The Indo-European Language Tree

34 thoughts on “The Indo-European Branches of the Language Tree”

  1. Probably this is because I have a computer science background, but this could possibly be one of the most unreadable visualization of a language tree!

  2. I agree with the previous commenter. The data itself is fascinating and beautiful. Why ruin it with a cheesy “tree” illustration, which adds no information — and in fact, *subtracts* information by making it harder to read and understand the relationships among the data? I highly recommend this article on Edward Tufte’s website on the topic:


  3. This language tree was an excellent read. I wonder what electromagnetic communication deviation system caused the original language splits, and how it can be taken from the human mental/social circuit.

  4. Vishnuvyas. You might find the tree in this paper useful. It’s an older paper by Gray and Atkinson, the ones who did the paper on Indian expansion Kambiz has just posted:

  5. I want to see the WHOLE TREE!

  6. William Bunker wondered, “what electromagnetic communication deviation system caused the original language split?” My guess would be that, like species, as the original language spread out different regions lost contact with each other. The languages formed a cline, then broke into dialects and eventually became different languages.

  7. Nate the Great said:

    Wow, fantastic presentation combined with a wealth of information.

  8. What the f..k is this s..t?! Where the hell is the Macedonian language, huh?! Why nobody put my language in this group? Or in any group at ALL! Sorry but this tree is NOT true the whole

  9. Giviet, this kind of language and tone is not welcomed here. I have edited your commented to ‘remove’ the inappropriate words. You have been banned from commenting any further on this site.

    I am informing everyone that anyone else who chooses to comment in this tone will be permanently banned without warning.

  10. where’s singhalese?

  11. I don’t know where Singhalese is. And quite frankly I’m sick of hosting these sorts of questions. You’re not the first to ask, but you will be the last.

    Is this a comprehensive language tree? No it is not, you should know that before posting. It is a nice cartoon illustration that comes from Gamkrelidze and Ivanov’s, “The Early History of Indo-European Languages” which was printed in Scientific American in March 1990. If you have any questions why X language isn’t included in the tree, people should try and contact the people who made the tree.

    • Sinhalese is the language of Sri Lanka…. if you dont know where that is…. it is the little country just south of india

  12. Erin. I’m pretty sure Singhalese is a branch of Indic. The tree doesn’t group the Indic languages into subfamilies so you’ll have to follow that up yourself.

  13. this tree is has been made by a jerk of linguistic. where is the Albanian, one of the oldest language of Europe?

  14. Ago Basha said:

    This tree is totally wrong.I didnt see the Illyrian language, which is one of the oldest IE languages.

  15. what bout the Albanian language???

  16. This diagram fails to address the tree as a whole in my opinion from known depository sources that have not been thoroughly examined yet, for example: None of my immediate family speaks German what so ever, and that I’ve never taken language courses in German what so ever, But that when I attempt to read German I can see the singularities… such as in words slightly misspelled or in different pronunciation, (but same meaning) Also pitch in conversation (or topic at hand ) helps me to better understand what is being conveyed, LOL yea I can pick that out , anyways I’m not here to bash the artist but I was really looking for a language tree that dates around the Sumerian times to present: (4000bc to present), However I’de Like to express that I am very opened minded about this topic so please reply with thoughts or facts.
    :) <— ( :), LOL )internet language).

  17. BTW, has anyone done any type of research on native north and south American languages???

    • there arent native north americans, they are dead. In LA you have several studies and language trees regarding native people. Just google it. Brazilian itself is for this reason a completely different language than Portuguese on many terms, from grammar to phonetic from verbs to several words. Language scientists” dont like that differentiation. Neither the european cause they are afraid ppl say there have no linkages to their (ex) pure exploitation colonies.

  18. where is Albanian here

  19. Steven Posey said:

    Everyone should know that language trees are all somewhat hypothetical. This does not make them uninteresting, though. It is rather sad how so many languages are dying around the world. By the way Kambiz, thanks for trying to keep the comments in line (tough job on the internet).

  20. Pashto – Budapest – Estonian? Any lingual linkage?

  21. The picture shows this is just a branch of the tree, what I would like to see is the rest of the tree stemming from the ‘mother language’. D

  22. Where is the Albanian? It should be near the root…

  23. Nonsense. The three itself and the branches area do not represent anything. It is lacking some languages and shows other really dead ones. German speakers are aprx. 110 million and portuguese 300 million, it’s not even there. If english and german are so germanic why do you use feckin latin alphabet? How come english is so heavy on french words. I think you are a bit too nazi.

  24. ayklblog said:

    This tree is not complete. There are languages like for exemple Portuguese, Occitain or Catalan that should be in the Latin branch and they are not. Is that a reason to avoid them?

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