Icelandic Language Day Celebrated

book bookstore Icelandic literature bækur

Today is Icelandic Language Day, celebrated in Iceland annually on November 16. The goal of the day is to remember the importance of the Icelandic language within Icelandic society and celebrate its past, present, and future.

Icelandic is an Indo-European language, belonging to the group of Germanic languages. This group also includes Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Faroese. Of these languages, Faroese and Norwegian are the most closely related to Icelandic. The Icelandic language is notable for its relative stability over the past millennium: modern Icelandic speakers can read and understand the Icelandic sagas, written around a thousand years ago.

Icelandic Language Day will be celebrated today with an official program of events in the National Museum of Iceland in Reykjavík. The events include the presentation of the Jónas Hallgrímsson Prize and will be streamed live on the government website. November 16 was chosen for the holiday as it is the birth date of Jónas Hallgrímsson (1807-1845). Jónas was an Icelandic poet and translator and a strong advocate for Iceland’s independence from Denmark.

Iceland Review regularly covers stories related to the Icelandic language, including why many foreigners struggle to learn Icelandic and the future of Icelandic language technology. For readers interested in learning the Icelandic language, this list of online resources is a good place to start.

Strætó Implements New Payment System and Fare Changes

Taking public transportation in the Reykjavík capital area will be a little different as of today. Public bus service Strætó has officially implemented a new, contactless payment system called KLAPP. Older payment methods, including the Strætó app, paper tickets, and cash, will continue to be accepted for another year or so.

Three payment methods within KLAPP

KLAPP is similar to payment systems that have been implemented in public transportation systems around the world. It allows users to pay their fare via scanners placed on the buses. Upon boarding, commuters scan a code using the KLAPP card, app, or 10-fare paper pass to pay their fare. The app is available for download for both Apple and Android devices. More information about the Klapp ticketing system is available on the Strætó website.

New price structure introduced

Strætó introduced a new price structure today along with the new payment system. A single adult fare remains ISK 490 [$3.70; €3.26]. Fares for children are lowering: while buses were previously free for those 6 years of age and younger, they are now free for children up to 11 years of age. Annual passes for seniors and those who are 12-16 years of age will rise ISK 15,000 [$113; €100] per year. One-month passes for adults have been reduced from ISK 13,300 [$101; €88] to ISK 8,000 [$60; €53].