The national language of the Faroe Islands is Faroese. Danish is the official second language and is taught in schools at an early age. English is the also taught in schools and is spoken by most people.
Faroese derives from Old Norse and is closely related to Icelandic, Norwegian, Danish and Swedish. Speakers of the abovementioned Nordic languages will notice familiar words and grammatical structures in the Faroese language.
Venceslaus Ulricus Hammersheimb, a Faroese Lutheran minister, created a spelling system for the Faroese language in 1846. Up until 1938, schools and churches were generally only permitted to use the Danish language. If anyone wished to use Faroese for church services, they had to ask for permission. School generally used Danish, but in some educational instances, especially when dealing with young children, the Faroese language was allowed. In 1938, the Faroese and Danish languages were made equal in schools and churches. The Faroese language became the main language of the Faroe Islands in 1948.
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