Concept

Germanic languages

Summary
The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family spoken natively by a population of about 515 million people mainly in Europe, North America, Oceania and Southern Africa. The most widely spoken Germanic language, English, is also the world's most widely spoken language with an estimated 2 billion speakers. All Germanic languages are derived from Proto-Germanic, spoken in Iron Age Scandinavia. The West Germanic languages include the three most widely spoken Germanic languages: English with around 360–400 million native speakers; German, with over 100 million native speakers; and Dutch, with 24 million native speakers. Other West Germanic languages include Afrikaans, an offshoot of Dutch originating from the Afrikaners of South Africa, with over 7.1 million native speakers; Low German, considered a separate collection of unstandardized dialects, with roughly 4.35–7.15 million native speakers and probably 6.7–10 million people who can understand it (at least 2.2
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