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10 Most Popular Languages Spoken in Europe

Business10 Most Popular Languages Spoken in Europe

Europe is home to beautiful architecture, tradition, history, and of course, diverse languages. Languages help individuals connect and experience unique cultures. It shapes the way life is and will be in the future. Did you know? The 26th of September is celebrated as the official day of languages in Europe. The day aims to promote European languages and encourage people to learn them. Europe is home to 225 indigenous languages. But, EU actually recognizes just 24 languages.

Today, it is all about which of these languages is most widely spoken in Europe. So we have compiled a list of the 10 most commonly spoken languages in Europe.

What Makes a Language Popular?

There are a few metrics one can consider when considering what popularity can be. For instance, our list is on the basis of:

  • How many people speak the language?
  • How useful the language is?
  • Influence of the language.
  • How many people are willing to learn the language?
  • How easy is the language to learn?

Most Popular European Languages

If you ever wondered what are Europe’s most popular languages? Then today you will get the answer you seek.

  • Russian

Some might be shocked, but more than 140 million native speakers in Europe speak Russian, which is why it tops the list. What’s even more interesting is that Europe, dominated by Latin alphabet languages, sees Russia using the Cyrillic alphabet. This can pose difficulties for Europeans learning Russian. If you are looking to visit Russia, you should know that only 5% of Russians speak English.

  • German

Over 95 million people speak German in Europe, and the number of speakers is growing due to educational, business, and immigration needs. Another reason why German translation services are also in high demand. Here is a fun fact, German is the 2nd most recognized language in the world after English. There are many countries with German speakers in Europe. It is a useful language to learn for tourists also.

  • French

French has 80 million native speakers and is most spoken in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Switzerland. You will be surprised to know that 30% of the Europeans speak French as their second language. There are almost 30 countries that have French as an administrative or official language in Europe.

  • Turkish

78 million native Turkish speakers inhabit Europe, and the number is growing. The language is widely spoken in Greece, Serbia, Macedonia and serves as the official language of Turkey. Surprisingly, Germany has 1.3 million Turkish speakers. Turkish is an important language in Europe especially due to the Ottoman Empire’s history.

  • Italian

Italian is a popular language for learners. Over 60 million people in Europe speak this language. It is also the language of the Vatican City and the Catholic churches. Also, as Italy is Europe’s fashion capital, fashion brands often hire an Italian translation agency to make their mark in the market.

  • English

How could this list be complete without English, the globally accepted language with 60 million native speakers in Europe? Well, it isn’t. English stands as the most common second language spoken in Europe. Many say Brexit will weaken the English influence. But from where I’m standing, that did not happen. It is still popular and is the language of the future.

  • Spanish

This one is no surprise. Spanish is a dominant global language, especially in the Americas. It also has a strong influence in Europe, with 43 million native Spanish speakers. Also, for the English-speaking community, Spanish is certainly the easiest language to learn. Spanish has 470 million native speakers globally making it the second most spoken language in the world.

  • Polish

Polish has 36 million native speakers in Europe, though most live in Poland. Adding on, it is spoken in Hungary, Czech, and Ukraine. Six percent of the European populace can speak the language.

  • Ukrainian

Did you know, there are 27 million Ukrainian native speakers in the world? And 80% of them are living in Europe. Interestingly, Ukrainian takes a lot of influence from Russian language with common phrases. 

  • Dutch

Number 10 on our list is Dutch, the official language of the Netherlands. It has 22+ million speakers and many learners in Europe who partially speak it. Dutch is another language that is easier for English speakers to learn.


There you have it, Europe’s most popular and commonly spoken languages. Learning a second language is a big commitment, but is truly worth it. It opens up a world of new cultures and possibilities. When choosing a new language, one should also consider its usefulness to them personally. Many learn a new language when immigrating, for tourism, education, or rarely for fun. It is common in private schools to teach children to be multilingual. This is one reason why French and Spanish are so commonly spoken even outside of Europe’s domains. It is interesting to see how things will develop in the future. But many predict that trends will remain constant as no new languages are being invented and convenience only dictates the growth of a very few languages

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