About the Languages

Icelandic and Faroese are Scandinavian languages descended from Old Norse. Icelandic is currently spoken in Iceland and Faroese is a minority language of the Faroe islands, currently part of the country Denmark.

These languages are grouped together aside from the other Mainland Scandinavian languages of Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and the non-Germanic language Finnish because their writing systems maintain special characters, particularly thorn (þ) and eth (ð).

Font Recommendations

Icelandic Fonts

Because thorn (þ/Þ) eth (ð,Ð) are used in modern Icelandic, many common fonts listed below already contain these characters. These fonts also usually contain long vowels ā,ē,ī,ō,ū.These fonts include:

  • Arial
  • Calibri
  • Cambria
  • Century Gothic
  • Century Schoolbook
  • Comic Sans
  • Georgia
  • Helvetica
  • Palatino
  • Times New Roman
  • Verdana

Many fonts also contain the Old Norse ǫ (o-ogonek) character.

Old Norse Fonts

For the more unusual Old Norse manusciript characters (not all of which are listed here), you may need a specialized font such as the ones listed below.


Windows ALT Codes

In Windows, combinations of the ALT key plus a numeric code from the number keypad can be used to type a non-English character in any Windows application.

See the detailed instructions on the ALT Code How To for complete information on implementing the code. Additional options for entering accents in Windows are also listed in the Accents section of this Web site.

Icelandic and Faeroese ALT Codes

Special Nordic Letters/Punct
Vwl ALT Code
Æ ALT+0198 (Capital ash)
æ ALT+0230 (Lowercase ash)
Ð ALT+0208 (Capital eth)
ð ALT+0240 (Lowercase eth)
Ø ALT+0216 (Capital O slash)
ø ALT+0248 (Lowercase O slash)
Ö ALT+0214 (Capital O umlaut)
ö ALT+0246 (Lowercase o slash)
Þ ALT+0222 (Capital Thorn)
þ ALT+0254 (Lowercase Thorn)
« ALT+0171 (Left Angle Quote)
» ALT+0187 (Right Angle Quote)
Vowels with Acute Accent
Vwl ALT Code
Á ALT+0193 (Capital)
á ALT+0225 (Lowercase)
É ALT+0201
é ALT+0233
Í ALT+0205
í ALT+0237
Ó ALT+0211
ó ALT+0243
Ú ALT+0218
ú ALT+0250
Ý ALT+0221
ý ALT+0253

Additional Old Norse Characters

Note: The Old Norse code only work in Word for Windows.

Additional Old Norse Characters (Word Only)
Let Character Code
Cap OE Ligature
œ ALT+0156
Lower OE Ligature
Ǫ ALT+0490
Cap O Ogonek
ǫ ALT+0491
Lower O Ogonek
Ę ALT+0280
Cap E Ogonek
ę ALT+0281
Lower E Ogonek
Ƿ ALT+0503 Cap Wynn
ƿ ALT+0447 Lower Wynn
ALT+42856 Cap Vend
ALT+42857 Lower Vend


Windows International Keyboard Codes

In order to use these codes you must activate the U.S. international keyboard. Once the U.S. International keyboard has been activated, you can use the codes below.

Note: Additional Old Norse characters must be inserted with the Character Map utility. or Word Numeric ALT codes.

International Keyboard Codes
Character Code
æ, Æ RightAlt+Z, Shift+RightAlt+Z  (You must use the Alt key on the right)
ð,Ð RightAlt+D, Shift+RightAlt+D
þ, Þ RightAlt+T, Shift+RightAlt+T
å, Å RightAlt+W, Shift+RightAlt+W
ø, Ø RightAlt+L, Shift+RightAlt+L
Acute Accent (‘+V) – Type single quote, then the vowel.
Umlaut Accent ("+V) – Type double quote, then the vowel.
Codes for Consonants/Punctuation
Sym Code
Ç Shift+RightAlt + <
ç RightAlt + <
« RightAlt+[
» RightAlt+]

Macintosh Accent Codes

Typing Accented Vowels, Nordic Vowels and Ligatures

Apple has provided additional keyboards which allow you to enter Old English characters via Unicode.

For vowels, thorns, eths and superscript dots

You can switch to or the US/ABC Extended keyboard and use these additional accent codes.
Note: Another option is to insert them via the Character Viewer/Palette.

Mac Option Codes
Accent Code
Acute Accent

Type Option+E, then the vowel.

For instance, to type á hold down Option+E, then type A.
To type Á, hold down Option+E, then type capital A.

Umlaut Accent

Type Option+U, then the vowel.

Ogonek Accent

Type Option+M, then the vowel.

æ, Æ

Option+’ (single quote)

å, Å


ø, Ø




Thorn Option+T


«, »




Typing Wynn and Vend

You can switch to the Unicode Hex Input keyboard and use these Option numeric codes. Once entered, these letters can be cut and pasted as needed.

Additional Old Norse Characters
Let Character Code
Ƿ Option+01F7 Cap Wynn
ƿ Option+01BF Lower Wynn
Option+A768 Cap Vend
Option+A769 Lower Vend


Web Devlopment

This section presents information specific to Latin. For general information about developing non-English Web sites, see the Encoding Tutorial or the Web Layout sections.

Unicode Encoding

If you use long marks, Unicode (utf-8) is the required encoding for Web sites. If the following encodings are used instead, you may encounter display problems:

Avoid These

  • iso-8859-1 (Latin 1),
  • iso-8859-15 (Latin with euro (€) symbol)
  • win-1252 (Windows 1)

Language Tags

Language Tags allow browsers and other software to process text more efficiently.

  • fo (Faeroese)
  • is (Icelandic)
  • non (Old Norse)

The HTML Entity Codes

Use these codes to input accented letters in HTML. For instance, if you want
to type Þórr (i.e. Thor) , you would type &#222;&#243;r. These numbers are also used with the Word Numeric ALT codes listed above.

Entity Code Tables

Special Nordic Letters/Punct
Let Entity Code
Æ &AElig; (198)
æ &aelig; (230)
Ð &ETH; (208)*
ð &eth; (240)*
Ø &Oslash; (216)
ø &oslash; (248)
Ö &Ouml; (214)
ö &ouml; (246)
Þ &THORN; (222)*
þ &thorn; (254)*
Vowels with Acute Accent
Let Entity Code
Á &Aacute; (193)
á &aacute; (225)
É &Eacute; (201)
é &eacute; (233)
Í &Iacute; (205)
í &iacute;(237)
Ó &Oacute; (211)
ó &oacute; (243)
Ú &Uacute; (218)
ú &uacute; (250)
Ý &Yacute; (221)
ý &yacute; (253)

Additional Characters

Additional Old Norse Characters
Let Character Code
Cap OE Ligature
œ &oelig;
Lower OE Ligature
Ǫ &#490;
Cap O Ogonek
ǫ &#491;
Lower O Ogonek
Ę &#280;
Cap E Ogonek
ę &#281;
Lower E Ogonek
Ƿ &#503; Cap Wynn
ƿ &#447; Lower Wynn
&#42856; Cap Vend
&#42857; Lower Vend

European Quote Marks

Many modern texts use American style quotes, but if you wish to include European style quote marks, here are the codes. Note that these codes may not work in older browsers.

Entity Codes for Quotation Marks
Sym HTMl Entity Code
« &laquo; (left angle)
» &raquo; (right angle)
&lsaquo; (left single angle)
&rsaquo; (right single angle)
&bdquo;(bottom quote)
&sbquo;(single bottom quote)
&ldquo;(left curly quote)
&lsquo;(left single curly quote)
&rdquo;(right curly quote)
&rsquo;(right single curly quote)
&ndash; (en dash)
&mdash; (em dash)


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