Are you interested in asking do people in Iceland speak English or do they speak Icelandic? Do you search for learning what the language in Iceland is? Can you visit Iceland if you do not speak Icelandic? Is it easy to visit Iceland if a tourist does not speak Icelandic? 

Read here what language the Icelanders can speak

Of course, if you are non-Icelandic and want to visit Iceland, you will find no hindrance here in Iceland. The reason behind this phenomenon is that regardless of age, kids or older men, you will find everybody in cities speaking English.

Do People in Iceland Speak EnglishThis phenomenon is so grave that even if you tend to learn Icelandic, no person will commit to teaching it to you (Read here). 

Why do Icelanders Speak English

To address this question, you need to learn several reasons resonating behind it. These reasons can be taken into account as follows: 

TV and Broadcasting Communication 

Due to the advent of mass communication, the Icelanders, much like other Europeans, are influenced by English as most channels available on the satellite are echoed in English. This trend made the Icelanders learn English. 

Text Books and English Language Text Books and English Language 

The kids start learning English now a day from the very beginning. So, they have familiarized themselves with speaking the English language in Iceland.

Touristic Operations and Entrepreneurs: Iceland has opened its doors to the enthusiasts of the touristic marvels in Iceland. The tourists in huge numbers visit Iceland every year. This touristic operation has opened up too wide global interaction. 

On the other hand, English is a global language. This fact has enormously contributed to making the Icelanders speak English.

So, suppose you do not know how to speak Icelandic and plan to visit Iceland. In that case, you will feel no difficulty because everyone in Iceland can communicate with you in English except for some exceptions in the far-flanged areas. 


The level of quality education is robust in Iceland. Due to this fact, the young Icelanders are much fluent in English. The final reason is that the Nordic Language has similarities with English. It is similar to English in many aspects. That is why the Icelanders are fluent in English (Read Here). 

Is English Official Language in Iceland? 

In Iceland, English has not been declared the official language. In their routine life, the Icelanders speak Icelandic. On the other hand, English is being taught in schools and colleges. According to the local people, many Icelanders can communicate in English. Around 70 % of the population is inclined to English and can speak it. 

Is English Official Language in IcelandFurthermore, the children are more familiar with English mainly because of TV cartoons and shows, textbooks, and the school’s curriculum. This is a clear indication that the Icelanders are leaning towards English. 

Can I live in Iceland while not knowing a single Icelandic word?

If you cannot speak a single word of Icelandic, do not worry, you can still live in Iceland and find the people living around the tourist spots understanding how to communicate in English.

According to the experienced tourists, you can find 90-95 % of signboards either in English or with an English translation. This shows that living in Iceland while unfamiliar with the Icelandic is relatively easy. 

Is there any Icelander who cannot speak English? 

Yes, there are two sorts of Icelanders who cannot speak English: 

Elderly People: 

A considerable number of the aged citizenry of Iceland cannot speak English. Due to their approach of the previous century, they are jammed to the Icelandic. So, you need to ask politely whether they can speak English or not. 

People of Farthest Areas: 

The Icelanders who live in the farthest areas cannot speak English. If you ask somebody to know about a phenomenon in English, you will find them answering with a sign of no. Likewise, those Icelanders who live in non-touristic areas feel difficulty communicating in English. 

Use of English in Cities and Towns 

Do People in Iceland Speak EnglishTo know about the use of English, the divide of cities and towns is valuable. Reykjavik is Iceland’s capital, commercial hub, business center, and international city. You will find a lot of tourist destinations here in this capital city. On the other hand, the majority of Icelanders live in this city.

Around 132000 people live in Reykjavik. They all are very good at English communication. Likewise, the Icelanders living in towns speak their Icelandic language in their routine interaction. However, they too are very fluent in English and can answer you accordingly all that you ask. 

Is it Necessary to Speak English? 

There are two kinds of people living in Iceland; tourists and locals. If you move around the cities and towns and visit hotels, restaurants, bars and tourist destinations, you will meet the staff who can comprehensively speak English.

You can be conversant with them and find no awkwardness in this conversation. If you like to speak words of Icelandic with them, you can also opt for it. 

Is it Necessary to Speak EnglishBut, remember knowing Icelandic is not so easy as it is considered the most difficult language in Europe. As far as the locals are concerned, they too are inclined toward English because they know well that tourism is the backbone of the Icelandic economy.

Around two million tourists rush towards Iceland every year. So, they have to interact with these tourists. That is why they continue to improve speaking English. 

How many Languages Are Spoken in Iceland? 

There are three languages that Icelanders speak chiefly. First, Icelandic has been spoken since the 9th century with the arrival of the Icelanders here in Iceland. Now, Icelandic is declared as the official language. It is being spoken by 93 % of the population.

On the other hand, 75 % population of Iceland can speak Danish. This origin of the Danish language dates back to the Dutch influence in Iceland, which remained until 1944.

So, its cultural influence can still be seen in Iceland. The third language is English that Icelanders speak. According to another source, 98 % of Icelanders can speak English (Read Here). 

Final Word: Do People in Iceland Speak English?

With information from different sources, it is easy to conclude that 90 % of Icelanders speak English. Given that tourism is the backbone of Icelandic economic activities, Icelanders cannot remain far away from English.

That is why it is genuinely estimated that Icelandic may be in jeopardy in the days to come. If you want to live in Iceland and cannot speak Icelandic, you need not worry; the language of the majority in Iceland is English which means you can easily communicate and live in Iceland.

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