West Germanic languages

West Germanic
Geographic
distribution:
Originally between the Rhine, Alps, Elbe, and North Sea; today worldwide
Linguistic classification:Indo-European
Subdivisions:
ISO 639-5:gmw
Germanic languages in Europe.png
Extent of Germanic languages in present day Europe

North Germanic languages

  Danish

West Germanic languages

  Scots
  Dutch
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]