups dag-or >. Try it, it’s fun!
I Love You = Ég elska þig
When in Iceland, might as well profess your love like a local by saying I love you in Icelandic! Be ready to slowly say, < yeg el-ska thig >.
Thanks = Takk Fyrir
Icelanders, truly appreciate folks that have good manners. Make sure you thank anyone who does something for you by saying, Takk Fyrir or Takk Takk for short. Think about pronouncing it like this… < tah-k fih-r-ih-r >.
My name is… = Ég heiti…
Meanwhile, maybe you are bold enough to introduce yourself to people! Heck yah, you go! Start by slowly saying, < ye-gh hey-tee > and then add your name! Would look like this: Ég heiti, Irene.
Where is… = Hvar er
Even if you don’t know the name of what you are looking for in Icelandic, chances are the local you’re asking will figure it out. Pronouncing “where is” in Icelandic begins like this, < qarr- er > and then add what you may be looking for as you wish!
Excuse me (or Sorry) = Afsakið
Pretty sure at some point during your Iceland wedding trip, you’ll need to apologize or excuse yourself. The Icelandic words to learn is Afsakið < af – sek – edth >.
You’re Welcome = Verðu þér góður
As we stay on the manner topic, it may be good to know how to say “you’re welcome” in Icelandic. Verðu þér góður can be slowly pronounced as, < veh-r thu-theer> go-thu-r >.
Here you go = Gerðu svo vel
Many times a certain saying is used for many things and gerðu svo vel is one those! For instance, it can be used to give someone something, tell people to come in / sit / eat, etc. Pronouncing it slowly is best and goes something like this, < ger-thu-so-vel >.
It will all work out okay = Þetta Reddast
The Icelandic nation is known for being laid back and easy going. For hundreds of years they have endured all sorts of hardships but prevailed with positivity. Shall we take a page out of their book and live by the motto of “it’ll all work out okay,” Þetta Reddast. In regards to Iceland wedding planning it can be used when you think about the weather! Next, let’s learn how to pronounce it, < thaat-a red-ast >.
Bless Bless! = Bye bye!
Lastly, we saved the most fun and maybe even the easiest Icelandic words to learn for last! Any English speaker should have zero issues pronouncing bye bye in Iceland which is bless bless!!
Do I Need to Learn Icelandic to Marry There?
We can confidently say that there is no need to be fluent in Icelandic before you get married here. Only take time to learn or familiarize yourself with these words if you want to immerse yourself in the culture. Or if you want to impress the locals while you’re here. Although the Icelandic words to learn are helpful, don’t stress!
In conclusion, are you inspired and ready to begin your Iceland wedding planning journey? Please contact us to learn more about our process an options!
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