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In
linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include phonetics, phonet ...

linguistics
, mutual intelligibility is a relationship between
language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system composed of glyphs to inscribe the original soun ...

language
s or
dialect The term dialect (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of th ...
s in which speakers of different but related
varieties Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (universal algebra), classes of algebraic structures defined by equations in universal algebra Hort ...
can readily understand each other without prior familiarity or special effort. It is sometimes used as an important criterion for distinguishing languages from dialects, although
sociolinguistic Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the sam ...
factors are often also used. Intelligibility between languages can be asymmetric, with speakers of one understanding more of the other than speakers of the other understanding the first. When it is relatively symmetric, it is characterized as "mutual". It exists in differing degrees among many related or geographically proximate languages of the world, often in the context of a
dialect continuum A dialect continuum or dialect chain is a series of language varieties spoken across some geographical area such that neighboring varieties are mutually intelligible In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of languag ...
.
Linguistic distance Linguistic distance is how different one language or dialect is from another. Although they lack a uniform approach to quantifying linguistic distance between languages, practitioners of linguistics use the concept in a variety of linguistic situ ...
is the name for the concept of calculating a measurement for how different languages are from one another. The higher the linguistic distance, the lower the mutual intelligibility.


Intelligibility

For individuals to achieve moderate proficiency or understanding in a language (called L2) other than their
first language A first language, native tongue, native language, or mother/father/parent tongue (also known as arterial language or L1), is a language that a person has been exposed to from birth or within the critical period hypothesis, critical period. In so ...
(L1) typically requires considerable time and effort through study and practical application. Advanced speakers of a second language typically aim for intelligibility, especially in situations where they work in their second language and the necessity of being understood is high. However, many groups of languages are partly mutually intelligible, i.e. most speakers of one language find it relatively easy to achieve some degree of understanding in the related language(s). Often the languages are genetically related, and they are likely to be similar to each other in
grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the me ...
,
vocabulary A vocabulary is a set of familiar words In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguistics), m ...
,
pronunciation Pronunciation is the way in which a word or a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing ...
, or other features. Intelligibility among languages can vary between individuals or groups within a language population according to their knowledge of various registers and vocabulary in their own language, their exposure to additional related languages, their interest in or familiarity with other cultures, the domain of discussion, -
cognitive Cognition () refers to "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses". It encompasses many aspects of intellectual function Intellectual functioning refers to the "general ment ...
traits, the mode of language used (written vs. oral), and other factors.


Mutually intelligible languages or varieties of one language

Some linguists use mutual intelligibility as a primary criterion for determining whether two speech varieties represent the same or different languages. In a similar vein, some claim that mutual intelligibility is, ideally at least, the primary criterion separating languages from dialects. Some argue that a primary challenge to these positions is that speakers of closely related languages can often communicate with each other effectively if they choose to do so. In the case of transparently cognate languages officially recognized as distinct such as Spanish and Italian, mutual intelligibility is in principle and in practice not binary (simply yes or no), but occurs in varying degrees, subject to numerous variables specific to individual speakers in the context of the communication. Classifications may also shift for reasons external to the languages themselves. As an example, in the case of a linear
dialect continuum A dialect continuum or dialect chain is a series of language varieties spoken across some geographical area such that neighboring varieties are mutually intelligible In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of languag ...
that shades gradually between varieties, where speakers near the center can understand the varieties at both ends with relative ease, but speakers at one end have difficulty understanding the speakers at the other end, the entire chain is often considered a single language. If the central varieties die out and only the varieties at both ends survive, they may then be reclassified as two languages, even though no actual language change has occurred during the time of the loss of the central varieties. In this case, too, however, while mutual intelligibility between speakers of the distant remnant languages may be greatly constrained, it is likely not at the zero level of completely unrelated languages. In addition, political and social conventions often override considerations of mutual intelligibility in both scientific and non-scientific views. For example, the
varieties of Chinese Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, w ...
are often considered a single language even though there is usually no mutual intelligibility between geographically separated varieties. Another similar example would be
varieties of Arabic The varieties Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (universal algebra), classes of algebraic structures defined by equations in univers ...
. In contrast, there is often significant intelligibility between different
Scandinavian languages The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages—a sub-family of the Indo-European languages—along with the West Germanic languages and the extinct East Germanic languages. The language group is also re ...

Scandinavian languages
, but as each of them has its own
standard formStandard form may refer to: In mathematics and science *Canonical form *Linear equation#General (or standard) form, Standard form (''Ax'' + ''By'' = ''C'') – a common form of a linear equation *The more common term for normalis ...
, they are classified as separate languages. There is also significant intelligibility between
Thai languages The Southwestern Tai, Southwestern Thai or Thai languages are an established branch of the Tai languages of Southeast Asia. They include Thai language, Siamese (Central Thai), Lanna language, Lanna (Northern Thai), Lao language, Lao, Isan language, ...
of different regions of Thailand. However, others have suggested that these objections are misguided, as they collapse different concepts of what constitutes a "language". Many Turkic languages are also mutually intelligible to a higher or lower degree, but thorough empirical research is needed to establish the exact levels and patterns of mutual intelligibility between the languages of this linguistic family. The British Academy funded research project dedicated to examinin
mutual intelligibility
between Karakalpak, Kazakh and Uzbek languages is currently under way at the
University of Surrey The University of Surrey is a public research university in Guildford, Surrey, England. The university received its Royal Charter, royal charter in 1966, along with a Plate glass university, number of other institutions following recommendations ...
. To deal with the conflict in cases such as
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...
, Chinese and
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...
, the term ''
Dachsprache In sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural Norm (sociology), norms, expectations, and context, on the way language is used, and society's effect on language. ...

Dachsprache
'' (a
sociolinguistic Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the sam ...
"umbrella language") is sometimes seen: Chinese and German are languages in the sociolinguistic sense even though some speakers cannot understand each other without recourse to a standard or prestige form.


Asymmetric intelligibility

Asymmetric intelligibility refers to two languages that are considered partially mutually intelligible, but where one group of speakers has more difficulty understanding the other language than the other way around. There can be various reasons for this. If, for example, one language is related to another but has simplified its grammar, the speakers of the original language may understand the simplified language, but less vice versa. For example,
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
speakers tend to find it easier to understand
Afrikaans File:WIKITONGUES- Alaric speaking Afrikaans.webm, Alaric speaking Afrikaans. Afrikaans (, ) is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language spoken in South Africa, Namibia and, to a lesser extent, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It evolved ...
than vice versa as a result of Afrikaans' simplified grammar. Northern Germanic languages spoken in Scandinavia form a
dialect continuum A dialect continuum or dialect chain is a series of language varieties spoken across some geographical area such that neighboring varieties are mutually intelligible In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of languag ...
where two furthermost dialects have almost no mutual intelligibility. As such, spoken Danish and Swedish normally have low mutual intelligibility, but Swedes in the region (including
Malmö Malmö (, ; da, Malmø ) is the largest city in the Counties of Sweden, Swedish county (län) of Skåne County, Scania (Skåne). It is the List of urban areas in Sweden by population, third-largest city in Sweden, after Stockholm and Gothenburg ...

Malmö
and
Helsingborg Helsingborg (, , , ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Rou ...

Helsingborg
), across a strait from the Danish capital
Copenhagen Copenhagen ( da, København ) is the capital and most populous city of Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe. It is the most populous and politically central Constituent state, constit ...

Copenhagen
, understand Danish somewhat better, largely due to the proximity of the region to Danish-speaking areas. While Norway was under Danish rule, the
Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a North Germanic languages, North Germanic language spoken mainly in Norway, where it is an official language. A ...
written standard of Norwegian developed from
Dano-Norwegian Dano-Norwegian ( Danish and no, dansk-norsk) was a koiné/ mixed language that evolved among the urban elite in Norwegian cities during the later years of the union between the Kingdoms of Denmark and Norway (1536/1537–1814). It is from this ...
, a
koiné language In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ...
that evolved among the urban elite in Norwegian cities during the later years of the union. Additionally, Norwegian assimilated a considerable amount of Danish vocabulary as well as traditional Danish expressions. As a consequence, spoken mutual intelligibility is not reciprocal.


List of mutually intelligible languages


Written and spoken forms

*
Afrikaans File:WIKITONGUES- Alaric speaking Afrikaans.webm, Alaric speaking Afrikaans. Afrikaans (, ) is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language spoken in South Africa, Namibia and, to a lesser extent, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It evolved ...
:
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
(significantly) *
Azerbaijani Azerbaijani may refer to: * Something of, or related to Azerbaijan * Azerbaijanis * Azerbaijani language See also

* Azerbaijan (disambiguation) * Azeri (disambiguation) * Azerbaijani cuisine * Culture of Azerbaijan * {{Disambig Language a ...
: Crimean Tatar, Gagauz,
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

Turkish
and UrumKasapoğlu Çengel, Hülya (2004)
Ukrayna'daki Urum Türkleri ve Folkloru
Milli Folklor, 2004, Yıl. 16, S. 16, s. 59
(partially and asymmetrically) *
Belarusian Belarusian may refer to: * Something of, or related to Belarus * Belarusians, people from Belarus, or of Belarusian descent * A citizen of Belarus, see Demographics of Belarus * Belarusian language * Belarusian culture * Belarusian cuisine * Byeloru ...
:
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
and
Ukrainian Ukrainian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Ukraine * Something relating to Ukrainians an East Slavic people from Eastern Europe * Something relating to Demographics of Ukraine, in terms of demography: population of Ukraine * Somethi ...
(both partially)Alexander M. Schenker. 1993. "Proto-Slavonic," ''The Slavonic Languages''. (Routledge). Pp. 60–121. Pg. 60: "distinction between dialect and language being blurred, there can be no unanimity on this issue in all instances..."
C.F. Voegelin and F.M. Voegelin. 1977. ''Classification and Index of the World's Languages'' (Elsevier). Pg. 311, "In terms of immediate mutual intelligibility, the East Slavic zone is a single language."
Bernard Comrie. 1981. ''The Languages of the Soviet Union'' (Cambridge). Pg. 145–146: "The three East Slavonic languages are very close to one another, with very high rates of mutual intelligibility...The separation of Russian, Ukrainian, and Belorussian as distinct languages is relatively recent...Many Ukrainians in fact speak a mixture of Ukrainian and Russian, finding it difficult to keep the two languages apart...
*
Bulgarian Bulgarian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Bulgaria * Bulgarians, a South Slavic ethnic group * Bulgarian language, a Slavic language * Bulgarian alphabet * A citizen of Bulgaria, see Demographics of Bulgaria * Bulg ...

Bulgarian
:
Macedonian Macedonian most often refers to someone or something from or related to Macedonia (disambiguation), Macedonia. Macedonian may specifically refer to: People Modern * Macedonians (ethnic group), the South Slavic ethnic group primarily associated w ...
(significantly) Language profile Macedonian
, UCLA International Institute
* Cebuano: Hiligaynon (significantly) * Crimean Tatar:
Azerbaijani Azerbaijani may refer to: * Something of, or related to Azerbaijan * Azerbaijanis * Azerbaijani language See also

* Azerbaijan (disambiguation) * Azeri (disambiguation) * Azerbaijani cuisine * Culture of Azerbaijan * {{Disambig Language a ...
, Gagauz,
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

Turkish
and Urum (partially and asymmetrically) *
Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic (; cs, Česká republika ), also known by its short-form name, Czechia (; cz, Česko ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Au ...
:
Slovak Slovak may refer to: * Something from, related to, or belonging to Slovakia (''Slovenská republika'') * Slovaks, a Western Slavic ethnic group * Slovak language, an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages * Slovak, Arkans ...
(significantly),
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
(partially) *
Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral or ethnic identity * Danis ...
:
Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *Norwegians, both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway *Demographics of Norway *The Norwegian language, including the t ...
and
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langua ...
(both partially and asymmetrically) *
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
:
Afrikaans File:WIKITONGUES- Alaric speaking Afrikaans.webm, Alaric speaking Afrikaans. Afrikaans (, ) is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language spoken in South Africa, Namibia and, to a lesser extent, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It evolved ...
(in written form; in spoken form partially), and West Frisian (partially) *
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
: Scots (significantly) *
Estonian Estonian may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Estonia, a country in the Baltic region in northern Europe *Estonians, people from Estonia, or of Estonian descent *Estonian language *Estonian cuisine *Estonian culture See also

* * La ...
:
Finnish Finnish may refer to: * Something or someone from, or related to Finland * Finnish culture * Finnish people or Finns, the primary ethnic group in Finland * Finnish language, the national language of the Finnish people * Finnish cuisine See also

...
(partially) *
Finnish Finnish may refer to: * Something or someone from, or related to Finland * Finnish culture * Finnish people or Finns, the primary ethnic group in Finland * Finnish language, the national language of the Finnish people * Finnish cuisine See also

...
:
Estonian Estonian may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Estonia, a country in the Baltic region in northern Europe *Estonians, people from Estonia, or of Estonian descent *Estonian language *Estonian cuisine *Estonian culture See also

* * La ...
(partially), (significantly) and
Meänkieli Meänkieli (literally "our language") is a Finnic language or a group of distinct Finnish dialects spoken in the northernmost part of Sweden along the valley of the Torne River The Torne, also known as the Tornio ( fi, Tornionjoki, sv, Torne ...

Meänkieli
(significantly) * Gagauz:
Azerbaijani Azerbaijani may refer to: * Something of, or related to Azerbaijan * Azerbaijanis * Azerbaijani language See also

* Azerbaijan (disambiguation) * Azeri (disambiguation) * Azerbaijani cuisine * Culture of Azerbaijan * {{Disambig Language a ...
, Crimean Tatar,
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

Turkish
and Urum (partially and asymmetrically) *
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
:
Luxembourgish Luxembourgish ( ; also ''Luxemburgish'', ''Luxembourgian'', ''Letzebu(e)rgesch''; Luxembourgish: ) is a West Germanic language that is spoken mainly in Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: ...
(partially) * Hiligaynon:
Capiznon Capiznon or Capiceño is an Austronesian language, Austronesian regional language spoken in Western Visayas in the Philippines. Capiznon is concentrated in the province of Capiz in the northeast of Panay Island. It is a member of the Bisayan langua ...
(significantly) and Cebuano (significantly) *
Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ** Northern Ireland, a constituent unit of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and North ...
:
Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig ), also known as Scots Gaelic and Gaelic, is a Goidelic language The Goidelic or Gaelic languages ( ga, teangacha Gaelacha; gd, cànanan Goidhealach; gv, çhengaghyn Gaelgagh) form one of the two groups of ...
(partially; varies greatly according to dialect. The greatest mutual intelligibility is between
Ulster Irish Ulster (; ga, Ulaidh or ''Cúige Uladh'' ; sco, label= Ulster Scots, Ulstèr or ''Ulster'') is one of the four traditional Irish provinces, in the north of Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an ...
and southern Scottish dialects.). See also:
Comparison of Scottish Gaelic and Irish A chart showing a comparison of qualities of a variety of cooking oils, aimed at helping the reader decide which choices would be best for their health. Comparison or comparing is the act of evaluating two or more things by determining the relev ...
. *
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
:
CorsicanCorsican may refer to: *Someone or something from Corsica *Corsicans, inhabitants of Corsica *Corsican language, a Romance language spoken on Corsica and northern Sardinia *Corsican Republic, a former country in Europe *"The Corsicans", the original ...
(significantly),
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
,
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
and
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * Ca ...
(partially) *
Limburgish Limburgish ( li, Lèmburgs ; nl, Limburgs ; german: Limburgisch ; french: Limbourgeois ), also called Limburgan, Limburgian, or Limburgic, is a West Germanic language spoken in the Dutch and Belgian provinces of Limburg and in the neighbouri ...
:
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
and
Afrikaans File:WIKITONGUES- Alaric speaking Afrikaans.webm, Alaric speaking Afrikaans. Afrikaans (, ) is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language spoken in South Africa, Namibia and, to a lesser extent, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It evolved ...
(partially) *
Luxembourgish Luxembourgish ( ; also ''Luxemburgish'', ''Luxembourgian'', ''Letzebu(e)rgesch''; Luxembourgish: ) is a West Germanic language that is spoken mainly in Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: ...
:
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
(partially) *
Macedonian Macedonian most often refers to someone or something from or related to Macedonia (disambiguation), Macedonia. Macedonian may specifically refer to: People Modern * Macedonians (ethnic group), the South Slavic ethnic group primarily associated w ...
:
Bulgarian Bulgarian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Bulgaria * Bulgarians, a South Slavic ethnic group * Bulgarian language, a Slavic language * Bulgarian alphabet * A citizen of Bulgaria, see Demographics of Bulgaria * Bulg ...

Bulgarian
(significantly),
Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branches ...
(partially and asymmetrically)Macedonian language
on UCLA
*
Maltese Maltese may refer to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to Malta * Maltese alphabet * Maltese cuisine * Maltese culture * Maltese language, the Semitic language spoken by Maltese people * Maltese people, people from Malta or of Maltese ...
: Sicilian (partially)Borg, Albert J.; Azzopardi-Alexander, Marie (1997). Maltese. Routledge. . *
Manchu The Manchu (; ) are an officially recognized ethnic minority in China and the people from whom Manchuria Manchuria is an exonym and endonym, exonym for a historical and geographic region of Russia and China in Northeast Asia (mostly in N ...
: Xibe *
Marathi Marathi may refer to: *Marathi people, an Indo-Aryan ethno-linguistic group of Maharashtra, India *Marathi language, the Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people *Palaiosouda, also known as Marathi, a small island in Greece See also

...
: Konkani (significantly) *
Moroccan Arabic Moroccan Arabic ( ar, اللهجة المغربية, ), known as Darija in Morocco, is a form of vernacular Arabic spoken in Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in n ...

Moroccan Arabic
:
Algerian Arabic Algerian Arabic (known as Darja in Algeria) is a dialect derived from the form Form is the shape, visual appearance, or :wikt:configuration, configuration of an object. In a wider sense, the form is the way something happens. Form also refers ...
(significantly), yet the mutual intelligibility degree may vary depending on local dialects *
Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *Norwegians, both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway *Demographics of Norway *The Norwegian language, including the t ...
:
Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral or ethnic identity * Danis ...
and
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langua ...
(both partially and asymmetrically) *
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
:
Slovak Slovak may refer to: * Something from, related to, or belonging to Slovakia (''Slovenská republika'') * Slovaks, a Western Slavic ethnic group * Slovak language, an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages * Slovak, Arkans ...
(reasonably),
Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic (; cs, Česká republika ), also known by its short-form name, Czechia (; cz, Česko ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Au ...
(partially) *
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
:
GalicianGalician may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Galicia (Spain) ** Galician language ** Galician people ** Gallaeci, a large Celtic tribal federation who inhabited Gallaecia (currently Galicia (Spain) * Something of, from, or related to ...
(very high),
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
(significantly in written form; asymmetrically in spoken form),
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * Ca ...
(partially) and
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
(partially)GAVILANES LASO, J. L. (1996) ''Algunas consideraciones sobre la inteligibilidad mutua hispano-portuguesa'' In: Actas del Congreso Internacional Luso-Español de Lengua y Cultura en la Frontera, Cáceres, Universidad de Extremadura, 175–187. *
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
:
Belarusian Belarusian may refer to: * Something of, or related to Belarus * Belarusians, people from Belarus, or of Belarusian descent * A citizen of Belarus, see Demographics of Belarus * Belarusian language * Belarusian culture * Belarusian cuisine * Byeloru ...
and
Ukrainian Ukrainian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Ukraine * Something relating to Ukrainians an East Slavic people from Eastern Europe * Something relating to Demographics of Ukraine, in terms of demography: population of Ukraine * Somethi ...
(both partially) *
Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branches ...
:
Slovene Slovene or Slovenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Slovenia, a country in Central Europe * Slovene language, a South Slavic language mainly spoken in Slovenia * Slovenes, an ethno-linguistic group mainly living in Slovenia * Sla ...
(partially and asymmetrically),
Macedonian Macedonian most often refers to someone or something from or related to Macedonia (disambiguation), Macedonia. Macedonian may specifically refer to: People Modern * Macedonians (ethnic group), the South Slavic ethnic group primarily associated w ...
(partially and asymmetrically) *
Slovak Slovak may refer to: * Something from, related to, or belonging to Slovakia (''Slovenská republika'') * Slovaks, a Western Slavic ethnic group * Slovak language, an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages * Slovak, Arkans ...
:
Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic (; cs, Česká republika ), also known by its short-form name, Czechia (; cz, Česko ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Au ...
(significantly),
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
(reasonably) *
Slovene Slovene or Slovenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Slovenia, a country in Central Europe * Slovene language, a South Slavic language mainly spoken in Slovenia * Slovenes, an ethno-linguistic group mainly living in Slovenia * Sla ...
:
Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branches ...
(partially and asymmetrically) *
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
:
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
(significantly in written form; asymmetrically in spoken form),
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
(partially) and
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * Ca ...
(partially) *
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langua ...
:
Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral or ethnic identity * Danis ...
and
Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *Norwegians, both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway *Demographics of Norway *The Norwegian language, including the t ...
(both partially and asymmetrically) *
Tunisian Arabic Tunisian Arabic, or simply Tunisian, is a set of dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "discourse", from , , "through" and , , "I speak") is used in two distinct ways to refer to two different types of Lingui ...
:
Maltese Maltese may refer to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to Malta * Maltese alphabet * Maltese cuisine * Maltese culture * Maltese language, the Semitic language spoken by Maltese people * Maltese people, people from Malta or of Maltese ...
(significantly),
Algerian Arabic Algerian Arabic (known as Darja in Algeria) is a dialect derived from the form Form is the shape, visual appearance, or :wikt:configuration, configuration of an object. In a wider sense, the form is the way something happens. Form also refers ...
and
Libyan Arabic Libyan Arabic ( ar, ليبي ''Lībī'') is a variety of Arabic spoken mainly in Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībīyā), officially the State of Libya, ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībīyā) is a country in the Maghreb region in Nort ...
(both partially) *
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

Turkish
:
Azerbaijani Azerbaijani may refer to: * Something of, or related to Azerbaijan * Azerbaijanis * Azerbaijani language See also

* Azerbaijan (disambiguation) * Azeri (disambiguation) * Azerbaijani cuisine * Culture of Azerbaijan * {{Disambig Language a ...
, Crimean Tatar, Gagauz and Urum (partially and asymmetrically) *
Ukrainian Ukrainian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Ukraine * Something relating to Ukrainians an East Slavic people from Eastern Europe * Something relating to Demographics of Ukraine, in terms of demography: population of Ukraine * Somethi ...
:
Belarusian Belarusian may refer to: * Something of, or related to Belarus * Belarusians, people from Belarus, or of Belarusian descent * A citizen of Belarus, see Demographics of Belarus * Belarusian language * Belarusian culture * Belarusian cuisine * Byeloru ...
and
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
(both partially) * Urum:
Azerbaijani Azerbaijani may refer to: * Something of, or related to Azerbaijan * Azerbaijanis * Azerbaijani language See also

* Azerbaijan (disambiguation) * Azeri (disambiguation) * Azerbaijani cuisine * Culture of Azerbaijan * {{Disambig Language a ...
, Crimean Tatar, Gagauz and
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

Turkish
(partially and asymmetrically) *
Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, indigenous to the British Isles, spoken in Wales ** Patagonian Welsh, a dialect of Wels ...
:
Breton Breton most often refers to: *anything associated with Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo language, Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula and cultural region in the west of France, covering the western part ...
and
Cornish Cornish is the adjective and demonym associated with Cornwall, the most southwesterly part of the United Kingdom. It may refer to: * Cornish language, a Brittonic Southwestern Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, spoken in Cornwall ...
(both partially) * Xibe:
Manchu The Manchu (; ) are an officially recognized ethnic minority in China and the people from whom Manchuria Manchuria is an exonym and endonym, exonym for a historical and geographic region of Russia and China in Northeast Asia (mostly in N ...
*
Zulu Zulu may refer to: Zulu people * Zulu Kingdom or Zulu Empire, a former monarchy in what is now South Africa * Zulu language, a Bantu language spoken in southern Africa * Zulu people, an ethnic group of southern Africa Arts, entertainment, and med ...
: Northern Ndebele (partially),
Xhosa Xhosa may refer to: * Xhosa people, a nation, and ethnic group, who live in south-central and southeasterly region of South Africa * Xhosa language, one of the 11 official languages of South Africa, principally spoken by the Xhosa people See also ...
(partially), and Swazi (partially; the first three are often considered to be dialects of a uniform Zunda language)


Spoken forms mainly

* Akha, Honi,
Hani Hani may refer to: People * Hani (name) * Hani (producer), a record producer and remixer from New York City * Hani (singer), a South Korean singer and member of EXID * Hani people, an ethnic group of China and Vietnam Places * Hani, an island in I ...
(variety of different written scripts) * Dungan:
Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and can compose the administration o ...
, especially with
Central Plains Mandarin start=72, A native of Tanghe County, Henan. Central Plains Mandarin, or ''Zhongyuan'' Mandarin (), is a variety of Mandarin Chinese Mandarin (; ) is a group of Sinitic (Chinese) languages spoken across most of northern and southwestern Chi ...
p. 351. (partially; Dungan is usually written in Cyrillic and Mandarin usually in Chinese characters) * Esan:
Edo Edo ( ja, , , "bay-entrance" or " estuary"), also romanized as Jedo, Yedo or Yeddo, is the former name of Tokyo Tokyo ( , ; Japanese language, Japanese: 東京, ''Tōkyō'' ), officially the Tokyo Metropolis (Japanese language, Japanese ...
(the different varieties of
Edoid The Edoid languages are some two-to-three dozen languages spoken in Southern Nigeria, predominantly in the former Bendel State. The name ''Edoid'' derives from its most widely spoken member, Edo language, Edo, the language of Benin City, which has ...
languages are mutually intelligible, such that successful communication between speakers is not affected). *
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
:
Yiddish Yiddish (, or , ''yidish'' or ''idish'', , ; , ''Yidish-Taytsh'', ) is a West Germanic language historically spoken by Ashkenazi Jews Ashkenazi Jews ( are a Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciatio ...

Yiddish
(because German is usually written in Latin script and Yiddish usually in the
Hebrew alphabet The Hebrew alphabet ( he, wikt:אלפבית, אָלֶף־בֵּית עִבְרִי, ), known variously by scholars as the Ktav Ashuri, Jewish script, square script and block script, is an abjad script used in the writing of the Hebrew language ...

Hebrew alphabet
). However, Yiddish's use of many borrowed words, chiefly from Hebrew and Slavic languages, makes it more difficult for a German speaker to understand spoken Yiddish than the reverse. *
Hindi Hindi ( Devanagari: हिन्दी, IAST/ ISO 15919: ''Hindī''), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi ( Devanagari: मानक हिन्दी, IAST/ ISO 15919: ''Mānak Hindī''), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in ...

Hindi
:
Urdu Urdu (; ur, , ALA-LC ALA-LC ( American Library Association - Library of Congress) is a set of standards for romanization, the representation of text in other writing system A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal c ...

Urdu
. See the article on
Hindustani language Hindustani (; Devanagari Devanagari ( ; , , Sanskrit pronunciation: ), also called Nagari (''Nāgarī'', ),Kathleen Kuiper (2010), The Culture of India, New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, , page 83 is a left-to-right abugida . ''M ...
. * Maltese:
Tunisian Arabic Tunisian Arabic, or simply Tunisian, is a set of dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "discourse", from , , "through" and , , "I speak") is used in two distinct ways to refer to two different types of Lingui ...
(partially; Maltese is written with the
Latin script Latin script, also known as Roman script, is a set of graphic signs (Writing system#General properties, script) based on the letters of the classical Latin alphabet. This is derived from a form of the Cumae alphabet, Cumaean Greek version of the ...

Latin script
while Tunisian Arabic is written with the ) *
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
:
Judeo-Spanish Judaeo-Spanish or Judeo-Spanish (autonym , Hebrew script: , Cyrillic , bg, кирилица , mk, кирилица , russian: кириллица , sr, ћирилица, uk, кирилиця , fam1 = Egyptian hieroglyphs Egyptian hierog ...
(because Spanish is usually written in Latin script and Judeo-Spanish usually in the Hebrew alphabet). Depending on dialect and the number of non-Spanish loanwords used. *
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
:
Ukrainian Ukrainian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Ukraine * Something relating to Ukrainians an East Slavic people from Eastern Europe * Something relating to Demographics of Ukraine, in terms of demography: population of Ukraine * Somethi ...
and
Belarusian Belarusian may refer to: * Something of, or related to Belarus * Belarusians, people from Belarus, or of Belarusian descent * A citizen of Belarus, see Demographics of Belarus * Belarusian language * Belarusian culture * Belarusian cuisine * Byeloru ...
(both partially; moreover, Belarusian and Ukrainian are written in
Cyrillic , bg, кирилица , mk, кирилица , russian: кириллица , sr, ћирилица, uk, кирилиця , fam1 = Egyptian hieroglyphs , fam2 = Proto-Sinaitic , fam3 = Phoenician alphabet, Phoenician , ...
, while Polish is written in
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the ...

Latin
) *
Thai Thai or THAI may refer to: * Of or from Thailand, a country in Southeast Asia ** Thai people, the dominant ethnic group of Thailand ** Thai language, a Tai-Kadai language spoken mainly in and around Thailand *** Thai script *** Thai (Unicode block) ...

Thai
: Southern Thai,
Lao__NOTOC__ Lao may refer to: Laos * Something of, from, or related to Laos, a country in Southeast Asia * Lao people (people from Laos, or of Lao descent) * The Lao language * Lao script, the writing system used to write the Lao language ** Lao (Un ...

Lao
(
Isan Northeast Thailand or Isan ( Isan/ th, อีสาน, ; lo, ອີສານ ; also written as Isaan, Isarn, Issarn, Issan, Esan, or Esarn; from Pali Pali () is a Middle Indo-Aryan liturgical language native to the Indian subcontine ...
), Northern Thai,
Shan Shan may refer to: People *Shan (surname), or 单 in Chinese, a Chinese surname *Shan, a variant of the Welsh given name usually spelled Siân *Occasionally used as a short form of Shannen/Shannon (given name), Shannon Ethnic groups *Shan people ...
and
Tai Lue Tai Lue (Tai Lü: , ''kam tai lue'', , Tai Tham spelling: ) or Tai Lɯ, Tai Lü, Thai Lue, Tai Le, Xishuangbanna Dai (; my, လူးရှမ်း, luu Shan; lo, ພາສາໄຕລື້; th, ภาษาไทลื้อ, ''phasa thai l ...
(both partially and asymmetrically, only Central Thai and Southern Thai are significantly degree both in written and spoken forms, while other languages having its own script.)


Written forms mainly

*
French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consistin ...

French
:
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
,
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
and
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
. French in its spoken form is not mutually intelligible with Spanish, Portuguese, or Italian due to the great phonological changes that it underwent in recent centuries, but it has partial intelligibility with all three in written form because it preserves its writing from
Middle French Middle French (french: moyen français) is a historical division of the French language French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured ...
with very few changes. According to phonological studies, French is the Romance language that has distanced itself the most from Latin. Also, the use of some Germanic words in the common lexicon makes it more difficult for speakers of other Romance languages to understand. According to
Ethnologue ''Ethnologue: Languages of the World'' (stylized as Ethnoloɠue) is an annual reference publication in print and online that provides statistics and other information on the living language A language is a structured system of communicatio ...
, French has 89%
lexical similarity In linguistics, lexical similarity is a measure of the degree to which the word sets of two given languages are similar. A lexical similarity of 1 (or 100%) would mean a total overlap between vocabularies, whereas 0 means there are no common words. ...
with Italian and 75% with Portuguese and Spanish (both of which have incorporated some Arabic vocabulary). *
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
:
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
. Standard Dutch and
Standard German Standard High German (SHG), less precisely Standard German or High German (not to be confused with High German The High German languages or High German dialects (german: hochdeutsche Mundarten) comprise the varieties of German spoken south ...
show a limited degree of mutual intelligibility when written. One study concluded that when concerning written language, Dutch speakers could translate 50.2% of the provided German words correctly, while the German test subjects were able to translate 41.9% of the Dutch equivalents correctly. Another study showed that while Dutch speakers could correctly translate 71% of German
cognate In linguistics, cognates, also called lexical cognates, are words that have a common etymology, etymological origin. Cognates are often inherited from a proto-language, shared parent language, but they may also involve loanword, borrowings from ...
s, they could only translate 26.6% of non-cognates correctly, suggesting a widely fluctuating intelligibility. In terms of orthography, 22% of the vocabulary of Dutch and German is identical or near identical. The
Levenshtein distance In information theory Information theory is the scientific study of the quantification, storage, and communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (phi ...
between written Dutch and German is 50.4% as opposed to 61.7% between English and Dutch. The spoken languages are much more difficult to understand for both. Studies show Dutch speakers have slightly less difficulty in understanding German speakers than vice versa. It remains unclear whether this
asymmetry Asymmetry is the absence of, or a violation of, symmetry (the property of an object being invariant to a transformation, such as reflection). Symmetry is an important property of both physical and abstract systems and it may be displayed in prec ...

asymmetry
has to do with prior knowledge of the language (Dutch people are more exposed to German than vice versa), better knowledge of another related language (
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
) or any other non-linguistic reasons. *
Icelandic Icelandic refers to anything of, from, or related to Iceland and may refer to: *Icelandic people *Icelandic language *Icelandic alphabet *Icelandic cuisine See also

* Icelander (disambiguation) * Icelandic Airlines, a predecessor of Icelandai ...
:
Faroese Faroese ( ) or Faroish ( ) may refer to anything pertaining to the Faroe Islands, e.g.: *the Faroese language * the Faroese people {{Disambiguation Language and nationality disambiguation pages ...
. *
ChechenChechen may refer to: *Chechens, an ethnic group of the Caucasus *Chechen language *Metopium brownei, also known as the chechen, chechem, or black poisonwood tree *Related to Chechnya (Chechen Republic) *Related to the former Chechen Republic of Ich ...
: Ingush.


List of mutually intelligible varieties

Below is an ''incomplete'' list of fully and partially mutually intelligible varieties sometimes considered languages. *
Dari (, , ) or Dari Persian (, ) is the political term used for the dialect of Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym Farsi (, ', ), is a Western Iranian language belonging to the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian subdivi ...

Dari
:
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...
and Tajik * Karakalpak: Kazakh and Nogai * Kazakh: Karakalpak, Nogai, Altay and Kyrgyz language, Kyrgyz * Kinyarwanda: Kirundi * Kirundi: Kinyarwanda * Kyrgyz language, Kyrgyz: Kazakh and Altay and Karakalpak *
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...
:
Dari (, , ) or Dari Persian (, ) is the political term used for the dialect of Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym Farsi (, ', ), is a Western Iranian language belonging to the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian subdivi ...

Dari
and Tajik * Samoan language, Samoan: Tokelauan language, Tokelauan and Tuvaluan language, Tuvaluan (partially) * Tajik:
Dari (, , ) or Dari Persian (, ) is the political term used for the dialect of Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym Farsi (, ', ), is a Western Iranian language belonging to the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian subdivi ...

Dari
and
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...
* Tokelauan language, Tokelauan: Tuvaluan language, Tuvaluan and Samoan language, Samoan (partially) * Tuvaluan language, Tuvaluan: Tokelauan language, Tokelauan and Samoan language, Samoan (partially)


Dialects or registers of one language sometimes considered separate languages

* Akan language, Akan: Twi and Fante dialect, Fante. * Northeastern Neo-Aramaic (NENA) is a
dialect continuum A dialect continuum or dialect chain is a series of language varieties spoken across some geographical area such that neighboring varieties are mutually intelligible In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of languag ...
, with some dialects being mutually intelligible and others not. While Zakho Jewish Neo-Aramaic and Zakho Christian Neo-Aramaic are mutually intelligible, especially on the eastern edge (in Iran), Jewish and Christian NENA varieties spoken in the same town are not mutually intelligible. *
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * Ca ...
: Valencian language, Valencian – the standard forms are structurally the same language and share the vast majority of their vocabulary, and hence highly mutually intelligible. They are considered separate languages only for political reasons. * Hindustani language, Hindustani:
Hindi Hindi ( Devanagari: हिन्दी, IAST/ ISO 15919: ''Hindī''), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi ( Devanagari: मानक हिन्दी, IAST/ ISO 15919: ''Mānak Hindī''), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in ...

Hindi
and
Urdu Urdu (; ur, , ALA-LC ALA-LC ( American Library Association - Library of Congress) is a set of standards for romanization, the representation of text in other writing system A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal c ...

Urdu
– the standard forms are separate registers of structurally the same language (called Hindustani or Hindi-Urdu), with Hindi written in Devanagari and Urdu mainly in a Persian alphabet, Perso-Arabic script, and with Hindi drawing its literary and formal vocabulary mainly from Sanskrit and Urdu drawing it mainly from
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...
and Arabic language, Arabic. * Malay language, Malay: Indonesian language, Indonesian (the standard regulated by Indonesia) and Malaysian language, Malaysian (the standard used in Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore). Both varieties are based on the same material basis and hence are generally Comparison of Standard Malay and Indonesian, mutually intelligible, despite the numerous lexical differences. Certain linguistic sources also treat the two standards on equal standing as varieties of the same Malay language. Malaysians tend to assert that Malaysian and Indonesian are merely different normative varieties of the same language, while Indonesians tend to treat them as separate, albeit closely related, languages. However, vernacular or less formal varieties spoken between these two countries share limited intelligibility, evidenced by Malaysians having difficulties understanding Indonesian soap opera, sinetron (soap opera) aired on their TV stations, and vice versa. *
Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branches ...
: Bosnian language, Bosnian, Croatian language, Croatian, Montenegrin language, Montenegrin, and Serbian language, Serbian – the national varieties are structurally the same language, all constituting normative varieties of the Shtokavian dialect, and hence mutually intelligible, spoken and written (if the Latin alphabet is used). For political reasons, they are sometimes considered distinct languages. ** The non-standard vernacular dialects of Serbo-Croatian (Kajkavian dialect, Kajkavian, Chakavian dialect, Chakavian and Torlakian dialect, Torlakian) diverge more significantly from all four normative varieties. As Shtokavian has its own Shtokavian#Classification, set of subdialects, they are considered by some linguists as separate languages, albeit closely related to Shtokavian Serbo-Croatian, rather than as Serbo-Croatian dialects. Their mutual intelligibility varies greatly, between the dialects themselves, with Shtokavian, and with other languages. Kajkavian has higher mutual intelligibility with
Slovene Slovene or Slovenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Slovenia, a country in Central Europe * Slovene language, a South Slavic language mainly spoken in Slovenia * Slovenes, an ethno-linguistic group mainly living in Slovenia * Sla ...
than with the national varieties of Shtokavian, while Chakavian has a low mutual intelligibility with either, in part due to its large number of loanwords from Venetian language, Venetian. Torlakian (considered a subdialect of Serbian Old Shtokavian by some) has significant mutual intelligibility with
Macedonian Macedonian most often refers to someone or something from or related to Macedonia (disambiguation), Macedonia. Macedonian may specifically refer to: People Modern * Macedonians (ethnic group), the South Slavic ethnic group primarily associated w ...
and
Bulgarian Bulgarian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Bulgaria * Bulgarians, a South Slavic ethnic group * Bulgarian language, a Slavic language * Bulgarian alphabet * A citizen of Bulgaria, see Demographics of Bulgaria * Bulg ...

Bulgarian
. All South Slavic languages in effect form a large
dialect continuum A dialect continuum or dialect chain is a series of language varieties spoken across some geographical area such that neighboring varieties are mutually intelligible In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of languag ...
of gradually mutually intelligible varieties depending on distance between the areas where they are spoken. * Romanian language, Romanian: "Moldovan language, Moldovan" – the standard forms are structurally the same language, and hence mutually intelligible. They are Controversy over ethnic and linguistic identity in Moldova, considered separate languages only for political reasons and many Moldovans declare their language to be Romanian and their desire to Unification of Romania and Moldova, unite with Romania. * Tagalog language, Tagalog: Filipino language, Filipino – the national language of the Philippines, Filipino, is based almost entirely on the Luzon dialects of Tagalog.


Dialect continua


Romance

Because of the difficulty of imposing boundaries on a continuum, various counts of the Romance languages are given; in ''The Linguasphere register of the world’s languages and speech communities'' David Dalby lists 23 based on mutual intelligibility:David Dalby, 1999/2000, ''The Linguasphere register of the world’s languages and speech communities.'' Observatoire Linguistique, Linguasphere Press. Volume 2, p. 390-410 (zone 51). Oxfor

* Iberian Romance languages, Iberian Romance:
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
,
GalicianGalician may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Galicia (Spain) ** Galician language ** Galician people ** Gallaeci, a large Celtic tribal federation who inhabited Gallaecia (currently Galicia (Spain) * Something of, from, or related to ...
, Mirandese language, Mirandese, Astur-Leonese languages, Astur-Leonese,
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
, Aragonese language, Aragonese; * Occitano-Romance languages, Occitano-Romance:
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * Ca ...
, Occitan language, Occitan; * Gallo-Romance languages, Gallo-Romance: Langues d'oïl (including
French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consistin ...

French
), Franco-Provençal language, Franco-Provençal; * Rhaeto-Romance languages, Rhaeto-Romance: Romansh language, Romansh, Ladin language, Ladin, Friulian language, Friulian; * Gallo-Italic languages, Gallo-Italic: Piedmontese language, Piedmontese, Ligurian (Romance language), Ligurian, Lombard language, Lombard, Emilian-Romagnol language, Emilian-Romagnol, Venetian language, Venetian; * Italo-Dalmatian languages, Italo-Dalmatian:
CorsicanCorsican may refer to: *Someone or something from Corsica *Corsicans, inhabitants of Corsica *Corsican language, a Romance language spoken on Corsica and northern Sardinia *Corsican Republic, a former country in Europe *"The Corsicans", the original ...
,
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
, Neapolitan language, Neapolitan, Sicilian, Istriot language, Istriot, Dalmatian language, Dalmatian (extinct); * Sardinian language, Sardinian; * Eastern Romance languages, Eastern Romance: Romanian language, Daco-Romanian, Istro-Romanian language, Istro-Romanian, Aromanian language, Aromanian, Megleno-Romanian language, Megleno-Romanian.


See also

* Sister language * Dialect continuum * Dialect levelling * Koiné language * Language secessionism * Lexical similarity * Lingua franca * Multilingualism * Non-convergent discourse * Pluricentric language * Standard language


References


Further reading

* * * *


External links


Harold Schiffman, "Linguists' Definition: mutual intelligibility"
University of Pennsylvania.
Common words between languages
{{DEFAULTSORT:Mutual Intelligibility Language varieties and styles Comparative linguistics Dialectology