When I first arrived in Iceland, I was amazed on how everybody speaks English (seriously, EVERYBODY!). While in Indonesia, there are countless times when my husband gets so frustrated during his communicating endeavor because, well, NOT everybody can speak English there (even my mum can’t speak it, sigh).
Anyway, realising this, you’d think that I would not need to learn the local language, which is Icelandic. Well, the truth is, yes I do! Not only because I religiously adopt the saying that goes “when in Rome,…”, but also because my husband is Icelandic, and our household’s official language is simply a mix of Indonesian, Icelandic with a bit English thrown in every now and then. And I personally believe that our children need to be able to speak their parents’ native languages (I keep thinking how cool would it be when our children can be bilingual and speak fluent both Indonesian and Icelandic).
So, here is the list of places and methods on how I began to learn Icelandic:
- Join a course on Íslenska sem annað mál at Háskóli Íslands. In my opinion, this is the best choice if you’re serious about learning the language properly. Not only it teaches you the use of language on daily basis and its grammar, but also Icelandic literatures and cultures, which I find very interesting. The program offers a BA degree at the end of its three-year duration.
- Take up short informal Icelandic courses which are available at many institutions, such as Mimir, Múlti-Kúlti, Alþjóðasetur, Tækniskólinn. These courses will mostly teach the practical usage of the language, such as daily conversations.
- Login to Icelandic Online, a free online Icelandic course on the web. I find it really convenient and helpful during my first encounters to the “magnificence” of Icelandic language.