Can Danes, Swedes, and Norwegians understand Faroese?

Guest   Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:57 pm GMT
I was wondering how mutually intelligible Faroese is to Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian. Could the average person understand Faroese at all, or would it just be completely incomprehensible?
Ryan   Fri Jul 13, 2007 3:39 pm GMT
I believe that Faroese and Icelandic are mutually intelligible with each other, but not so with Danish, Swedish and Norwegian. Of course, I'm sure speakers of Continental Scandinavian languages could understand many words of spoken Faroese, so it wouldn't be like the equivalent of English and German, but I don't think a speaker of these languages could sit down with no knowledge of the phonology shifts in the Insular Scandinavian languages and understand everything a Faroese speaker is saying right away.

On the other hand, I'm sure that speakers of Danish, Swedish and Norwegian can understand much more of written Faroese than the spoken form.

Some References:
Travis   Fri Jul 13, 2007 4:07 pm GMT
The continental North Germanic languages are not crossintelligible with the insular ones, even though there are continental North Germanic dialects/languages (such as the classic example of Dalecarlian) which are far closer to the insular ones than the continental North Germanic standard languages. As for the crossintelligibility of Icelandic and Faroese, I am not certain, even though they are definitely much closer to each other than to any other extant North Germanic languages aside from the likes of Dalecarlian. It is rumored, though, that Faroese would have been crossintelligible with Norn before Norn went extinct.