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Book & 2 CDs. A small volcanic island just south of he Arctic Circle, lceland is a place of fierce natural beauty and warmly hospitable people. Glaciers and fjords punctuate the coastline while geysers, waterfalls and hot springs dot the interior, harnessed by Icelanders to provide geothermal and hydropower energy. The island itself is composed primarily of basalt, or cooled lava. Icelandic retains ancient characteristics that today have been lost by most Western European languages. A North Germanic language related to Faroese, it is grammatically comparable to Latin or Ancient Greek, but is most closely linked to Old Norse. Written Icelandic has changed very little since the 13th century. Icelanders take the preservation of their language very seriously, and are immensely proud of the fact that the 800-year old sagas can still be read today. "Beginner's Icelandic" contains 14 lessons structured to help the student traveller gain ease and familiarity with this noble language. The dialogues follow a variety of practical situations such as shopping, transportation, discussing the weather, eating in restaurants, and renting a car or a room, while building on the grammar, vocabulary and phrases learned in previous exercises. The audio CDs follow the dialogues on the page, so that the student benefits from seeing the script while simultaneously hearing the pronunciation. A glossary of words and colloquialisms rounds out this remarkable introduction to a unique language.