Opinions on Germanic languages

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This article is about a branch of languages. It is not to be confused with German language.

The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family spoken natively by a population of approximately 500 million people mainly in North America, Oceania, Western and Northern Europe.

The West Germanic branch includes the two most widely spoken Germanic languages: English, with approximately 300–400 million native speakers, and German, with over 100 million native speakers. Other major West Germanic languages are Dutch with 23 million speakers, Low German with approximately 5 million in Germany and 1.7 million in the Netherlands, and Afrikaans, an offshoot of Dutch, with over 7.2 million. The main North Germanic languages are Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Icelandic, and Faroese, which have a combined total of about 20 million speakers.

The East Germanic branch included Gothic, Burgundian, and Vandalic, all of which are now extinct. The last to die off was Crimean Gothic, spoken in the late 18th century in some isolated areas of Crimea. The SIL Ethnologue lists 48 different living Germanic languages, of which 42 belong to the Western branch, and 6 to the Northern branch. The total number of Germanic languages through history is unknown, as some of them—especially East Germanic languages—disappeared during or shortly after the Migration Period.

The common ancestor of all of the languages in this branch is called Proto-Germanic—also known as Common Germanic—which was spoken in approximately the middle-1st millennium BC in Iron Age Northern Europe. Proto-Germanic, along with all of its descendants, is characterized by a number of unique linguistic features, most famously the consonant change known as Grimm's law. Early varieties of Germanic enter history with the Germanic tribes moving south from Northern Europe in the 2nd century BC, to settle in the area of today's northern Germany and southern Denmark.



In the image below, you can see a graph with the evolution of the times that people look for Germanic languages. And below it, you can see how many pieces of news have been created about Germanic languages in the last years.
Thanks to this graph, we can see the interest Germanic languages has and the evolution of its popularity.

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