Icelandic is a language from the North Germanic family, but while many European languages have evolved to reduce the inflections, Icelandic has retained four case synthetic forms of grammar.
The language began as a dialect which was developed from Old Norse. The Danish occupation and rule between 1380 and 1918 had a very unnoticeable effect on the language’s evolution. Icelandic was in daily use and extremely common within the population except for certain notable periods when Danish became more commonly used, between the years 1700 and 1900 and during the Second World War when it was occupied by Allied forces.
The modern form of the Icelandic alphabet was based on a standard established by a Danish linguist and has developed from there. The written form of the language has not changed particularly since the thirteenth century, with modern speakers able to understand texts written eight hundred years before. Original sagas usually contain footnotes and updated more modern spelling but many Icelanders can with a little effort read and understand the original manuscripts. This resistance for development or change has become a major characteristic of the Icelandic language, along with its uniformity or absence of written dialects.