The official language in the Faroe Islands is Faroese. Faroese is a Germanic language deriving from Old Norse and is closely related to Icelandic, Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish.
Danish is the second language in the Faroe Islands and practically everyone can speak and write Danish. Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish are understood and spoken by many Faroese, and most people are capable of communicating in English too.
It is possible to carry out research work and give lessons to bachelor students in the Faroe Islands without acquiring knowledge of Faroese. However, Faroese is the working language at all research institutions, and learning Faroese will make it easier to integrate professionally and privately.
Evening schools around the country administrated by the municipalities offer classes in Faroese for foreigners.
All foreigners with a residence and work permit have the right to participate in a 20 hours course in Faroese at an evening school free of charge.
The language courses are designed as a beginner´s course with two or three learning levels dependent on the evening school. Some schools have separate courses intended for Nordic speaking learners and English speaking learners.
Most lessons are in the evenings. At present, Tórshavn Municipality is the only municipality who offers mandatory intensive day lessons.
Normally courses start in September or October and run until April.
The Evening School in Tórshavn
An International Summer Institute offering an intensive and comprehensive introduction to Faroese language is held every second year at the University of the Faroe Islands. The course lasts two and a half week.
The participants in the summer institute are students and others with a general interest in the Faroe Islands. Students must have documented knowledge of other Scandinavian or Germanic languages and know the basic concepts of grammar.
Faroese Summer Institute
It is possible to attend private courses in Faroese language arranged by linguistic experts. Private courses may be arranged for groups of foreigners with the same background or for individuals.
Host institutions can provide information about language teachers offering private courses for foreigners.
Several self study courses in Faroese are available online and in textbooks.
Bjargni is a free online language course which is the result of a partnership between the University of the Faroe Islands and the University of Iceland.
The website Faroese Online offers interactive visual and listening exercises based on themes relevant to everyday-life in the Faroe Islands.
The learning material is for foreigners with no prior knowledge of Faroese.
Bjargni - Faroese Online is available here.
Stíðin is a Faroese publishing firm who has developed a language course presented in English, “Faroese – A Language Course for beginners”, consisting of a textbook, a CD and a grammar book. The material can be purchased in bookshops.
The audio material is freely available here.