creative translations

Translations for marketing and communication campaigns in Icelandic

We offer marketing departments a fast and reliable translation service Icelandic-English and English-Icelandic. We manage quality creative translations into Icelandic within tight deadlines.

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Keys to successfully hiring Icelandic<>English translation services

Advertising and communication agencies have very specific needs when requesting translations from Icelandic or into Icelandic. Whether press releases or advertising texts, this type of translation requires not only an extensive linguistic knowledge, but also a good cultural background of each country or region (Iceland, in this case) and how words are used.

A good advertising translation is paramount to expanding your target audience of Icelandic-speaking users. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Remember these tips when translating your marketing content from or into Icelandic:

Know your audience

Before you start translating, decide who your target audience will be. Who do you think will be most responsive to your services or products?

Find out and limit who your target audience is going to be. In this case, if you intend translating into Icelandic, think about which markets you want to reach. Only Iceland…? Or maybe into other territories with large Icelandic-speaking communitites? Always consider the local and dialectal variations of Icelandic and how this may impact the recipient.

Also consider the age of your audience, as this will determine the style in the translation. The more you narrow your focus by directly targeting a niche market, the more likely it is that your translation from Icelandic or into Icelandic will attract potential buyers.

Consider all types of publications

There are many ways to enter local Icelandic markets. Expand the type of advertising and informational content to cover all of your company’s social channels.

Press releases and printed advertising material are a classic, but translating your website content into Icelandic and start publishing articles about products or services can be a great way to reach thousands of readers in Iceland.

One option is to start a profile on a social network such as Twitter or Instagram, and specifically target Icelanders. You can also start an email marketing campaign targeted at Icelandic!}-speaking countries. Remember to always include these new communication formats in your English-Icelandic strategies.

Translate and localize (i.e. culturally adapt into Icelandic)

In the marketing world, localization refers to the adaptation of all elements (from design to cultural references) for a specific audience. A small change in an audience type will increase the response rate and the number of sales.

Even if two groups speak the same language, such as Icelandic, we may need different translations for each region or country (Iceland).

A good localization in Icelandic helps us solve these problems: from everyday expression to date formats, weight units or forms of address used in Iceland, etc.

Take every aspect into account

In an advertising translation into Icelandic, not everything is text. Remember that there are also graphics, presentations and drawings that can be important to attract the attention of your Icelandic-speaking users.

Changes in graphics and pictures not only affect the content, but are sometimes necessary for the readability of the translation. Sometimes we will need to make changes to accommodate the reading direction of a language (left to right or right to left), the spacing of a particular alphabet, or any features such as those specific to the Icelandic language.

Always keep in mind that the space taken up by a translation may increase or decrease with respect to the original text when translating from English into Icelandic or vice versa.

Do not limit your imagination

When looking for translations in Icelandic for your advertising content, your initial idea in English may not work when translated into Icelandic.

It is important to maintain consistency throughout the campaign: it is what will identify your brand, company or product in countries like Iceland… Remember that a literal translation of an English witty expression will most probably not work in Icelandic.

Throughout the translation project, always think about which types of Icelandic-speaking users your campaign is targeting. Be open to new ideas so your message does not get lost in translation.

How do you say “Icelandic” in Icelandic?

Icelandic (íslenska in Icelandic) is the de facto national language of Iceland, where it is spoken by all 319,000 inhabitants of the country. Icelandic is the language used in the education system, although some education is provided in other languages.

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A quick overview of the Icelandic language

Icelandic is a northern Germanic language spoken mainly in Iceland (Ísland), but also in Canada (Kanada) and the USA (Bandaríki Norður-Ameríku).

In 2017 the population of Iceland was 338,349, the vast majority of whom speak Icelandic. In 2013 there were approximately 15,000 native speakers of Icelandic outside Iceland: among them 8,000 in Denmark, 5,000 in the US and 1,400 in Canada, especially in Manitoba. The total number of Icelandic speakers is about 350,000.

Icelandic is the northern Germanic language closest to Old Norse, and Icelandic speakers can read the Nordic Sagas in the original language without too much difficulty. It is closely related to Faroese and Western dialects of Norwegian, and to a lesser extent to Danish and Swedish.

The first permanent settlement in Iceland was established by Vikings from Norway and Celts from the British Isles in 870 AD. The main language of the settlers was Old Norse or Dǫnsk tunga (Danish language). A number of great literary works (the sagas) were written by Icelanders during the 12th and 13th centuries. These sagas, many of which were the work of unknown authors, were written in a language very similar to the ancient Nordic language. The greatest known authors of this period were Ari the Wise (1068-1148) and Snorri Sturluson (1179-1241).

From 1262 to the 15th century, Iceland was dominated by Norway. Later, it was invaded by the Danes. During the periods of Norwegian and Danish rule, Norwegian and Danish were spoken in Iceland.

In 1944, Iceland gained its independence and Icelandic re-emerged as an official and literary language. There is a thriving publishing industry in Iceland today, and Icelanders are probably the most enthusiastic readers and writers in the world.