Tree languages provide a better look into the strong connection between tongues, and Minna Sundberg created the most eye-catching illustrated version.
We often use a tree metaphor to illustrate the connection between all languages in the world. Minna Sundberg, the creator of the webcomic, Stand Still. Stay Silent, has a better solution and we like her version better.
Sundberg illustrated the connection between Indo-European and Uralic languages. She did this in an effort to show why some of the characters in her comic could understand each other. The connection between Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and Icelandic is tighter than you could ever possibly imagine.
She also showed how Finnish is derived from distinct linguistic roots. Finnish belongs to the Uralic family and has the same roots as Sami and other indigenous languages in Scandinavia. The European arm of the linguistic tree has three branches: Slavic, Romance, and Germanic.
The size of the leaves indicates the number of people speaking a particular language. The left side of Sundberg’s tree shows the Indo-Iranian languages.
There’s a connection between Hindi and Urdu as well as Rajasthani, Gujarati and other regional Indian languages.
“An ancient source (say, Indo-European) has various branches (e.g., Romance, Germanic), which themselves have branches (West Germanic, North Germanic), which feed into specific languages (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian),” explained Arika Okrent of Mental Floss, noting that Sundberg’s version is a “much more enticing version of the simple tree diagram.”
Sundberg has made other amazing illustrations and comparisons. She created a comparison chart of words in the Nordic languages.