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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