Skip to main content

Languages at UW-Madison



Icelandic is the language of approximately 250,000 people in Iceland. It is a somewhat developed version of Old Norse, the language of some of the greatest literary works from medieval Europe. These include skaldic poems about Viking warfare; Eddic poems about the pagan gods; Snorri Sturluson’s Edda, which is our main source about pagan mythology; the famous Sagas of Icelanders; and legends and tales that form the basis of Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings and Wagner’s Ring Cycle.

Majors & Certificates 

Scandinavian Studies Major, European Studies Certificate, Scandinavian Studies Certificate; visit the Majors & Certificates page for more information.


Nete Schmidt,

Language Conversation Table 

Contact Susanne Arthur,

Study Abroad 

You can study Icelandic in Iceland. Contact International Academic Programs for more information. Additional opportunities are available through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Student Organizations 

Browse the Wisconsin Involvement Network for more information.


Consider an internship where you can use Icelandic, either in the US or abroad. An internship in any field can complement your language study and can provide valuable professional experience.