CIT offers Icelandic interpreters and translators with legal, medical and specialty experience, including criminal and civil matters, employee meetings, engineering, patent cases, labor disputes, immigration and more.

Although based in Los Angeles, CIT offers comprehensive Icelandic language services including interpretation, translation and transcription, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, worldwide. Our interpreters and translators are native speakers who have been screened, certified, have provided credentials, field tested, and kept up to date with developments in both English and the Icelandic language through means such as lectures, conferences, and travel. CIT’s Icelandic language interpreters and translators possess in depth knowledge of the Icelandic language, as well as of the culture and history of the Icelandic people, allowing them to provide informed and complete interpretation and translation.

The Icelandic Language

The Icelandic language is the national language of Iceland. Known as Islenska in Iceland, it is spoken by the entire population, over 330,000 people. It is spoken in Iceland, Denmark, the US and Canada. Icelandic is part of a West Scandinavian group of North Germanic languages. It developed from the Norse languages that were brought from Normal in the 9th and 10th centuries. Old Norse, or Old Icelandic, was used to write poems and sagas.

One of the ways that Icelandic has been so successful in it’s survival is because it had been continously used for literary purposes along with it’s remoteness as a country from other nations, the disbersement of the population and the linguistic differences between Danish and Icelandic. Icelandic was able to preserve Old Scandinavian grammar almost completely.

Of all the Scandinavian languages, grammar and vocabulary are more conservative in Icelandic than in other languages. There are three genders (femine, masculine and neutral), four noun cases (nominative, genitive, dative and accusative), along with many declensions. Icelandic has several loanwords from Celtic, Danish, Latin and a variety of Romantic languages. Even with so much time having passed, those who speak Icelandic can still read text in Old Icelandic quite easily. Since it is the closest of all the North Germanic languages to Old Norse, it is not uncommon that one who speaks Icelandic can also read Old Norse. It is related to Faroese and Norweigian, not so much Danish and Swedish.

History of Iceland

The first Icelandic settlement was founded by Vikings who came from Norway along with Celts who came from the British Isles in 870. The settlers initially spoke the Old Norse, or Danish tongue as their language. Their primary words, known as the Old Norse sagas, were written bu Icelanders in the 1100-1200s. The most popular authors of these sagas are Ari the Learned (1068-1148) and Snorri Sturlson (1179-1241). Starting in 1262 up until the 1400s, Norway ruled Iceland and shortly after, the Danish reigned. During this time, the Norweigian and Danish languages were used in Iceland but only on a small scale.

Iceland gained it’s independece in 1944 and with that, came the official status of the Icelandic language of the people of Iceland.

Fun Facts about Iceland

  • Iceland had the first parliament in Europe
  • Iceland has one of only two palces in the world where one can see tectonic plates meet above ground in Pingvellir
  • There areover 125 volcanoes in Iceland
  • A large portion of Iceland is covered in glaciers
  • There are no forests or McDonalds!
  • Over 50% of Icelanders believe in trolls and elves