Icelandic Pronunciation

Icelandic Flag

How to pronounce Icelandic

Icelandic has many English sounds due the languages both coming from the same language tree. Unless mentioned, assume English pronunciation.

Á á - said as “ow” as in cow

Ð ð - said as “th” in the

E e - said as the short “ai” sound in air

É é - said as yeah, but shorter

F f - at the start of words it is said as the English f. Between vowels as English. Before l or n as a b. Fnd is said as English m and fnt is said as hm

G g - At the beginning of words it is said as a hard English g. In between vowels and at the end of a word a very soft throaty g resembling a toned down German “ch” at the back of the throat. It is not pronounced between accented vowels. It is said as an Icelandic j between a vowel and j. After a vowel and before a t or s it is a hard German “ch”

I i - said as “I” in win

Í í - said as “ee” in we

J j - said as a “y” at the beginning of words. Elsewhere it is aspirated before the “y” sound

O o - said as “o” in hot

Ó ó - said as “oh”

R r - is always rolled

S s - always an “s”, never said as a z

U u - said as the French “eux” but shorter

Ú ú - said as the “ew” sound in yew

X x - said as a hard German “ch”

Y y - see I

Ý ý - see í

Þ þ - said as the “th” sound in thing

Æ æ - said as “eye”

Ö ö - said as “ ur ” as in murder

Hv - as “kf” in thankful

Ll - as “tl”

Nn - as tn after accented vowel or diphthong. This also happens between rl, rn, sl and sn

Pp, tt, kk are all aspirated (small puff of air)

Au - is said as “öj”

Ei and ey - said as the “a” sound in case


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