We are once again taking on giant Google in a bid to have our unique language included on Google Translate. We have created our very own Faroe Islands Translate.

With less than 80,000 people speaking Faroese worldwide, and a growing tourism market, we realise that not being included on Google Translate has frustrated visitors who can’t fully immerse in their unique traditional culture by learning a few phrases in Faroese.

Creating our very own version of the online translation service, with the help of locals who will translate live by video, Faroe Islands Translate will provide a free online service for those visiting the destination or, in fact, anyone around the world curious to learn a little of this unusual language.

From sheep farmers to school teachers, chefs to social workers, this initiative provides an opportunity to see the friendly Faroese before visiting, and to gain a window into their magical world.

Lisa is one local person who has volunteered to help. A student by day, Lisa will be on hand to help translate words and phrases sent in by people all around the world. Lisa’s favourite Faroese phrase is:

“Um tær ikki dámar veðrið, bíða so bara í 5 minuttir”

Which means: “if you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes”.

By visiting the new website and typing the words to be translated into the Faroe Islands Translate search box, the translation will be done by a local volunteer like Lisa. A video will be sent back meaning that people will not only be able to learn the words in Faroese but also see a local speaking the language.

Last year, we petitioned Google to be featured on Google Streetview by creating our own version, using cameras mounted on the backs of sheep. Calling it Sheepview, the campaign gained worldwide interest, reaching the attention of the tech giant and eventually succeeding in its aim.

Now fully on the map, and welcoming a significantly higher number of tourists in the past year, we are launching another David and Goliath mission. The Faroes’ Prime Minister, Aksel V. Johannesen, has joined us to lend his voice to the campaign, recording an open letter to Google in a special video message, delivered directly to Google, petitioning them to consider our nation’s plight.


— By visiting www.faroeislandstranslate.com, anyone can write a word or phrase that they would like to be translated from their language into Faroese. The text is immediately forwarded to Faroese volunteers who will open the video camera function on their mobile phone and record a video of the translation. This is then uploaded to the site to be viewed by the person who requested it.

— Each video is also preserved in a database so that, if the same word or phrase is requested again, the stored translation will automatically be shown.

— The Faroese volunteer who translates is picked at random. Anyone who speaks Faroese can help translate and local people have been encouraged to participate in the campaign.

— All translations are reviewed to make sure that they are appropriate.