The official language in the Faroe Islands is Faroese. Faroese derives 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.
Normally courses start in September or October and run until April.
The University of the Faroe Islands - Fróðskaparsetur Føroya - offers Bachelor level courses in Faroese language for foreigners.
The aim of the courses is to give students insight in the Faroese language and language use. Focus is mainly on speaking, listening and reading, and partly also on writing.
An International Summer Institute in Faroese language and culture is held at the University of the Faroe Islands every second year in August. The duration of the course is three weeks.
The participants in the summer institute are students and others with a general interest in the Faroe Islands. An upper secondary education diploma or equivalent qualification is required.
The academic programme includes lessons of Faroese grammar and language exercise in addition to lectures on different aspects of Faroese culture and society.
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.
Faroese Online is a course in Faroese language for beginners free of charge. The course includes a series of different types of interactive, visual and audio exercises which enables foreigners to learn Faroese for everyday life in a fun and easy way.
CEFR courses at different levels will be offered soon.These are sequenced course with increased difficulty levels.
The Faroese publishing firm Stiðin 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.