The Formation of New Words

In order to drag foreign influences out of the language, there is a determined programme of new word formation. New words are formed from indigenous word stems. An example of such a word is “þota”, for the English word jet plane, formed from the verb “að þjóta”, to dash or whistle past like the wind. Those who criticize this method point out that words formed with Icelandic stems will normally be longer than the English words they aim to replace, and that it is easier just to use the English.
    As an example, one may point to the words “geisladiskur” and “geislaspilari” which were formed for the English words Compact Disc (CD) and CD Player. A different method by which to revise the vocabulary is to revive old words and give them a new meaning. Words such as “skjár” come about in this way: it now means “sjónvarpsskjár” or "tölvuskjár" (for the English word screen) but originally was used for a kind of plastic film placed in a window instead of glass.
    Despite these efforts, many foreign words have taken hold in Icelandic, with the words which have gained full acceptance in the language adapted to the Icelandic system of inflections. Examples of such words are “jeppi” (jeep), “appelsína” (orange, derived from the Danish word “appelsin”), “banani” (banana), “sápa” (soap), and many more.
    Although one might say the vocabulary is in a process of constant renewal, in essence it always remains the same.