SCAN1004 - Basic Modern Icelandic

Value: 1.0 course unit
Dr Helga Hlaðgerður Lúthersdóttir
Teaching structure:
one unseen three-hour written examination (50%); one oral
examination (20%); and one assessment, in the form of a language portfolio (30%).

Module Description:

This module aims to give students insight into the Icelandic language, its structure and history. The module equips students with a basic knowledge of Icelandic, both written and spoken, so that they will be able to read elementary texts, engage in simple daily conversation, and pursue further studies in the modern language.

Students will gain knowledge of the fundamentals of Icelandic grammar, vocabulary, sentence structure and pronunciation. Modern texts will be studied as well, and students will practice both spoken and written Icelandic to develop their skills in expressing themselves in Icelandic. In addition, the module will cover in broad outline the history of the language and contemporary ‘language politics’ (loan-words, neologisms etc.).

Preparatory Reading and Set Texts:


  • ISLEX Orðabókin (
  • Sverrir Hólmarsson, C Sanders & J Tucker, Íslensk-ensk orðabók (1989).
  • Jón Skaptason et al., Ensk-íslensk skólaorðabók (1998).
  • Íslensk-ensk ensk-íslensk vasaorðabók (Forlagið 2012)

Readings and Exercises

  • Auður Einarsdóttir, Guðrún Theodórsdóttir, María Garðarsdóttir and Sigríður Þorvaldsdóttir Learning Icelandic, Textbook and Grammar Exercises (Forlagið).
  • Icelandic Online I