Faroese is a North Germanic language with around 47,000 speakers in the Faroe Islands (Føroyar). Faroese is closely related to Icelandic and the dialects of western Norway, though as a result of the isolation, the Faroese language has a distinctive character of its own.
The Faroe Islands were discovered in 825 AD by Grím Kamban and were colonialized during the 9th century by Vikings from Norway and from the Norse colonies in the British Isles. The main language of the settlers was Old Norse or the Dǫnsk tunga (Danish tongue). Between 800 and 1050 AD a division began to appear between East Norse, which developed into Swedish and Danish, and West Norse, which developed into Norwegian, Faroese and Icelandic.
Faroese first appeared in writing during the 14th century mainly in the form of sagas and fables, which remain popular to this day. A standard written form for Faroese based on Icelandic was established in 1846 by Venceslaus Ulricus Hammershaimb (1819-1909). During the late 19th century modern Faroese literature began to appear and the first Faroese newspaper, Føringatiðindi, appeared in 1890.