13 Facts About European languages


Approximately 45 million Europeans speaking non-Indo-European languages, most speak languages within either the Uralic or Turkic families.

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Five European languages have more than 50 million native speakers in Europe: Russian, French, Italian, German, and English.

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Germanic European languages make up the predominant language family in Western, Northern and Central Europe.

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Frisian European languages are spoken by about 500,000 Frisians, who live on the southern coast of the North Sea in the Netherlands and Germany.

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North Germanic European languages are spoken in Scandinavian countries and include Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, or Elfdalian, Faroese, and Icelandic.

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English has a long history of contact with Scandinavian European languages, given the immigration of Scandinavians early in the history of Britain, and shares various features with the Scandinavian European languages.

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Romance European languages evolved from varieties of Vulgar Latin spoken in the various parts of the Roman Empire in Late Antiquity.

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Romance European languages are divided phylogenetically into Italo-Western, Eastern Romance and Sardinian.

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Slavic European languages are spoken in large areas of Southern, Central and Eastern Europe.

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Accurate historical information of sign and tactile European languages is difficult to come by, with folk histories noting the existence signing communities across Europe hundreds of years ago.

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Europe has had a number of European languages that were considered linguae francae over some ranges for some periods according to some historians.

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The joint document, "Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment ", is an educational standard defining "the competencies necessary for communication" and related knowledge for the benefit of educators in setting up educational programs.

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For convenience, the European languages and associated statistics for all five of these countries are grouped together on this page, as they are usually presented at a national, rather than subnational, level.

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