ISLEX - Icelandic-Scandinavian Dictionary


ISLEX is a multilingual dictionary with modern Icelandic as a source language and Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Faroese as target languages. The dictionary is accessible on the web, free of charge. ISLEX is an important contribution for strengthening the cultural relations between the nations and their mutual understanding.

 ISLEX is available for use in two different ways:

  • Search - user interface in Icelandic, Faroese, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish.
  • Download with CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

Sound files containing all the Icelandic headwords and around 700 phrases can also be downloaded in three different formats (MP3, OGG, WAV).


The project is a collaboration of five institutes: The Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies (AMI) in Reykjavík, Iceland; The Danish Society for Language and Literature (DSL) in Copenhagen, Denmark; The Department of Linguistic, Literary and Aesthetic Studies at Bergen University, Norway; and the Department of Swedish at Gothenburg University, Sweden. The project has mainly been financed by the governments of these countries. The administration of ISLEX is in Reykjavík. The Icelandic part of the dictionary is compiled and processed by AMI, and the development of the database and the software is also centred there. The editing of the target languages takes place in the participating countries, each editorial team being responsible for their own target language.

The project started in 2005 and the dictionary was opened to the public in November 2011. The dictionary was from the start designed for the web where the possibilities offered by that medium could be used. ISLEX thus contains many images, sounds and hyperlinks. The pronunciation of all headwords is given in recordings, and all nouns, adjectives and verbs are linked to a special database of Icelandic inflections. ISLEX is a medium-sized dictionary with 50,000 headwords. It describes modern Icelandic with an emphasis on phrases, fixed expressions and examples of use, all of which are translated into the target languages. It is the first comprehensive Scandinavian online dictionary which combines so many languages.


The home page offers various search options and user profiles. ISLEX is a convenient tool for comparative studies between Icelandic and the target languages, and since opening, it has served thousands of users.

The further development of the Icelandic dictionary base is an ongoing project at AMI, with the aim of adding more languages to ISLEX. With the publication of more bilingual dictionaries, its usefulness will extend to still more users.

Links to various ISLEX projects


Contact ISLEX