The Faroese Managed To Create Their Own Version Of Google Translate

Relatively recently, the Faroese people managed to create a very useful alternative for Google Translate for those who are interested in learning the Faroese language and visit the Faroe Islands.

The small Nordic nation of the Faroe Islands (which is composed of a small archipelago of 18 main islands and several other islets located roughly halfway between Norway and Iceland in the North Atlantic Ocean) are still an autonomous territory of the Kingdom of Denmark (just as it is the case of Greenland). With a population of approximately 50,000 inhabitants (as of early 2017), the Faroe Islands are one of the least populous countries worldwide.

Photograph depicting the picturesque Faroese village of Saksun (located close to the northwestern coast of the island of Streymoy, the ‘island of currents’ literally) during a misty day. Image source:

In order to quickly understand and grasp as much as possible concerning the landscapes, architecture, folklore, culture, history, and geography of the Faroes, you can also take a short look at the following brief documentary narrated by BBC’s Neil Oliver:

The national language of this remotely situated land is Faroese, one of the least spoken Germanic languages in the world (and also one of the rarest idioms globally for that matter). It is spoken by circa 66,000 to 70,000 native speakers, both in the Faroe Islands and by the Faroese diaspora overseas, and has evolved from Old Norse, the language that the Norwegian Vikings brought with them when they settled in the Faroese during the Viking Age.

Nonetheless, for some time, the Faroese have been struggling to make it possible for Google Translate to use their own language. Given the fact that the process of integrating Faroese within the translate system of Google has been quite lengthy so far, the Faroese people came up with a brand new concept for helping foreigners in learning and understanding their autochthonous tongue: they made their own website that resembles Google Translate and even makes possible live video translation which is supported by the natives themselves.

Below you can see the final result for yourselves:

Additionally, here are several more useful and basic words you can learn in Faroese:

  • Føroyar (native name for the Faroe Islands);
  • Føroyskt (native name for the Faroese language itself);
  • Stavraðið (alphabet);
  • Vælkomin (welcome);
  • Farvæl (goodbye);
  • Morgun (morning);
  • Dagin (afternoon);
  • Kvøld (evening);
  • Nátt (night);
  • Skál (cheers).

Documentation sources and external links:

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