Resources for Learning Icelandic

Reference sites


Authoritative resource for looking up all the different forms of Icelandic verbs, nouns, adjectives, etc.

Online Icelandic Dictionary

Online Icelandic Dictionary from University of Wisconson. Very useful for searching Icelandic words. Not quite as useful to look up English words to find Icelandic meaning.


Complete Icelandic

Great book for beginners. Each chapter has grammar explanations, sample dialogs and practice exercises.

I've seen the book on Amazon from anywhere between $40 to $50 dollars. That's a little pricy in my opinion. However, there is a Kindle version (that you can read on your computer, phone, or tablet) for only $4.00 that I purchased.

The paper book comes with an audio CD, the Kindle book does not. However, you can find mp3 files to listen to or download here for free.

Icelandic Short Stories for Beginners

A more accurate title for this book would be "Icelandic Short Stories for People Who Have Been Studying Icelandic for at Least 3 Months". It is not a book for absolute beginners.

I started this book after getting through about half of the Complete Icelandic book mentioned above, and after I had about 600 - 800 words in my vocabulary. I don't understand everything I read, but I understand enough to know what's happening in the story, and I feel like I am learning.

Each chapter has a glossary of some key words from the story, and a multiple choice quiz to check your comprehension of the story. (Answers are in the back of the book.) As of this writing, I am about a third of the way through the book. I am enjoying it, even though I have to go and re-read chapters a few times. It is satisfying to be able to understand a little more each time I read.

On YouTube

Icelandic for Foreigners

So far, my favorite resource for learning Icelandic. Brian is an American who learned to speak Icelandic and spent a couple of years in Iceland. He has several videos about Icelandic pronunciation and grammar.

Brian's explanations are easy to understand and have been very helpful to me at grasping the basics of Icelandic.

Basic Pronuciation of Modern Icelandic

A half-hour video about Icelandic pronunciation from Jackson Crawford, a university professor of Scandinavian Languages and Old Norse.

Other Online Videos


Childrens shows from the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. Some of the content is only available in Iceland, but there is plenty of shows to watch that are available world-wide.

One of my favorites is Krakkafréttir (Kid News). The presenters speak fairly clearly, and you can turn on Icelandic subtitles.

Online Courses

A collection of grammar and vocabulary lessons for Icelandic. I've only looked at a few so far, but have found them to be helpful. My only complaint is that the few lessons I've gone through so far don't go quite as deep as I would like. It's still worth checking out.

Icelandic Online

This is an online course for "beginners". However, it took me 10 minutes and lots of Google Translate just to sign up. And when I was finally able to subscribe and start my first lesson, I became pretty frustrated.

I might visit this site later, but it isn't for brand new beginners.