This article is part of the series “2018-08: Iceland”.
While the latin alphabet has 26 letters, the Icelandic alphabet has 32. C, W, Q and Z are not included. So the Icelandic alphabet has ten extra letters that are not part of the latin alphabet.
The first 6 letters are vowels with an accent that changes the pronunciation. It’s Á, É, Í, Ó, Ú, and Ý. Two others are vowels, too: Æ/æ and Ö/ö. The letter Æ is also used in Danish and Norwegian, while Ö is used in e.g. the Swedish and German language.
There are two letters however, that are a bit special: Ð/ð and Þ/þ. The letter Ð is called eth and its pronunciation resembles the th in that. The letter Þ comes from the runic alphabet Elder Fuþark and is called thorn. It is pronounced like the th in thing.
When Annika and I took the bus to Landmannalaugar some days ago I spotted a sign on front of a house. It contains 5 of the special letters: The Ö, the Æ, the Ð, the Þ and the Ó.
What does the word Lögfræðiþjónusta mean? Lögfræð means law and þjónusta means service, so the whole world means “legal services”.