The original population of Iceland was of Nordic and Gaelic origin. This is evident from literary evidence dating from the settlement period as well as from later scientific studies such as blood type and genetic analyses. One such genetics study has indicated that the majority of the male settlers were of Nordic origin while the majority of the women were of Gaelic origin.
Iceland's official written and spoken language is Icelandic, a North Germanic language descended from Old Norse. It has changed less from Old Norse than the other Nordic languages, has preserved more verb and noun inflection, and has to a considerable extent developed new vocabulary based on native roots rather than borrowings from other languages. It is the only living language to retain the runic letter Þ. The closest living language to Icelandic is Faroese. In education, the use of Icelandic Sign Language for Iceland's deaf community is regulated by the National Curriculum Guide.
Iceland National Institutions for Language
Íslensk málnefnd - Icelandic Language Council
c/o Stofnun Árna Magnússonar í íslenskum frædum -
Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies
Ari Páll Kristinsson
Neshaga 16, IS-107 Reykjavik,