Germanic languages

sub-branch of the Indo-European (IE) language

The Germanic languages are a branch of Indo-European languages. They came from one language, Proto-Germanic, which was first spoken in Scandinavia in the Iron Age. They are spoken by around 515 million people natively.[1] English is the most spoken Germanic language, with 360-400 million native speakers.[2]

Principally northern, western and central Europe, the Americas (Anglo-America, Caribbean Netherlands and Suriname), Southern Africa and Oceania
Linguistic classification:Indo-European
  • Germanic
East Germanic (extinct)
ISO 639-2 and 639-5:gem
Germanic languages.svg
World map showing countries where a Germanic language is the primary or official language
  Countries where (a) Germanic language(s) is/are the first language(s) of the majority of the population
  Countries or regions where (a) Germanic language(s) is/are (an) official but not primary language(s)
  Countries or regions where (a) Germanic language(s) is/are (an) unofficial but recognised/used in some areas of life/spoken among a local minority

The Germanic languages are separated into the East Germanic languages (all extinct), the North Germanic languages and the West Germanic languages.



  • König, Ekkehard; van der Auwera, Johan (1994). The Germanic languages. London: Routledge.
  • Crystal, David (2006). "Chapter 9: English worldwide". In Denison, David; Hogg, Richard M. (eds.). A History of the English Language. Cambridge University Press. pp. 420–439. ISBN 978-0-511-16893-2.