News
Icelandic For Foreigners Most Popular Subject At University Of Iceland

Icelandic For Foreigners Most Popular Subject At University Of Iceland

Photos by
Julia Staples

Published June 30, 2017

Icelandic for foreigners has become the most popular course at the University of Iceland, Vísir reports. There are numerous social factors contributing to its popularity, but some obstacles still remain.

Margrét Jónsdóttir, the department head of Icelandic within the Humanities Department at the Univeristy of Iceland, told reporters that some 439 applications for the BA course in Icelandic for foreigners have been submitted for the fall semester. This comprises about 40% of the total applications for the Humanities Department as a whole.

Jakobína Hólmfríður Árnadóttir, the managing director of hiring at Capacent, told reporters that knowing Icelandic opens up further employment prospects for foreigners living in Iceland.

“Of course it depends on the job,” she said. “But companies usually want an applicant to have some knowledge of Icelandic, in nearly any job there is.”

However, while the willingness to learn Icelandic may be there, it is not necessarily easy or even logistically possible for many foreigners to learn it. As Eiríkur Rögnvaldsson, a professor of Icelandic at the University of Iceland, told Grapevine last April, he believes the government is not doing enough to help newcomers to Iceland learn the language.

“We are doing a terrible job of teaching Icelandic to foreigners,” Eiríkur contends. “Not all of the courses are suited to the learners, and we should be offering Icelandic classes during the day, as a part of their jobs. Many people will come to this country, get low-paying jobs, and they’re stuck there. We import people to come work in Iceland, and they don’t have the time to learn Icelandic [on top of working full time].”


News
Iceland’s Independence Celebrations Under Shadow Of Racist Speaker, Midwives’ Strike

Iceland’s Independence Celebrations Under Shadow Of Racist Speaker, Midwives’ Strike

by

Today, Iceland celebrates the 100th anniversary of signing the Union Treaty, which paved the way for the country’s independence from

News
17 Scientists Back Statement That Icelandic Company Killed Blue Whale

17 Scientists Back Statement That Icelandic Company Killed Blue Whale

by

Seventeen scientists in the fields of biology and marine life have issued a joint statement put forward that they consider

News
Icelandic Midwives’ Overtime Strike Begins At Midnight

Icelandic Midwives’ Overtime Strike Begins At Midnight

by

Midwives are preparing to stop working overtime from midnight tonight, but sources close to Grapevine report that the ongoing labour

News
Öræfajökull Volcano: Will It Or Won’t It Erupt?

Öræfajökull Volcano: Will It Or Won’t It Erupt?

by

Speculation has been swirling about the glacier-covered volcano in southeast Iceland, but the activity of volcanoes is notoriously difficult to

News
Icelandic Whaler: “Slow News Period” To Blame For Coverage Of Rare Whale Kill

Icelandic Whaler: “Slow News Period” To Blame For Coverage Of Rare Whale Kill

by

Kristján Loftsson, the director of Iceland’s sole fin whale hunting company, Hvalur hf., gave a very candid interview with Icelandic

News
Icelandic Biologist Considers It Likely Killed Whale Is Rare Hybrid

Icelandic Biologist Considers It Likely Killed Whale Is Rare Hybrid

by

A DNA sample of the whale killed in Icelandic waters last week is currently being tested, and an Icelandic biologist

Show Me More!