All Germanic languages are derived from Proto-Germanic, spoken in Iron Age Scandinavia. Consisting of English, German, Netherlandic (Dutch), Danish, Swedish, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Faroese, to name a few.
The most widely spoken Germanic language is English, which is also the world’s most widely spoken language with an estimated 2 billion speakers. Although English is the world’s most widely spoken language, the vast majority of people, 1.5 billion, speak it as a second language.
The Germanic Languages have their roots in Northern Germany, Sweden, Norway, and the British Isles. These areas of the world when the Romans could not establish a strong foothold in that area of the world. According to Language Taxonomy, all 47 living Germanic languages are children of Proto-Germanic.
The long-term linguistic effect of the Viking expansion into England was threefold: over a thousand Scandinavia words eventually became part of Standard English. Numerous places in the East and North-east of England have Danish names, and many English personal names are of Scandinavian origin.
How Similar Are the Germanic Languages?
Depending on which Germanic language you learn, you may have an easier or harder time understanding other Germanic languages. Part of that has to do with the linguistic “distance” between various languages.
Learning American English, for example, will prepare you to understand the English spoken in England, despite there being some differences between the two.
German and English are more clearly different, but there’s still enough mutual intelligibility that a German speaker and an English speaker could probably have a rudimentary conversation.
Sankt Clemens Torv 6, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
The Viking Museum in Aarhus is a small “on-site” basement museum under the bank Nordea on Store Torv in the middle of Aarhus. The Viking Museum belongs to the Moesgaard Museum.