From Iceland — Practical Icelandic: Greetings


Practical Icelandic: Greetings

Published February 25, 2022

Photo by
Art Bicnick

How do you say hello in Icelandic? Turns out there’s way more than one way… in this episode of Practical Icelandic, editor-in-chief of Reykjavík Grapevine, Valur Grettisson, takes you through some of the many complicated ways to greet people in Icelandic – an in the end, gives you a quick and easy option that you will already recognise!

Words to learn from this video:
Sæll – literally means ‘happy’, used for greeting a man
Sæl – greeting a woman or a mixed group
Sælir – greeting more than one man
Sælar – greeting more than one woman
(Komdu) blessaður – (come,) be blessed (singular, masculine)
(Komdu) blessuð – (come,) be blessed (singular feminine, or plural mixed gender)
Komdu heill og sæll – literally ‘be healthy and happy’ (singular, masculine)
Komið heil og sæl – (singular feminine, or plural mixed gender)
Sæll og blessaður – literally ‘happy and blessed’ (singular, masculine)
Sæl og blessuð – (singular feminine, or plural mixed gender)
Góðan daginn – good day
Góða kvöldið – good evening
Sælinú – literally ‘hello now’
Halló – ‘hello’, mostly used when answering the phone

And finally, the simple solution:
Hæ hæ, or just hæ – hi!

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