The first Germanic sound shift separated Proto-Germanic (the common ancestor of all Germanic languages) from other Indo-European proto-languages. The table below compares words from Latin and Greek (non-Germanic languages unaffected by these shifts, though affected by others) with their cognates in two Germanic languages: English and German.

* The second Germanic sound shift separated Old High German from other Germanic languages, such as English, Dutch, Low German, and the Scandinavian languages. The table below compares words from English (a language wholly unaffected by these shifts) with their cognates in German, a modern descendant of Old High German.

** At the time the d>t shift occured in Old High German, mother and father were modor and fæder in (Old) English.