Lexical Differences Among European Languages Visualized in a Graph

Nearly 75% of the words in the English vocabulary come from French, Latin, and the Romance Languages.  Yet, English is considered a Germanic language. Why?

Writer and self proclaimed “etymologikonoclast” Teresa Elms of Eytmologikon answers this question in a blog post.

First, the most frequently used 80% of English words come from Germanic sources, not Latinate sources… Second, the syntax of English, although much simplified from its Old English origins, remains recognizably Germanic.

Elms also illustrates the “vocabulary divergences” among the European languages in an infographic, grouping the language family by color. Proximity of the circles indicates the lexical closeness of languages.
Visualization of the Lexical Differences Among the Languages of Europe

English is only one of the estimated 439 of the Indo-European languages. The Indo-European language family is only one of nearly a two dozen other language families.

To read more of Teresa Elm’s thoughts on language and etymology, visit her blog, Etymologikon.

Image Copyright © 2008, Capitalist Dawg Enterprises™

Tate Srey - Tate Srey is an artist and an engineer. He is a nerd who likes to lift heavy things and put them back down again. He loves to run and swim and build things. He makes his own wine and beer, and dies a little inside when he has to pay more than $5 for draft. He has a natural affection for people with a teacher's spirit-- those who will share their knowledge and experience with others. Some men just want to watch the world learn. Tate can be found on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to site top