The manner in which languages evolve over time is immensely complex, and can be kind of difficult to understand. So linguists like to visually represent languages as a tree. Like most academic diagrams, the tree is usually a fairly dull thing to look at, but Finnish-Swedish webcomic artist Minna Sundberg has put together this spectacularly beautiful depiction of where the world’s Nordic languages originally came from. Sundberg is the artist of the beautiful, post-apocalyptic webcomic Stand Still, Stay Silent. This graphic is part of that series, so the image does not show all of the world’s languages, just the ones that are relevant to the story. Still, the result is absolutely beautiful in a way you just don’t expect from an education diagram.

Larger version here. Art by Minna Sundberg

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