European Languages and Linguistics

Europe and Languages

See below how many language does exist in Europe today!

Population - 728,096,620
Living Languages - 284

Institutional: 81,
Developing: 61,
Vigorous: 45,
In Trouble: 49,
Dying: 48

Languages of Europe

Most of the languages of Europe belong to the Indo-European language family divided into a number of branches, including Romance,GermanicBalticSlavicAlbanianCelticArmenian and Greek, and also the Uralic (Hungro-Finn) languages, which include Hungarian,Finnish, and Estonian
The Turkic and Mongolic families also have several European members, while the North Caucasian and Kartvelian (Georgian) families are important in the southeastern extremity of geographical Europe. 
The Basque language of the western Pyrenees is an isolate unrelated to any other group. 
Maltese is the only (partly) Semitic language in Europe with national language status.


Indo-European languages

See also: List of Indo-European languages The Indo-European language family descended from Proto-Indo-European, believed to have been spoken thousands of years ago. Indo-European languages are spoken throughout Europe, but particularly dominate Western Europe.


Albanian has two major dialects, Gheg and Tosk. It is spoken in AlbaniaKosovo (Kosovar Albanians) and parts of Montenegro (Albanians in Montenegro), Serbia (mainly in Preševo Valley), Turkey, southern Italy (Arbëresh), western parts of MacedoniaGreece (Arvanitika andCham Albanians) and Albanian diaspora.


Armenian has two major dialects, Western Armenian and Eastern Armenian. It is spoken in Armenia, where it has sole official status, and is also spoken in neighboring GeorgiaIran, and Azerbaijan (mainly in Nagorno-Karabakh Republic). It is also spoken in Turkey by a very small minority (Western Armenian and Homshetsi), and by small minorities in many other countries where members of the widely dispersed Armenian diaspora reside.

Baltic languages

Distribution of the Baltic languages in the Baltic (simplified).The Baltic languages are spoken in Lithuania (LithuanianSamogitian) and Latvia (LatvianLatgalian). Samogitian and Latgalian are usually considered to be dialects of Lithuanian and Latvian respectively.New Curonian is nearly extinct: it was spoken in the Curonian Spit which is now divided between Lithuania and the Kaliningrad Oblast. There are also several extinct Baltic languages, including Old Prussian and Sudovian.


The Celtic nations, where most Celtic speakers are now concentratedThere are six living Celtic languages, spoken in areas of northwestern Europe dubbed the "Celtic nations". All six are members of the Insular Celtic family, which in turn is divided into:

Continental Celtic languages had previously been spoken across Europe from Iberia and Gaul to Asia Minor, but became extinct in the first millennium AD.


The present-day distribution of the Germanic languages in Europe:
North Germanic languages Icelandic Faroese Norwegian Swedish DanishWest Germanic languages Scots English Frisian Dutch Low German German Dots indicate areas where multilingualism is common.The Germanic languages make up the predominant language family in northwestern Europe, reaching from Iceland to Sweden and from parts of the United Kingdom and Ireland to Austria. There are two extant major sub-divisions: West Germanic and North Germanic. A third group, East Germanic, is now extinct; the only known surviving East Germanic texts are written in the Gothic language.

West Germanic

There are three major groupings of West Germanic languagesAnglo-FrisianLow Franconian (now primarily modern Dutch) and High German.


Main articles: Anglo-Frisian languages and English-speaking Europe The Anglo-Frisian language family has two major groups:


Main articles: German language and German-speaking EuropeGerman is spoken throughout GermanyAustriaLiechtenstein, the East Cantons of Belgium and much of Switzerland (including the northeast areas bordering on Germany and Austria).There are several groups of German dialects:

Low Franconian

Main articles: Low Franconian and Dutch-speaking Europe

North Germanic

The North Germanic languages are spoken in Scandinavian countries and include Danish (DenmarkGreenland and the Faroe Islands),Norwegian (Norway), Swedish (Sweden and parts of Finland), Elfdalian or Övdalian (in a small part of central Sweden), Faroese (Faroe Islands), and Icelandic (Iceland).


Main article: Hellenic languages

Indo-Iranian languages

The Indo-Iranian languages have two major groupings, Indo-Aryan languages including Romani, and Iranian languages, which includeKurdishPersian, and Ossetian.

Romance languages

Author ArnoldPlaton, png: Hayden120

Romance languages, 20th century The Romance languages descended from the Vulgar Latin spoken across most of the lands of the Roman Empire. Some of the Romance languages are official in the European Union and the Latin Union and the more prominent ones are studied in many educational institutions worldwide. Three of the Romance languages (SpanishFrench, and Portuguese) are spoken by one billion speakers worldwide. Many other Romance languages and their local varieties are spoken throughout Europe, and some are recognized as regional languages.The list below is a summary of Romance languages commonly encountered in Europe:


Slavic languages in EuropeSee also: Slavic languagesSlavic languages are spoken in large areas of Central EuropeSouthern Europe and Eastern Europe including Russia.

Languages not from the Indo-European family


Main article: Basque language
The Basque language (or Euskara) is a language isolate and the ancestral language of the Basque people who inhabit the Basque Country, a region in the western Pyrenees mountains mostly in northeastern Spain and partly in southwestern France of about 3 million inhabitants, where it is spoken fluently by about 750,000 and understood by more than 1.5 million people.Basque is directly related to ancient Aquitanian, and it is likely that an early form of the Basque language was present in Western Europe before the arrival of the Indo-European languages in the area. The language may have been spoken since Paleolithic times.Basque is also spoken by immigrants in AustraliaCosta RicaMexico, the Philippines and the United States, especially in the states of NevadaIdaho, and California.[1]

Kartvelian languages

Ethno-Linguistic groups in the Caucasus regionThe Kartvelian language family consists of Georgian and the related languages of SvanMingrelian, and LazProto-Kartvelian is believed to be a common ancestor language of all Kartvelian languages, with the earliest split occurring in the second millennium BC or earlier when Svan was separated. Megrelian and Laz split from Georgian roughly a thousand years later, roughly at the beginning of the first millennium BC (e.g., Klimov, T. Gamkrelidze, G. Machavariani).The group is considered as isolated, and although for simplicity it is at times grouped with North Caucasian languages, no linguistic relationship exists between the two language families.

North Caucasian

North Caucasian languages (sometimes called simply "Caucasic", as opposed to Kartvelian, and to avoid confusion with the concept of the "Caucasian race") is a blanket term for two language families spoken chiefly in the north Caucasus and Turkey-the Northwest Caucasian family (including Abkhaz, spoken in Abkhazia, and Circassian) and the Northeast Caucasian family, spoken mainly in the border area of the southern Russian Federation (including DagestanChechnya, and Ingushetia).Many linguists, notably Sergei Starostin and Sergei Nikolayev, believe that the two groups sprang from a common ancestor about 5,000 years ago.[2] However this view is difficult to evaluate, and remains controversial.


Main article: Uralic languages

ArnoldPlaton, png: Hayden120

Distribution of Uralic languages
Europe has a number of Uralic languages and language families, including EstonianFinnish, and Hungarian.


Main article: Turkic languages

Turkic languages


The Mongolic languages originated in Asia, and most did not proliferate west to Europe. Kalmyk is spoken in the Republic of Kalmykia, part of the Russian Federation, and is thus the only native Mongolic language spoken in Europe.


Main article: Semitic languages

Cypriot Maronite Arabic

Cypriot Maronite Arabic (also known as Cypriot Arabic) is a variety of Arabic spoken by Maronites in Cyprus. Most speakers live in Nicosia, but others are in the communities of Kormakiti and Lemesos. Brought to the island by Maronites fleeing Lebanon over 700 years ago, this variety of Arabic has been influenced by Greek in both phonology and vocabulary, while retaining certain unusually archaic features in other respects.


Hebrew has been written and spoken by the Jewish communities of all of Europe in liturgical, educational, and often conversational contexts since the entry of the Jews into Europe some time during the late antiquity. Its restoration as the official language of Israel has accelerated its secular use. It also has been used in educational and liturgical contexts by some segments of the Christian population. Hebrew has its own consonantal alphabet, in which the vowels may be marked by diacritical marks termed pointing in English and Niqqud in Hebrew. The Hebrew alphabet was also used to write Yiddish, a West Germanic language, and Ladino, a Romance language, formerly spoken by Jews in northern and southern Europe respectively, but now nearly extinct in Europe itself.


Maltese is a Semitic language with Romance and Germanic influences, spoken in Malta. It is based on Sicilian Arabic, with influences from Italian (particularly Sicilian), French, and, more recently, English.It is unique in that it is the only Semitic language whose standard form is written in the Latin alphabet. It is also the smallest official language of the EU in terms of speakers, and the only official Semitic language within the EU.

Further reading: Languages_of_Europe

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