North Germanic languages

The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages—a sub-family of the Indo-European languages—along with the West Germanic languages and the extinct East Germanic languages. The language group is also referred to as the "Nordic languages", a direct translation of the most common term used among Danish, Faroese, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish scholars and people.

North Germanic
EthnicityNorth Germanic peoples
Northern Europe
Linguistic classificationIndo-European
Proto-languageProto-Norse (attested), later Old Norse
ISO 639-5gmq
North Germanic-speaking lands

Continental Scandinavian languages:


Insular Nordic languages:

  Norn (†)

The term "North Germanic languages" is used in comparative linguistics,[1] whereas the term "Scandinavian languages" appears in studies of the modern standard languages and the dialect continuum of Scandinavia.[2][3]

Approximately 20 million people in the Nordic countries speak a Scandinavian language as their native language,[4] including an approximately 5% minority in Finland. Languages belonging to the North Germanic language tree are also commonly spoken in Greenland and, to a lesser extent, by immigrants in North America.