Faroese is a West Nordic or West Scandinavian language spoken by about 40,000 people in the Faroe Islands. It is one of two insular Scandinavian languages (the other is Icelandic), which have their origins in the Old Norse language spoken in Scandinavia in the Viking Age. Although the written form is very similar to Icelandic, in pronunciation it has gone its own path.
Faroese tradition was mostly oral until a standard for written Faroese was established in 1846 by Venceslaus Ulricus Hammershaimb. This standard is highly influenced by the Icelandic spelling and is considered rather difficult. The most salient problem is the presence of eth in the spelling representing an Old Norse dental fricative that is no longer a Faroese phoneme.