How To Say Iceland In Icelandic & Useful Icelandic Phrases

Wondering how to say Iceland in Icelandic?

It’s important to learn how to say Iceland in Icelandic, as being able to say the name of the country you are in is quite important.

Icelandic isn’t a very common language, and few people outside of Iceland know how to say the country’s name.

Luckily for you, I’ve visited Iceland, picked up some basic Icelandic phrases, and learned how to say the name of the island in Icelandic.

So I created this ultimate guide to teach you how to say Iceland in Icelandic, along with some background on the name of the country and also some other useful things you might want to learn how to say in Icelandic.

Let’s get straight into it!

Iceland in Icelandic

Saying Iceland in Icelandic is actually pretty easy, and isn’t too dissimilar to English.

The name of Iceland in the native language of Icelandic is “Ísland“.

It’s easy to remember as it’s just the word “island” with an accent on the Í. Quite fitting since Iceland is indeed an island.

Icelandic, as a language, is derived from Old Norse, which used to be spoken across Scandinavia over 1,000 years ago. The name has stuck, as Iceland is also called Ísland in Norse.

The word “Ísland” can be broken down into two parts: “Ís” which means “ice”, and “land” which means “land” or “country”. Ice-land is obviously exactly what the island is called in English.

It’s pretty clear to see where the name came from. There’s no better way to describe the rugged and icy landscapes that dominate the country.

When in Iceland, you will see the word “Ísland” on souvenirs, posters, advertisements, and pretty much anything that you would expect to have the name of the country on it.

But you will also see it simply called “Iceland” a lot too, as English is very widely spoken in Iceland, and the locals are very accommodating to tourists, as the tourism industry is a big factor in their economy.

Nonetheless, it’s still important to know how to say the name of the country you are in. So to summarise, Iceland in Icelandic is “Ísland”.

A picture of a waterfall in Iceland. Iceland in Icelandic is "Ísland".

How to Pronounce Ísland

Pronouncing “Ísland” is actually incredibly easy. Much easier than I thought considering how intimidating the rest of the Icelandic language looks.

For example, here is the first sentence “Pronouncing “Ísland” is actually incredibly easy” in Icelandic: Það er í raun ótrúlega auðvelt að bera fram „Ísland“.

Quite intimidating, right? There are a lot of letters and shapes which I’m not used to seeing in English.

But, pronouncing Ísland is much more doable.

Ísland is pronounced ees-lant.

That’s it. “Ís” is pronounced as “ees” which is like “ee” from “bee” and “s” just like any other s.

And “land” is pronounced as “lant” like you are saying “plant” without the p.

Put it together and you get ees-lant which sounds extremely similar to saying Iceland in English, so it’s super easy to learn how to pronounce Iceland in Icelandic.

A picture of a black sand beach in Iceland.

What does the name Iceland mean?

In the 9th Century, a Norseman named Hrafna-Flóki named the country “Iceland” after seeing a fjord full of icebergs.

Many things in Iceland derive from the Old Norse times, for example, the currency in Iceland is Icelandic króna, which derives from the word for “crown”.

The name Iceland means exactly what you would expect it to mean.

Iceland means “Land of Ice”. Which perfectly describes the terrain and geographical features of Iceland.

If you were to name the country yourself, chances are, it would be something similar to Iceland. Sure, it’s not very creative, but it’s to the point and clearly identifies the country, which is what a name is meant to do.

Some people find it funny or amusing that Iceland isn’t just one huge lump of ice like Antarctica.

Growing up, I heard quite a few times that Iceland and Greenland had their names the wrong way around. Because Greenland is pretty much all snow and ice, whereas Iceland has plenty of beautiful green spaces.

The truth is, there are actually plenty of green open spaces in Iceland without ice, but still, it’s clear to see where the name Iceland comes from.

“Land of Ice” could not be more true.

A picture of some icebergs in Iceland. Iceland in Icelandic is "Ísland" which means "Land of Ice" which is a very fitting name.

Other Useful Icelandic Phrases

Before visiting Iceland, it might be useful to learn some basic phrases in Icelandic.

I always make an effort to learn, at least, manners in the local language before visiting a new country. Even though most people will speak English, I think it’s courteous and a nice gesture, and the locals appreciate you making an effort.

So here are some Icelandic phrases that might come in handy for a trip to Iceland.

How are you?hvernig hefurðu það?kver-nik hev-urs-thu thah
Excuse meafsakið migaf-sa-kith mik
Do you speak English?talar þú ensku?ta-lar thu ens-koo
A picture of a waving flag of Iceland.

Iceland in Other Languages

Now that I’ve taught you how to say Iceland in Icelandic, you might be interested in how to say Iceland in other languages around the world.

It’s pretty useless information, but sometimes information that’s useless is fun to have. So in the interest of fun, here is how you say Iceland in 10 different languages.

As you’ll see, most countries aren’t very creative either. And by the end of this section, you’ll know how to say Iceland in 12 languages, including English and Icelandic.

LanguageName for Iceland
Chinese冰岛 (Bīngdǎo)
Arabicأيسلندا (‘ayislanda)
RussianИсландия (Islandiya)
Hindiआइसलैंड (aaisalaind)
A picture of some flags of other countries from around the world.

Iceland in Icelandic: FAQ

Below are some frequently asked questions related to saying “Iceland” in Icelandic, along with my answers for each of them.

What do Icelandic people call Iceland?

Icelandic people refer to their country as “Ísland” in their native language. This name is derived from the Old Norse term “Ísland,” which means “Land of Ice,” a name that likely originated from Iceland’s prominent glaciers and rugged terrain.

How do you say Iceland in Iceland?

In Iceland, the word for “Iceland” is pronounced as “Ísland” (EES-lant.) in Icelandic. Icelandic pronunciation can be intricate, with distinct sounds and intonations that may be challenging for non-native speakers.

What did the Norse call Iceland?

The Norse, who were early settlers of Iceland, referred to the island as “Ísland” in their Old Norse language. This term, meaning “Land of Ice,” was likely chosen due to the country’s notable glaciers and its challenging terrain.

Does anyone still speak Icelandic?

Yes, Icelandic is still actively spoken today with around 350,000 speakers. It serves as the official language of Iceland and is used in all aspects of daily life, including education, government, and media. Efforts are made to preserve and promote Icelandic to maintain the country’s cultural and linguistic heritage.

Why is it so hard to learn Icelandic?

Learning Icelandic can be challenging because its grammar and syntax are complex, with intricate inflectional endings and a unique sentence structure. Also, pronunciation can be difficult due to distinct sounds not present in many other languages.

Conclusion: Iceland in Icelandic

And there you have it, a complete guide to how to say Iceland in Icelandic.

Remember, Iceland is known as “Ísland” in Icelandic.

And this is pronounced ees-lant.

Quite similar to English!

Enjoy your trip to Iceland- it’s an incredible country. And make sure to try out some of your newly learned Icelandic!