We at the Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute intend to strengthen and diversify research so as to become a leading participant in scholarly discussion on languages, language teaching and cultural studies. We will seek new and demanding subjects, both within Iceland itself and through international co-operation with other institutes. Research in the fields of literature and cultural studies can increase our knowledge of trends and attitudes in other cultural domains and make it easier for us Icelanders to understand our own literature and cultural environment.
With research and increased knowledge in linguistics the foundations can be laid for specific scholarly analyses of the special features of foreign languages, which can then be employed in many fields: in teaching, in comparisons with Icelandic, in language proficiency, and in translation.
Translation studies are the key to our communicating at all levels with foreign cultural domains. As a sparsely populated nation in a globalised community it is necessary for us to cultivate knowledge of exactly where these cultural domains meet, in translation, a skill, which grows in importance with every passing year. Translation is one of the most active means possible of cultivating linguistic knowledge and skills.
More and more Icelanders need a competence in foreign languages as an individual's progress at college or at work can be determined by his/her knowledge of a foreign language. The number of foreigners who wish to learn Icelandic grows steadily every year and they are the bearers of Icelandic culture throughout the rest of the world. In a globalised world there is thus an urgent need to increase research in the teaching of foreign languages and the teaching of Icelandic as a foreign language.