From Iceland — Practical Icelandic: Greetings

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!

Members get access to Practical Icelandic before anyone else, plus extra tips and support from us on the Community Tab. Want to join them? You can do so HERE

Want an even simpler way to get your hotdog? You can buy our ‘má ég fá eina pylsu’ T-shirt HERE, and just point to it when you’re ordering in Iceland!

Interested in learning more Icelandic? We have a range of books available in the Grapevine Bookshop to help you out.

Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.

You can also check out our shop, loaded with books, apparel and other cool merch, that you can buy and have delivered right to your door

Also you can get regular news from Iceland—including the latest notifications on eruptions, as soon as they happen—by signing up to our newsletter.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!