Faroese, the language of the Faroe Islands, is a Germanic/Scandinavian language derived from Old Norse, and is closely related to Icelandic and some Norwegian dialects.

In 1890 it was standardised in its written form as Forøskyt. This written form was made official, and was given equal status in the Faroes with Danish in public and government affairs.

In most cases, Faroese words are stressed on the first syllable. Its grammar and orthography are incredibly similar to Icelandic, yet its pronounciation is quite different, due to a mix of Icelandic, Danish and Gaelic (Gaidhlíg) influences. For example, the name of Eiði village is pronounced "OY-yeh", the nearby village Gjógv "Jagv", yet Tórshavn, the capital, is pronounced in a more-or-less Danish way, "TORSH-hown".

Faroese uses the special characters þ ("thorn"), ð ("edh"), á, é, í, ó, ö, ú, ý, and æ, as does Icelandic.

V.U. Hammershaimb standardized the written text, but it was not officially adopted by the government in it's written form until the mid 1900's. It is natively called "Føroyskt", in danish "Færøsk" and english "Faroese". The name is derived from the norse name for the islands "Faare øerne" (sheep islands), and has nothing to do with Pharoes.

á, é, í, ó. ø, æ, ý and ð ("edh"), are the special characters. However þ ("thorn"), is not used in the language.

It is spoken by 45.000 local residents, and approx 20.000 others.

Fa`ro*ese` (?), n. sing. & pl.

An inhabitant, or, collectively, inhabitants, of the Faroe islands.


© Webster 1913.

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