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Languages > Faroese

Language Information

The Faroe Islands are located about 250 miles north of Scotland, midway between Norway and Iceland. They were settled about a thousand years ago by Norwegian Vikings speaking the Old Norse language. Modern Faroese, like Icelandic, strongly resembles Old Norse. It is spoken by most of the islands' 40,000 inhabitants, although the official language is Danish. The alphabet contains the ð (but not the þ) of Icelandic, and the ø of Danish.

Faroese is spoken/used in Faroe Islands

Language Family
Family: Indo-European
Subgroup: Germanic
Branch: Northern (Scandinavian)

Copyright © Kenneth Katzner, The Languages of the World, Published by Routledge.

Writing Sample

Writing Sample


It was Hammershaimb, a native of Sandavágur, who in 1854 published the first grammar of Faroese and introduced the modern orthography. From that time on Faroese began to challenge the supremacy of Danish. At first many Faroese were not sympathetic to the Faroese language movement, but the nationally minded won the day and now Faroese has reached a position of equality with Danish and is, formally, the chief language. Many, however, wish Faroese to be the sole official language. This is the standpoint, for example, of the Separatists, i.e., those who wish the country to be politically independent of Denmark, though many others hold it too.

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