7 Icelandic Phrases to Know

By Caitlin Hornik

Iceland is a country where English travels well (so you don’t need to worry about learning a new language entirely!), but isn’t it fun to learn a few key phrases to connect with the locals?! Try these out. We promise not to judge your pronunciation!

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TIP: In Icelandic, the emphasis is always on the first syllable!

Good day / Góðan dag / Pronounced: go-than taag

This is a perfectly pleasant greeting for everyone you encounter. Locals will delight in the fact that you’ve taken the time to learn how to greet them in their language.

Thank you / Takk Fyrir / Pronounced: tak fi-reer

It’s always nice when you can thank people in their native language!

Where is ...? / Hvor er ...? / Pronounced: kvar er …?

An essential phrase to ask when you need help finding something! Finish the sentence with “Klósett” (bathroom / pronounced: k-low-seht) when you’re at a restaurant or hotel.

How much does this cost? / Hvað kostar það? / Pronounced: kvadh kos-tar thadh?

A great phrase to know in every country you visit! If shopping at a local market where English is less common, you’ll be glad you’ve learned this essential phrase when buying souvenirs or street food!

Bus / Strætisvagn / Pronounced: strigh-tis-vagh-in

Bus station / Strætóstoppistöð / Pronounced: strigh-toh-stop-is-tudh

These phrases get lumped together because traveling by bus is quite common in Iceland! If traveling to Reykjavik via Keflavik Airport, you’ll take a bus upon arrival into Reykjavik. This is the standard method of transportation from the airport.

Help! / Hjálp! / Pronounced: hya-loop!

Help is a useful word to know in the unlikely event of an emergency. It’s always good to be prepared for any and every scenario while traveling!

Goodbye / Bless Bless / Pronounced: Bless Bless

Yes, this one is as simple as it looks! Use this greeting to bid farewell to the hotel receptionist, to the waitstaff at the restaurant, or to Iceland when it’s time to go back home!

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