Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 decade ago

what is the language closest to English?

what is the language closest to English?

31 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The closest living language to English is Frisian.

    It is a language spoken by about 500 000 people in areas of Germany and The Netherlands that border on the North Sea.

    It bears strong similarities to both Dutch and Danish.

    That's the answer, read up on some linguistics material to learn more.

    Gramatically, English bears closest resemblance to the Germanic family of languages. But the Romance languages have contributed more vocabulary than any other one source.

    Source(s): Linguistics degree
  • 1 decade ago

    The correct answer is most likely Frisian, a Germanic language spoken in northern Holland and part of northwestern Germany. English and Frisian together form a sub-branch of West Germanic called Anglo-Frisian. Dutch and German belong to a different sub-branch.

    A few people have said that Scots is the closest language to English but that's only if you consider Scots English to be a separate language from Standard (King's) English and most linguists still don't

  • Joy M
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Although I do sometimes doubt the site's validity, Wikipedia states that the closest languages to English are Scots, Frisian, followed by a number of other Germanic languages (German, Low Saxon, Dutch, Afrikaans). This is because English is a Germanic language. However, because so many of English words are borrowed from Romance languages (especially French), there are some similarities there, though they are purely in terms of vocabulary.

  • 1 decade ago

    English is derived from many different languages, so while some people may answer "German" or "Spanish", this simply is not true. English is most closely related to:

    French- 28.3%

    Latin- 28.24%

    Germanic Languages- 25%

    Greek- 5%

    Unknown- 4.03%

    Derived from proper names- 3.28%

    All other languages- <1%

    Therefore, French, Latin, and early Germanic languages each contributed nearly equal amounts to the English language.

    England was conquered by the Roman Empire, and the Latin language was very influential to the native tribes. After the fall of the Roman empire, England was invaded by the Anglo-Saxons, who spoke an early Germanic language. In 1066, William the Conqueror of Normandy (a part of France) fought for control of the country. This explains why the three main derivations contribute so much to Modern English.

    Hope it helps!

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  • 4 years ago

    Spanish and American English would be the closest two. The difference between a specialist and an expert is that a specialist "specializes" in some trade or job and is usually good at it, but doesn't have to be. an expert has to be good at what they do.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I am in the process of learning Dutch - Husband is Dutch, and would like to have at least simple conversation with my father-in-law. I am amazed at the similarities. 20 years ago when I was learning Spanish in high school - I thought that was easy enough, but Dutch is pretty darned close to English, check out the vocabulary. You can go to this cool website - to get software - yes even a free trial for anything from Russian to Farsi....ok so I downloaded the Hindi just to see....

  • 1 decade ago

    Middle English, as used in Chaucer's time would be a very close approximate to the English we use today, but heavily influenced by the French of the time.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    German. English is a Germanic language.

  • 1 decade ago

    You can't ask a question like that. Latin would be your best guess, but if you think about all languages pretty much sound like each other. You just have to find what parts sound like what and try your best to unscramble it. You wouldn't believe how many times I've overheard a conversation in another language and could pick out a lot of what the subject was about.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    English is a germanic language..One of the spoken dialects of northern europeans...However that was old english which is much different than it is today..

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