Anglo-Frisian languages

Originally England, Scottish Lowlands and the North Sea coast from Friesland to Jutland; today worldwide
Linguistic classificationIndo-European
Anglo-Frisian distribution map.svg
Approximate present day distribution of the Anglo-Frisian languages in Europe.

Anglic (or English):



Hatched areas indicate where multilingualism is common.

The Anglo-Frisian languages are the West Germanic languages which include Anglic (or English) and Frisian.

The Anglo-Frisian languages are distinct from other West Germanic languages due to several sound changes: the Ingvaeonic nasal spirant law, Anglo-Frisian brightening, and palatalization of /k/:

  • English cheese and West Frisian tsiis, but Dutch kaas, Low German Kees, and German Käse
  • English church and West Frisian tsjerke, but Dutch kerk, Low German Kerk, Kark, and German Kirche

The early Anglo-Frisian and Old Saxon were spoken by intercommunicating populations, which led to shared linguistic traits through assimilation. English and Frisian have a proximal ancestral form in common before their divergence. Geography isolated the settlers of Great Britain from Continental Europe, except from contact with communities capable of open water navigation. This resulted in Old Norse and Norman language influences on Modern English, whereas Modern Frisian was subject to contact with the southernly Germanic populations, restricted to the continent.


The Anglo-Frisian family tree is:

Other Languages