Exploring Germanic Languages through Glottolog

I explored three different languages while testing out Glottolog: German, Swedish, and Norwegian. I knew already that all three of these languages were related in some way already. Before, I had believed that Norwegian and Swedish were close “siblings” to each other and more distant “cousins” to German. During my exploration, I designed a “family tree” of the three languages relative to each other as well as to English. One thing I discovered was that, despite how similar Swedish and Norwegian are to each other in vocabulary and grammar, they are more removed from each other than I thought. Norwegian’s “grandparent,” North Germanic, is actually Swedish’s “great-great grandparent,” making Norwegian Swedish’s 1st cousin twice removed. I was also interested in seeing how closely German and Norwegian were related. I found German and Norwegian both branch off from West Scandinavian. However, West Scandinavian is German’s “great-great-great-great grandparent” while only Norwegian’s “parent.” I found it interesting how German went through the most branching-off of all the languages I explored, while Norwegian went through the least. Finally, I explored German versus English, since I knew they also have very similar vocabulary and grammar. I discovered the closest relation they have together is Northwest Germanic, their “great-great-great-great-great-great grandparent,” making these two languages distant, 7th cousins to each other.

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