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Number of people speaking:
The number of native speakers is estimated to be 320,000, although there is potentially another 20,000 who speak it as a second language.
There are no formal dialects but there are subtle regional variations in pronunciation. These have diminished over the last fifty years but are still noticeable in some areas.
The majority of native speakers are in Iceland and Norway, however, there are large communities of speakers in Denmark, the USA and Canada.
Some Fun Facts about Icelandic:
Many experts believe that Icelandic is the oldest language in Europe. This is mainly due to the lack of change since the language was developed. The oldest examples of preserved texts were dated to 1100 AD.
Icelandic surnames are extremely rare, since family names are usually inherited from foreign ancestors. Therefore women cannot take their husbands surname as usually he doesn’t have one. To reduce the confusion and ambiguity, Icelanders are listed in a telephone directory by their first name and profession.
Icelanders are also ranked with the highest rate of literacy in the world