Icelandic ( íslenska (help·info)) is a North Germanic language, the main language of Iceland. Its closest relative is Faroese.
Icelandic is an Indo-European language belonging to the North Germanic or Nordic branch of the Germanic languages. Traditionally, it was the westernmost of the Indo-European languages prior to the colonisation of the Americas. Icelandic, Faroese, as well as Norwegian formerly comprised West Nordic; Danish and Swedish comprised East Nordic.
The Nordic languages are now divided into Insular Nordic and mainland Scandinavian languages. Norwegian is now grouped with Danish and Swedish because of its mutual intelligibility with those languages due to its heavy influence from them over the last millennium, particularly from Danish.
Most Western European languages have greatly reduced levels of inflection, particularly noun declension. Contrarily, Icelandic retains an inflectional grammar comparable to that of Latin and that of the medieval Germanic languages including Old Norse and Old English.
The main difference between Icelandic and Latin inflectionally is in verbs. Nouns, adjectives, pronouns, and adverbs are handled similarly in both languages. Icelandic possesses many instances of oblique cases without any governing word, like Latin. For example, many of the various Latin ablatives have a corresponding Icelandic dative.
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