World Languages/Europe

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Language families in Europe

Most languages in Europe belong to the Indo-European language family. This family is divided into a number of branches, including Romance, Germanic, Baltic, Slavic, Albanian, Celtic, Armenian and Hellenic. Other languages families in Europe include Uralic, Turkic, Mongolic, Northwest Caucasian, Northeast Caucasian and Kartvelian. Noteworthy, there is also the Basque language which is an isolate unrelated to any other group and the Maltese language, which is the only Semitic language with national language status in Europe.

Several languages of Europe are classifies as endangered languages, which mean that they are at risk of falling out of use, generally because it has few surviving speakers. See the list of endangered languages of Europe.

Living languages[edit | edit source]

These are all living languages spoken in Europe.

Western Europe[edit | edit source]

Languages currently spoken in Western Europe are:

  • Basque (in France)
  • Breton (in France)
  • Dutch (in the Netherlands and Belgium)
  • Catalan (in France)
  • Cornish (in England)
  • English (in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales)
  • French (in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Switzerland)
  • Franco-Provençal languages/dialects (in France, Italy, and Switzerland)
  • Frisian languages (in the Netherlands and Germany)
  • German (in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, and Luxembourg)
  • High German languages/dialects (in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland)
  • Irish Gaelic (in Ireland)
  • Italian (in Switzerland)
  • Low German languages/dialects (in Germany and the Netherlands)
  • Manx Gaelic (on the Isle of Man)
  • Picard (North France and Belgium)
  • Romansh (in Switzerland)
  • Scots (in Scotland)
  • Scottish Gaelic (in Scotland)
  • Walloon (in Belgium)
  • Welsh (in Wales)

Southern Europe[edit | edit source]

Languages currently spoken in Southern Europe are:

  • Basque (in Spain)
  • Catalan (in Spain, France, Andorra, Italy)
  • Serbo-Croatian (in Croatia,Serbia,Bosnia-Herzegovina,Montenegro)
  • German (in Italy)
  • Italian (in Italy)
  • Greek (in Greece)
  • Lombard (in Italy)
  • Maltese (in Malta)
  • Portuguese (in Portugal)
  • Slovenian (in Slovenia)
  • Sicilian (in Italy)
  • Spanish (in Spain)
  • Turkish (in Greece,Cyprus,Bulgaria,...)
  • Cypriot Arabic (in Cyprus)
  • Western Armenian (in Greece,Cyprus,France,...)
  • Tsakonian (Greece)
  • Neapolitan (Italy)
  • Aromanian (Greece,Northern Macedonia,Albania,...)
  • Sardinian (Italy)
  • Albanian (Albania,Greece,Italy)

Eastern Europe[edit | edit source]

Languages currently spoken in Eastern Europe are:

  • Belarusian (in Belarus)
  • Czech (in the Czech Republic)
  • Estonian (in Estonia)
  • Hungarian (in Hungary and Romania)
  • Latvian (in Latvia)
    • Latgalian
  • Lithuanian (in Lithuania)
    • Aukštaitian (Highland)
    • Samogitian (Lowland)
  • Polish (in Poland)
    • Greater Polish
    • Lesser Polish
    • Masovian
    • Silesian
  • Kashubian (in Poland)
  • Romanian (in Romania)
  • Russian (in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus)
  • Sami (in Finland and Russia, also Norway and Sweden)
    • many dialects/languages
  • Slovak (in Slovakia)
  • Ukrainian (in Ukraine)
  • Gagauz (in Moldova)

Northern Europe[edit | edit source]

  • Danish (in Denmark and the Faroe Islands)
  • Faroese (in the Faroe Islands)
  • Finnish (in Finland)
  • Icelandic (in Iceland)
  • Norwegian (in Norway)
  • Sami (in Finland, Norway, and Sweden)
  • Swedish (in Sweden and Finland)

Not area-specific[edit | edit source]

  • Yiddish (many countries)

Dead languages[edit | edit source]

These are documented languages that were once spoken in Europe. There are certianly many other now-dead languages once spoken in Europe that were not documented. Languages that died without transitioning into another language, are marked (d) for "dead"; languages that died by or after transitioning into another stage, are marked (t) for "transitioned" or "transformed". The approximate date of death is given where possible, and broad language family groups that the languages belong to.

  • Andalusian Arabic (d) (1600AD) (Semitic)
  • Classical Greek (t) (300BC) (Greek)
  • Classical Latin (t) (200AD) (Italic)
  • Crimean Gothic (d) (1900AD) (Germanic)
  • Gothic (t) (700AD-800AD?) (Germanic)
  • Koine Greek (t) (300AD) (Greek)
  • Late Latin (t) (500AD) (Italic)
  • Marsi (150BC) (Italic)
  • Middle English (t) (1400AD) (Germanic)
  • Old Church Slavonic (t) (1000AD) (Balto-Slavic)
  • Old English (t) (1100AD) (Germanic)
  • Old Irish (t) (900AD) (Celtic)
  • Old Welsh (t) (1100) (Celtic)
  • Oscan (d) (100BC) (Italic)
  • South Picene (d) (400BC) (Italic)
  • Umbrian (d) (100BC) (Italic)
  • Volscian (300BC?) (Italic)