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.