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Iceland Yoga Retreat :: Language Survival Guide

Story by The Travel Yogi

Posted: May 9, 2019

Icelandic Language Survival Guide

The blue lagoon, trolls, glacier trekking and so much more... considering scratching that Iceland yoga retreatoff your bucket list? (or maybe it wasn't even on the bucket list, but it is now that you know it's a possibility!  ha)

As a follow up to our Spanish language survival guide, we present the second installment of our language series - the top 10 most important Icelandic phrases to help you navigate Reykjavik and beyond.

Icelandic is a bit more complicated than Spanish (or perhaps just seems that way since Spanish is more familiar for most of us), so we've got a few tips to help you with pronunciation before you begin putting words and phrases together.

Pronunciation guide:

a = like a in father
e = like e in test
i, y = like i in little
u = like German ü in für or French u in tu
ö = like German ö in höher or French eu in neuf
æ = sounds like eye
ð = like th in weather (voiced th)
þ = like th in thorn (unvoiced th)

Alright, feeling like you're ready to put some words together now?

10 Important Icelandic Words & Phrases for your next yoga retreat or vacation:


Good morning. Góðan daginn. 

How are you? Hvernig hefur þú það?

Excuse me. Fyrirgefðu.

How much does this cost? Hvað kostar þetta?

My hovercraft is full of eels. Svifnökkvinn minn er fullur af álum,

Where is the toilet?  Hvar er klósettið?

What is your name? Hvað heitir þú?

I don't understand. Ég skil það ekki.

This gentleman will pay for everything. Þessi maður mun borga allt saman. (ha!)

Oh my! I think I just saw an elf! Obbobobb, ég held ég hafi séð álf rétt í þessu!

When you click on the link for the last one, you'll find a whole world of phrases related to all things wine, beer and more (including how you can ask for what to eat to help a hangover) and will also find a world of useful everyday phrases from Auður on her blog I Heart Reykjavik.

We highly recommend spending some time perusing her blog - you'll learn lots about the city and be well entertained simultaneously!

Another important one you may need once you've found your way to this magical place: Ég vil aldrei fara – get ég verið hér að eilífu... (I don't ever want to leave - can I stay here forever?)   :)