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Browse Faroese Names
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Old Norse Origin
Ancient Nordic / Proto Norse
Evolved from Proto Germanic, this Indo-European language was spoken in Scandinavia from the first centuries AD until the 8th century. The writing system was the Elder Futhark.
This language was spoken during the Viking ages from about 700-1300 AD. The Old West Norse dialect was spoken in Iceland and Norway, the Old East Norse dialect was spoken in Sweden and Denmark, and there was a third dialect spoken on the Island Gotland: Old Gutnish. The writing system was the Younger Futhark.
Old Faroese evolved from Old West Norse and was the medieval language spoken in the Faroe islands (about 13th - 16th century AD). It was also influenced by the Celtic language. The writing system was the Latin alphabet. In the 16th century its use was forbidden in schools, churches and official documents by the Danish rulers. It survived as a spoken language, though.
A written Modern Faroese was introduced in the 19th century and it replaced Danish as the official language in schools and churches in the 20th century. Since 1948, Faroese is the official language of the Faroe Islands and it is spoken by about 60,000 to 80,000 people in the Faroe Islands and in Denmark.