West Germanic languages

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]

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

North Germanic languages      Icelandic      Faroese      Norwegian      Swedish      Danish West Germanic languages      Scots      English      Frisian      Dutch      Low German      High German

Dots indicate areas where multilingualism is common.

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


There are three branches of West Germanic languages:

West Germanic Languages Media


  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.