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The Icelandic language
In these turbulent times, where a growing indignation has permeated almost every aspect of our lives, the attention of many Europeans (that of the Spanish with particular interest) has turned towards Iceland, where a true revolution (the «silenced revolution» as it is called by the mainstream media) has taken place against the political and financial institutions, in which extraordinary achievements have been made, such as the en bloc resignation of the government, the nationalization of the banks, the people refusing to cover the effects of the bad practices of these «Vikings of expansion», as some chose to call them, and the rewriting of the constitution, all in a consistent and peaceful way. This has all occurred in the world’s oldest democracy, as it is known.
The fact is that in Iceland («the land of ice») the effects of the crisis have not been as devastating as in the rest of the world. In the country which had the highest human development rate in the world, the unemployment rate has not even reached 10% and the traditional economies, based on the exploitation of the abundant natural resources and the study of alternative energies have managed to hold out.
Some say that the language is just another manifestation of the Icelandic character. Icelandic, which belongs to the Icelandic language family and is the only Scandinavian language with no dialects, has remained «pure» almost since Viking times, oblivious to the historical evolution suffered by other European languages and to the influence of the language of the successive powers that have occupied the country, such as Norway, Denmark, United Kingdom and United States. It even invents new words rather than borrowing them from other languages! In this regard, it is a unique case; although this does not make it any less complex, of course.
As a curiosity, Icelandic is now the only official language of the State, although in fact it is not officially recognized as such in the constitution.