The Dictionary

LEXIA is an online bilingual dictionary between modern Icelandic and French. It is accessible free of charge, here on this page. The work is still in progress and the final version of the Icelandic-French dictionary will be ready by the end of 2019. The dictionary has been developed by two university institutions in Reykjavík: The Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies (AMI) and The Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages (VFI). AMI is the producer of the dictionary’s writing system, and its lexicographers are responsible for the Icelandic source language, whereas VFI is responsible for the French part of the project. LEXIA is modelled on an another online dictionary based at AMI: ISLEX, a multilingual dictionary between Icelandic and six Scandinavian target languages.

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, the former President of Iceland, launched Lexía at a formal ceremony in Veröld – House of Vigdís on 16 June 2021, in front of a large audience which included the French Minister of Culture, the Prime Minister of Iceland, the Rector of the University of Iceland and the Ambassador of France. 

Lemmas and contents

With 50,000 lemmas, LEXIA is a medium-sized dictionary. The vocabulary is mainly contemporary Icelandic but many words from the older stages of the language are also included. The dictionary is constantly being updated as needed, corrections are made and new headwords are added. The articles contain a large number of usage examples (31,500), as well as fixed expressions and collocations (10,000), all of which are translated into French. The dictionary takes advantage of the features of the web medium. Thus the articles are supported by 3,200 illustrations, and the pronunciations of the Icelandic headwords are given as recorded sounds. As Icelandic has a rich morphology, the inflections of the headwords are shown by hyperlinks to a special database, BÍN (Beygingarlýsing íslensks nútímamáls), where their paradigms are displayed in full.

Target groups – more target languages

LEXIAS’s target groups are firstly, Icelanders who need to look up words in French, Secondly, translators between Icelandic and French. Thirdly, learners and teachers of Icelandic in the French speaking countries, and learners and teachers of French in Iceland. The dictionary’s database is well suited for adding more target languages and the aim is to include German and Spanish in the near future, work on which has begun. For further information please contact Rósa E. Davíðsdóttir (rd [at] who is in charge of the French part of the project.

Editorial staff

The Icelandic part: Þórdís Úlfarsdóttir Editor in Chief, Halldóra Jónsdóttir Project Manager and Editor The French part: Rósa Elín Davíðsdóttir Project Manager and Editor, Jean-Christophe Salaün (from 2015), François Heenen (from 2016), Áslaug Marinósdóttir (2016-2017), Auður Sturludóttir (2017), Sigurbjörg Eðvarðsdóttir (2017-2018), Ólöf Pétursdóttir (from 2017), Hallfríður Helgadóttir (2016-2017), Nathalie Tresch (vocabulary of law and finance)  


Meeting of LEXIA participants in September 2016: Karl Gadelii, Sorbonne University, François Heenen, University of Iceland, Anna H. Hannesdóttir, Gothenburg University, Jean-Christophe Salaün, Sorbonne University, Þórdís Úlfarsdóttir, aðalritstjóri íslenska orðabókargrunnsins, Árni Magnússon Institute of Icelandic Studies, Rósa Elín Davíðsdóttir, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages, Áslaug Marinósdóttir, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages, Halla Helgadóttir, Gothenburg University.

Project participants and Erasmus+ representative: Halldóra Jónsdóttir, Ásdís Rósa Magnúsdóttir, Þórdís Úlfarsdóttir, Karl Gadelii, Rósa Elín Davíðsdóttir, Jean-Christophe Salaün, Anna Hannesdóttir, Magnús Sigurðsson, Erla Erlendsdóttir og Guðrún Kristinsdóttir.


Funding of the Project