West Germanic languages

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West Germanic
Originally between the Rhine, Alps, Elbe, and North Sea; today worldwide
Linguistic classification:Indo-European
ISO 639-5:gmw

Extent of Germanic languages in present day Europe

North Germanic languages


West Germanic languages

Dots indicate areas where multilingualism is common.

The West Germanic Languages are a branch of Germanic languages first spoken in Central Europe and the British Isles. The branch has three parts: the North Sea Germanic languages, the Weser-Rhine Germanic languages, and the Elbe Germanic languages. The most spoken languages in the branch are English, German, and Dutch.[1]

These languages were spread around the world in the Colonial Era. English is now spoken by around 400 million people natively.[2]

Branches[change | change source]

There are three branches of West Germanic languages:

References[change | change source]

  1. Hawkins, John A. (1987). "Germanic languages". In Bernard Comrie (ed.). The World's Major Languages. Oxford University Press. pp. 68–76. ISBN 0-19-520521-9.
  2. Crystal 2006, pp. 424–426.

Sources[change | change source]