English signs become the norm in Reykjavik

The proliferation of English signs could pose a threat to Icelandic.

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English signs are becoming the norm in central Reykjavik — and that’s a problem, says one language professor. (Kristinn Magnússon / mbl.is)

Professor of Icelandic Eirikur Rognvaldsson says that English signs in the Reykjavik city center are a part of a more extensive problem involving the Icelandic language.

Restaurant, bar and shop signs are increasingly in English.

In a recent article in Morgunbladid, Rognvaldsson says that Icelanders don’t experience English as a foreign language as such but as a normal part of their environment.

“It has become such a natural part of our environment that we don’t feel that it’s foreign.”

Rognvaldsson believes that it’s important that people become mote aware of the usefulness of the Icelandic language and that it’s always fit to use in all circumstances .

“Icelandic is not at war with English but English can’t just take over completely.”