Icelandic is piquing the interest of people on a global scale, and being taught by about a hundred universities around the world.
Just about 15 years ago, if you lived in the US or Europe and wanted to learn Icelandic, your sole recourse was usually an outdated dictionary, a grammar exercise booklet, and possibly a CD of basic phrases. Today, it’s not only possible to learn the language online; you can register to take classes in the language – chances are, your university might have the course available.
About a hundred universities around the world now offer Icelandic language classes. These universities can be found in 25 countries, most of them in Europe and North America, although there are also classes available at universities in China and Japan.
The website Icelandic Online also now has some 85,000 registered users.
Decades previous, interest in the language was confined solely to those wanting to study Old Norse or medieval literature. But today, language expert Úlfar Bragason explains, “Modern Icelandic culture is becoming a lot better known, not least of all due to the interest of young people in modern Icelandic music. This results in developing an interest in the country, which includes learning the language.”