The Top Seven Most Popular European Languages

Despite being the world’s second-smallest continent, with a population of over 748 million, Europe is home to 225 languages. The Indo-European family of linguistics accounts for around 94% of European languages, and the European Union has designated 24 languages as the official languages in its member countries.

Are you interested to know which European languages have the most speakers? Let’s look at the top seven most popular European languages in terms of native speakers.

 

Russian

It may surprise you that Russian is the most spoken language in Europe. Nearly 140 million individuals across the continent use Russian as their first language. 

Russian is a member of the Indo-European language family as well. Surprisingly, unlike most European languages, Russian employs the Cyrillic script. That aspect contributes to the Russian language ranking as one of the most challenging languages to master.

 

German

German is the second most popular European language, spoken as a first language by around 100 million people. German is the official language of Germany, Austria, and Liechtenstein and the co-official language of Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and South Tyrol. 

It is also one of the top three most widely spoken languages in several European nations, including the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Slovenia, Poland, Finland, and Hungary.

 

French

French is Europe’s third most prevalent language, with 80 million native speakers. It is a Romance language that descended from the Indo-European language family. 

French is the co-official language of Belgium, Luxembourg, and Switzerland on the European continent. It’s also a popular choice for a second language, with more than 30% of Europeans competent in it.

 

Turkish

With 78 million native speakers in Europe, Turkish (also known as Istanbul Turkish or Turkey Turkish) ranks fourth on this list. It is the most common Turkic language. 

Turkish is spoken in Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, North Macedonia, Northern Cyprus, the Mediterranean, and certain other parts of Europe and Central Asia, in addition to being the national language of Turkey and a co-official language of Cyprus.

 

Italian

Aside from being the official language of Italy, Italian is also a co-official language of Vatican City, San Marino, and Switzerland, as well as a minority language in Croatia and Slovenia. 

There are around 60 million native Italian speakers in Europe. Furthermore, Italian is Switzerland’s third most spoken language after German and French.

 

English

Surprise! There are 360 million native English speakers globally, with roughly 60 million of them living in Europe. 

The United Kingdom and Ireland are home to most English native speakers in Europe. Regarding non-native speakers, nearly half of Europeans aged 15 to 35 speak English fluently, whereas the figure for older Europeans is roughly one-third.

 

Spanish

Spanish comes in seventh among the most widely spoken European languages. About 45 million Europeans speak Spanish as their first language. 

On a worldwide basis, Spanish has considerably more clout. It is the official language of 20 nations and has 460 million native speakers and 559 million speakers globally, making it the world’s second most widely spoken native language (just behind Mandarin Chinese).

 

 

 

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