Faroese language

Faroese[lower-alpha 1] (/ˌfɛərˈz, ˌfær-/ FAIR-oh-EEZ, FARR-;[3] Føroyskt mál [ˈføːɹɪst ˈmɔaːl]) is a North Germanic language spoken as a first language by about 72,000 Faroe Islanders, around 53,000 of whom reside on the Faroe Islands and 23,000 in other areas, mainly Denmark.

føroyskt mál
Pronunciation[ˈføːɹɪst ˈmɔaːl]
Native toFaroe Islands
EthnicityFaroe Islanders
Native speakers
72,000 (2007)[1]
Early forms
Official status
Official language in
 Faroe Islands
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byFaroese Language Board Føroyska málnevndin
Language codes
ISO 639-1fo
ISO 639-2fao
ISO 639-3fao
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It is one of five languages descended from Old West Norse spoken in the Middle Ages, the others being Norwegian, Icelandic, and the extinct Norn and Greenlandic Norse. Faroese and Icelandic, its closest extant relative, are not mutually intelligible in speech, but the written languages resemble each other quite closely, largely owing to Faroese's etymological orthography.[4]