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Faroese (Føroyskt)

Faroese is a North Germanic language with around 47,000 speakers in the Faroe Islands (Føroyar). Faroese is closely related to Icelandic, and the dialects of western Norway. However, as a result of the isolation, Faroese has a distinctive character of its own.

The Faroe Islands were discovered in 825 AD by Grím Kamban, and were colonialized during the 9th century by Vikings from Norway and from the Norse colonies in the British Isles. The main language of the settlers was Old Norse, or the Dǫnsk tunga (Danish tongue). Between 800 and 1050 AD a division began to appear between East Norse, which developed into Swedish and Danish, and West Norse, which developed into Norwegian, Faroese and Icelandic.

Faroese first appeared in writing during the 14th century, mainly in the form of sagas and fables, which remain popular to this day. A standard written form for Faroese, based on Icelandic, was established in 1846 by Venceslaus Ulricus Hammershaimb (1819-1909). During the late 19th century modern Faroese literature began to appear, and the first Faroese newspaper, Føringatiðindi, appeared in 1890.

Faroese alphabet (føroyska stavraðið)

A a Á á B b D d Ð ð E e F f G g H h I i
fyrra a á be de e eff ge fyrra i
Í í J j K k L l M m N n O o Ó ó P p R r
fyrra í joð ell emm enn o ó pe err
S s T t U u Ú ú V v Y y Ý ý Æ æ Ø ø  
ess te u ú ve seinna i seinna í seinna a ø  


Faroese pronunciation

Faroese pronunciation


Sources: Unilang & Føroysk-Ensk orðabók Faroese-English dictionary by George Vaughan Chichester Young, Cynthia R. Clewer

Sample text

Øll menniskju eru fødd fræls og jøvn til virðingar og mannarættindi. Tey hava skil og samvitsku og eiga at fara hvørt um annað í bróðuranda.

Hear a recording of this text


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Information about Faroese | Faroese phrases | Faroese kinship terms | Tower of Babel in Faroese


Information about the Faroese language

Online Faroese lessons

Faroese pronunciation

Online Faroese dictionaries

Online Faroese phrases

Online Faroese radio

Faroe Islands Information (in English and Faroese) - includes information on the Faroese language: - your gateway to the Faroe Islands (in English)

Faroe Islands Tourist Guide (in English, German and Danish)

Germanic languages

Afrikaans, Alsatian, Bavarian, Cimbrian, Danish, Dutch, Elfdalian, English, Faroese, Flemish, German, Gothic, Gottscheerish, Hunsrik, Icelandic, Limburgish, Low German, Luxembourgish, Mòcheno, Norn, North Frisian, Norwegian, Old English, Old Norse, Pennsylvania German, Ripuarian, Saterland Frisian, Scots, Shetland(ic), Stellingwarfs, Swedish, Swiss German, West Frisian, Wymysorys, Yiddish

Other languages written with the Latin alphabet

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