|Originally between the Rhine, Alps, Elbe, and North Sea; today worldwide|
The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three traditional branches of the Germanic family of languages and include languages such as German, Dutch, English and the Frisian languages, as well as Yiddish and Afrikaans. List of language familiesA language family is a group of Languages related by descent from a common ancestor called the Proto-language of that family The Germanic languages are a group of related languages that constitute a branch of the Indo-European (IE Language family. The Anglo-Frisian languages (sometimes Insular Germanic) are a group of Ingvaeonic West Germanic languages consisting of Old English Low Franconian, or Low Frankish, is a group of several West Germanic Languages spoken in the Netherlands, northern Belgium ( Low German or Low Saxon (in Germany: Plattdüütsch or Nedderdüütsch; in Netherlands: Nedersaksisch or Nederduuts The High German languages (in German, Hochdeutsch) are any of the varieties of standard German, Luxembourgish and The Germanic languages are a group of related languages that constitute a branch of the Indo-European (IE Language family. A language is a dynamic set of visual auditory or tactile Symbols of Communication and the elements used to manipulate them The German language (de ''Deutsch'') is a West Germanic language and one of the world's major languages. Dutch ( is a West Germanic language spoken by around 24 million people 22 million of which are from the Netherlands, Belgium and Suriname English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States The Frisian languages are a closely related group of Germanic languages, spoken by about 500000 members of Frisian Ethnic groups who live on the southern Yiddish (yi [[wiktייִדיש ייִדיש]] yidish or yi [[wiktאידיש אידיש]] idish, literally "Jewish" is a nonterritorial High Afrikaans is an Indo-European language, derived from 17th century Dutch and classified as Low Franconian Germanic, mainly spoken in The other two of these three traditional branches of the Germanic languages are the North and East Germanic languages. The North Germanic languages or Scandinavian languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages The East Germanic languages are a group of extinct Indo-European languages in the Germanic family.
The Germanic languages are traditionally divided into three groups: West, East and North Germanic. The East Germanic languages are a group of extinct Indo-European languages in the Germanic family. The North Germanic languages or Scandinavian languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages  Their exact relation is difficult to determine from the sparse evidence of runic inscriptions, and they remained mutually intelligible throughout the Migration Period, so that some individual varieties are difficult to classify. The Migration Period, also called Barbarian Invasions, or sometimes Völkerwanderung ( German for "wandering of peoples" is the English name The Western group presumably formed as a variety of Proto-Germanic in the late Jastorf culture (ca. Proto-Germanic, or Common Germanic, is the hypothetical common ancestor ( Proto-language) of all the Germanic languages such as modern English The Jastorf culture is an Iron Age Material culture in what is now north Germany, spanning the 6th to 1st centuries BC forming the southern part of the 1st century BC). The West Germanic group is characterized by a number of phonological and morphological innovations not found in North and East Germanic, such as:
Nevertheless, many scholars doubt whether the West Germanic languages descend from a common ancestor later than Proto-Germanic, that is, they doubt whether a "Proto-West Germanic" ever existed. Phonology ( Greek φωνή (phōnē voice sound + λόγος (lógos word speech subject of discussion is the systematic use of sound to encode meaning Morphology is the field of Linguistics that studies the internal structure of words In Phonetics, gemination happens when a spoken Consonant is pronounced for an audibly longer period of time than a short Consonant. In Linguistics, “gerund” is a term used to refer to various non-finite verb forms in various languages As applied to English,  Rather, some have argued that after East Germanic broke off from the group, the remaining Germanic languages, the Northwest Germanic languages, divided into four main dialects: North Germanic, and the three groups conventionally called "West Germanic", namely
Evidence for this view comes from a number of linguistic innovations found in both North Germanic and West Germanic, including:
Under this view, the properties that the West Germanic languages have in common separate from the North Germanic languages are not inherited from a "Proto-West-Germanic" language, but rather spread by language contact among the Germanic languages spoken in central Europe, not reaching those spoken in Scandinavia. Northwest Germanic is a proposed grouping of the Germanic dialects Ingvaeonic, also known as North Sea Germanic, is a postulated grouping of the West Germanic languages that would fork into Old Frisian, Old English The Anglo-Frisian languages (sometimes Insular Germanic) are a group of Ingvaeonic West Germanic languages consisting of Old English Low German or Low Saxon (in Germany: Plattdüütsch or Nedderdüütsch; in Netherlands: Nedersaksisch or Nederduuts The Irminones, also referred to as Herminones or Hermiones, were a group of early Germanic tribes settling in the Elbe watershed and by the The High German languages (in German, Hochdeutsch) are any of the varieties of standard German, Luxembourgish and The Istvaeones, also called Istaevones Istriaones Istriones Sthraones Thracones Rhine Germans and Weser-Rhine Germans ( Istwäonen, Weser-Rhein-Germanen Old Frankish was the language of the Franks and it is classified as a West Germanic language. In Linguistics, umlaut (from German um - "around"/"the other way" + Laut "sound" is a process whereby a Rhotacism may refer to several phenomena related to the usage of the Consonant R (whether as an Alveolar tap, Alveolar trill, or Demonstratives are deictic words (they depend on an external frame of reference that indicate which entities a speaker refers to and distinguishes those entities from others Language contact occurs when speakers of distinct speech varieties interact Nevertheless, it has been argued that, judging by their nearly identical syntax, the West Germanic languages of the Old period were close enough to have been mutually intelligible. 
During the Middle Ages, the West Germanic languages were separated by the insular development of Middle English on one hand, and by the second Germanic sound shift on the continent on the other. Middle English is the name given by Historical linguistics to the diverse forms of the English language spoken between the Norman invasion of In Historical linguistics, the High German consonant shift or second Germanic consonant shift was a phonological development ( Sound change) which took place
The High German consonant shift distinguished the High German languages from the other West Germanic languages. In Historical linguistics, the High German consonant shift or second Germanic consonant shift was a phonological development ( Sound change) which took place The High German languages (in German, Hochdeutsch) are any of the varieties of standard German, Luxembourgish and By early modern times, the span had extended into considerable differences, ranging from Highest Alemannic in the South (the Walliser dialect being the southernmost surviving German dialect) to Northern Low Saxon in the North. Highest Alemannic is a branch of Alemannic dialects and belongs to the German language, even though Mutual intelligibility with Standard German The Walliser German ( Walliserdeutsch in German) is a group of Highest Alemannic Dialects spoken in Switzerland, specifically in the Northern Low Saxon (in Low German Noordneddersassisch) is a West Low German dialect Although both extremes are considered German, they are not mutually intelligible. The German language (de ''Deutsch'') is a West Germanic language and one of the world's major languages. The southernmost varieties have completed the second sound shift, while the northern dialects remained unaffected by the consonant shift.
Of modern German varieties, Low German is the one that most resembles modern English. Low German or Low Saxon (in Germany: Plattdüütsch or Nedderdüütsch; in Netherlands: Nedersaksisch or Nederduuts The district of Angeln (or Anglia), from which the name English derives, is in the extreme northern part of Germany between the Danish border and the Baltic coast. Modern Angeln, also known as Anglia ( German: Angeln, Danish: Angel, Latin: Anglia, English: may follow Saxony lies further to the south. The Free State of Saxony (Freistaat Sachsen ˈzaksən Swobodny Stat Sakska is the easternmost federal state of Germany. The Anglo-Saxons, two Germanic tribes, were a combination of a number of peoples from northern Germany and the Jutland Peninsula. For their language see Anglo-Saxon language. Anglo-Saxon is the term usually used to describe the invading Tribes in the south The Germanic peoples are a historical group of Indo-European -speaking peoples originating in Northern Europe and identified by their use of the Germanic Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. This article is about the region of Denmark. For the World War I naval battle see Battle of Jutland.
Note that divisions between subfamilies of Germanic are rarely precisely defined; most form dialect continua, with adjacent dialects being mutually intelligible and more separated ones not. The West Germanic languages include some 43 ( SIL estimate Languages and dialects spoken by many people in Europe, western Asia, A dialect continuum is a range of Dialects spoken across a large geographical area differing only slightly between areas that are geographically close and gradually decreasing A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος dialektos) is a variety of a Language that is characteristic of a particular group of