Facts about the European tongue

Facts About the European Tongue

Facts About the European Tongue

(Last Updated On: December 12, 2023)

European Tongue

Which native speaker are you? If you speak any of the European languages, then this article is for you! You can read it and learn a lot about your language group. Since the population size in European countries is very large, there are predictions that more than half of people speak at least one European language other than their mother tongue.

Together, there are about 24 official languages in the European union but apart from these, there are many undiscovered tongues that are still part of the rural areas. The Indo-European language family includes all the lingoes that people speak widely today. While Proto-Indo-European language is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family. Its proposed features have been derived by linguistic reconstruction from documented Indo-European languages. No direct record of Proto-Indo-European exists. In 2016, around two-third of the population (especially working adults) know at least one foreign language. The whole European Union, in terms of the tongue, is a mix of different cultures.

To get a better understanding of the European tongue, you just have to read this article. So let’s start!

proto indo european
12th century european tongue

What is European Tongue?

Just as the name indicates, you may figure out that any language spoken in the European Union is a European tongue. But that’s not the case! It is because people belonging to different cultures and ethnic groups live in the European countries and many of them have even migrated from other regions which explains that the EU has a rich and massive language diversity.

This makes it hard to predict the actual number of lingoes spoken in the country. Every time a new member joins the EU, he is added to the number of official languages. Five languages are prominently called European lingoes because they have more than 50 million native speakers in Europe. These include Russian, French, Italian, German, and English. Some speak them as their mother tongue while others consider it as their second language.

Indo-European Language

The term Indo-European was introduced in 1816 by Franz Bopp of Germany and referred to a family of languages in Europe and Asia (including Northern India, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) that were found to have a remarkable structural relationship. This family of languages is further divided into several branches and subfamilies. It is the most popular and common language ever studied by people. It is also the one with the greatest number of surviving ancient documents and the one for which genetic links can be established with absolute certainty.

This family consists of numerous Indo-Iranian languages, including Sanskrit, Hindi, and Farsi (Persian); Greek; Baltic languages such as Lithuanian and Latvian; Celtic languages such as Breton, Welsh, and Scottish and Irish Gaelic; Romance languages such as French, Spanish, Catalan, and Italian; Germanic languages such as German, English, and Swedish; and Slavic languages such as Polish and Serbian. Germanic language borrowed several terms from Finnish and Balto-Slavic.

Proto-Indo European language

Till now, no one is sure about the original homeland of the Proto-Indo European language, but some scholars believe it lies somewhere around the Black Sea. Most of the subgroups diverged and spread out over much of Europe and the Near East and northern Indian subcontinent during the fourth and third millennia BC. According to some predictions, this language has been spoken as a single language from 4500 BC to 2500 BC.

As speakers of Proto-Indo-European became isolated from each other through the Indo-European migrations, the regional dialects of Proto-Indo-European spoken by the various groups diverged, as each dialect underwent shifts in pronunciation, morphology, and vocabulary. Throughout history, these dialects transformed into proper Indo-European languages. Today, the descendant languages of PIE with the most native speakers are Spanish, English, Portuguese, Hindustani (Hindi and Urdu), Bengali, Russian, Punjabi, German, Persian, French, Marathi, Italian, and Gujarati.

European Day of Languages

This is the most interesting event you’ll ever hear about! Have you ever celebrated a day for the existence of a language? Well, Europeans do! The European Day of Languages (EDL) is celebrated on 26 September as a means of promoting awareness among the general public about language learning and protecting the linguistic heritage. It is an integral part of the Language Policy Program even though the greater interest of the program is usually directed at national education authorities and practitioners in this field.

On this day, various activities take place, from language workshops and cultural exhibitions to linguistic quizzes and crossword puzzle clues in different languages. Interestingly, some celebrations even include exhibitions about the human body where topics like hairy tongue and white coating on the tongue are discussed, aligning with Chinese medicine practices that consider the tongue as a reflection of overall health. Moreover, technological advancements have enabled analysis of tongue images and their classification, aiding both traditional and modern medicine in understanding health conditions through tongue images.

This day was first celebrated on 26 September 2001 and became a flagship event of the European Year of Languages 2001 campaign organized jointly with the European Union. Around 45 member states took part. It was such a success that to satisfy the expectations of many partners, the Committee of Ministers of the Council

european tongue
crossword tracker

European Languages you may know

Migrants need to learn the languages of their host country because they will need them at a specific point. The four most common tongues you may know about are Russian, German, French, and English. Let’s take a look at each of these!


As the most widely spoken language, Russian has around 120 million native European speakers. Most European tongues use the Latin alphabet but Russian uses the Cyrillic alphabet. This can be quite a challenge for Europeans wanting to learn Russian as a foreign language.


It comes in second place! Around 13.3% of Europeans and 100 million people speak this primary language. German is one of the three procedural languages of the European Union along with English and French. The German language is the most widely-understood language after the English language as it is a popular second or third language in many European countries. Are you looking for Dutch to German Translation experts? Visit our website.


To gain foreign language proficiency, you should learn a lot about the EU lingoes and their importance. It is the ancestral tongue with more than 80 million speakers. This branch of languages is official in France and it has co-official status in Switzerland and Belgium. Above all, it is the primary language of many international organizations including the United Nations, the European Union, and the World Trade Organization.


By far, English is the only language that has the greatest number of speakers in the European Union. There are more than 70 million native English speakers in Europe. This lingo is universal and therefore it is very crucial in foreign language education. It is often a necessity by the government institutions to consider English an obligatory language in school. It is one of the official languages of Ireland, along with Irish, and is the de facto language of the United Kingdom.

Facts about the European Tongue

In general, the European group of languages has three categories i.e. Germanic, Romance, and Slavic. Some facts of this Indo-European family include:

  • In daily life, Europeans often speak foreign languages which means EU culture is a mix of native and foreign tongues. This creates a greater interest in people to visit these countries.
  • People speak over 200 indigenous languages in European culture. It may sound like a lot but it only constitutes three percent of the total world’s population.
  • Most European languages use the Latin alphabet.
  • Among all EU tongues, Russia is a linguistic powerhouse. It is because around 100 to 200 languages are part of this country.
  • The foreign languages and other native European tongues are extremely familiar with each other. Although they belong to different family groups they still correlate.

Because migrants and refugees are continuously shifting over many centuries, most European countries have several regional and minority languages.

Facts about the European tongue
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