Hyphenation is a package with three files containing information about hyphenation in Icelandic.

  • Download Hyphenation. With CC BY 4.0 license.

About Hyphenation

The package contains three files: (1) skipti.listi contains 203.964 words ordered alphabetically, one word per line. Hyphen in the word shows where the word may be hyphenated; (2) hyphen.is contains patterns generated from the word list. The pattern file is used in hyphenation programs for TeX, groff, OpenOffice and LibreOffice; 3) hyph_is-1.0.oxt can be downloaded here. The filename extension .oxt represents "OpenOffice Extension". If a file with the extension .oxt is opened in OpenOffice or LibreOffice it will be added as an add-in to the program in question.

Data collection and processing

The word list is based on headwords from the Icelandic-Danish Dictionary by Sigfús Blöndal. The words were keyed in the Icelandic Language Institute (now a part of the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies) in the middle of the nineteen eighties. The list also contains words from digital texts (novels, newspaper articles etc.) which professor Baldur Jónsson had collected. The project was started by first hyphenating about 10,000 words with a special program and correcting the hyphenation manually. The result of that work was used to produce rules for hyphenating the next portion, which then was corrected manually. This procedure was repeated until all the words had been hyphenated. Various people worked on the manual correction. Baldur made the final decision on hyphenation and finally checked the whole wordlist.

Magnús Gíslason from the University Computing Centre completed all programming. Magnús made a hyphenation program using the data and an algorithm based on a Ph.D. thesis by Frank M. Liang, Word Hy-phen-a-tion by Com-put-er. The program was originally made to be used with TeX. Magnús also made a program for the DOS operating system that checked WordPerfect files. In 2009 Magnús made add-ins for OpenOffice and LibreOffice that can be downloaded here.

People behind the project

The project was undertaken in the mid-eighties in The Icelandic Language Institute. Magnús Gíslason and Baldur Jónsson organized the project and received help from several individuals who manually checked the hyphenation.


e-mail: malfong@malfong.is