10 Most Common Languages Spoken in Europe

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Much of the world’s most widely spoken languages ​​have originated in Europe. The European Union (EU) recognizes 24 official languages ​​spoken by its members and more than 60 regional and minority languages. Europe’s rich and diverse historical past explains the large number of languages ​​spoken across the continent. The proportion of native speakers, the global awareness of the language and the availability of various interpreters have their popularity.

Major Language Groups


The Indo-European and non-Indo-European divisions of European languages ​​are the two main categories. Italian, French, Celtic, Spanish, Germanic, Romanian, Baltic, Indo-Iranian, and Slavonic are all Indo-European languages. Finnic, Finno-Ugric and Basque are the three non-Indo-European languages. Although there are many languages, they all sound and look the same because they belong to the above groups.


Most spoken languages ​​in Europe

1. Russian

Many Eastern European countries have a sizeable Russian-speaking population. With 120 million native speakers, Russian ranks first as one of the most widely spoken European languages ​​in the world. In addition to being the sole official language of Russia, it is also used by Kazakh, Kyrgyz, and Belarusian officials.

On the other hand, Russian uses the Cyrillic script, unlike most European languages, which use the Latin alphabet. This could be a big problem for Europeans who want to learn Russian as a second language.

2. German

German languages ​​in Europe

The second largest native speaking population in Europe is German. It is a co-official language in Switzerland, Belgium, and Luxembourg and is the official language of Germany, Austria, and Liechtenstein. This indicates that German is the first language of around 95 million people in Europe. Many European countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden, Poland, Finland, and Hungary, use German as a second language.


3. French

French is in third place. In addition to being the official language of France, Luxembourg, Belgium and Switzerland also recognize the use of French as a second official language. It is estimated that 80 million Europeans speak French as their first language, and another 30 percent of the continent’s population speak French as a second language.

4. Turkish

As the fourth most widely spoken language in Europe, Turkish is the official language of Turkey and is understood by 78 million people across the continent. As well as being an official language in Cyprus, Macedonia, Greece, and Serbia, it is also widely spoken. Those who have never been to Europe may be surprised to learn that Germany has a sizeable Turkish-speaking population.

5. Italian


Italian languages ​​in Europe

Approximately 65% ​​of the European population speaks Italian, making it the fifth most widely spoken language in Europe. Italy, San Marino, the Vatican City State and Croatia speak Italian as their main language. Ancient Rome spoke it, and it is the closest relative to Latin. Classical music and great art are intertwined with the Italian language and culture.

6. English

A substantial part of Europe’s population is made up of English-speaking immigrants, who make up a significant portion of the continent’s native English speakers. It is the most widely spoken language in the UK and is the official language of Ireland. After German and French, English is the second most widely spoken language in Europe.

7. Spanish

About 45 million Europeans speak Spanish as their first language. The global influence of Spanish is even greater. With 460 million native speakers and a total of 559 million speakers worldwide, it is the second most widely spoken native language in the world behind only English (behind only Mandarin Chinese).

8. Ukrainian

Ukrainian is one of the main languages ​​in Europe, with approximately 40 million speakers. The official language of the newly independent Ukraine since 1991, Ukrainian has a stormy political past that continues to this day as it competes with Russian for dominance in the country’s linguistic landscape.

9. Romanian

With around 24 million native speakers, Romanian is the next language on the list. Although it may seem that the native speakers are only from Romania, this is not the case. The official language of Moldova is also Romanian (sometimes called Moldovan).

10. Portuguese

In Europe, there are more than 10 million native Portuguese speakers, mainly in Portugal. You can find native Portuguese speakers outside of Portugal in South America and Africa.

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