A Family Tree of the Indo-European Languages

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Scandinavian illustrator Minna Sundberg has put together a lovely “family tree” of the Indo-European languages (here). A profile in the Guardian explains:

Sundberg’s illustration maps the relationships between Indo-European and Uralic languages. The creator of the webcomic Stand Still. Stay Silent, put the illustration together to show why some of the characters in her comic were able to understand each other despite speaking different languages. She wanted to show how closely related Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic were to each other, and how Finnish came from distinct linguistic roots…

The European arm of the tree splits off into Slavic, Romance, and Germanic branches. Here you can see the relationship between different Slavic languages. You can also spot some of Britain’s oldest languages clustered together…

The size of the leaves on the trees is intended to indicate—roughly—how many people speak each language. It shows the relative size of English as well as its Germanic roots.

One thought on “A Family Tree of the Indo-European Languages

  1. Hi, this is Sam from South Korea. May I use this image on my company’s Youtube channel?

    Link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz29K4J_p5QnmfMOuDqj5Rw

    I am a lecturer teaching how to easily memorize English vocabulary and was going to introduce the concept of PIE to my students. I tried to find a good visual aid and your images suits perfectly. I found it via Google image search and would like to ask for your permission to use it at my Youtube video.

    Our channel lectures about how to do memory sports and apply the technique to memorize English words.

    Sorry for the sudden question and would like to hear back from you.

    Thank you.

    Best Regards,



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