Modern German is a West Germanic language that belongs to the Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages. Traditionally, the Germanic languages are subdivided into three branches:

    1. North Germanic
    2. East Germanic
    3. West Germanic

The North Germanic branch is today's modern Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Faroese, and Icelandic (which are descended from the language of the Vikings - Old Norse).

The languages of the East Germanic branch are now extinct (of which the Gothic language only survives in written texts).

The West Germanic languages have gone through a lot of splitting and changing and are now the modern languages of English, German, Dutch, Yiddish, and Afrikaans.