Faroese – the language

Faroese is the mother tongue and official language in the Faroes. Faroese is a Germanic language, which descends from Old Norse and is closely related to Nordic languages such as Icelandic, Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish. For centuries Danish was the primary language for state affairs, but is now a second language taught in schools.

Faroese is used at all levels of society. In addition to this, Danish may be used in official matters by institutions under the Danish government, e.g. the High Commissioner’s Office, Ríkisumboðið, and the court.

Just about everyone in the Faroes understands Danish and you will often meet fellow residents and professionals who speak Danish as a first language.

English is gradually becoming more significant in both the education system and society. Faroese schools allocate almost the same teaching time to English as to Danish and the use of English in higher education is growing.

(Source: New to the Faroe Islands, 2017)