What Are the Most Popular European Languages?

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Europe is fully or widely known as the second smallest continent and is chock-full of linguistic and cultural diversity. Its rich history is probably second to none. Europe is also home to various languages, literally hundreds of them. The popularity of a specific language in Europe depends primarily on the number of persons that speak the language fluently at native levels.

Over 94% of speakers of Europe’s most common languages belong to the Germanic, Slavic, and Romance branches. Remarkably, just 5 of these languages in Europe are spoken by more than 50 million individuals/native speakers.

Learning to speak one or more of the most commonly spoken languages in Europe and recognized globally can be a lifetime achievement. You’ll have unbridled access to tremendous professional cum personal career opportunities.

This post highlights the most commonly spoken, globally recognized or popular languages in Europe.

Top Globally-Recognized and Common Languages in Europe

Here are the top most common languages in the EU:

1. The Russian Language

The Russian language takes the top or #1 spot in Europe. Approximately 160 million Russian-speaking folks speak native-level Russian fluently. This is also the lingua franca in many countries like Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Kazakhstan, as well as Belarus. The Russian language is also spoken commonly in former Soviet nations such as Estonia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, as well as Georgia.

Russian is allegedly the official language of outer space. Every astronaut has to learn to speak the most popular EU language fluently before getting the go-ahead to launch into space. The International Space Station uses only the two most commonly used languages in Europe to exchange information or data and communication — the English and Russian languages.

2. The French Language

About 71.5 million individuals speak native or native-level French. A considerable 20% of those living within the EU speak French as a second language or as native speakers.

The Indo-European linguistic family who were natives of Gaul developed French. This most commonly used language is the second most taught foreign language worldwide, after English. It’s currently the lingua franca in many countries, such as Western Switzerland, Monaco, France, etc.

3. The German Language

The German language is spoken at a native level in Europe by approximately 97 million individuals. Experts considered the language the economic powerhouse of Europe and nicknamed it ‘the money language.’

Therefore, if you learn and know how to speak German at a native or near-native level, there’s no shortage of great career opportunities for you in Europe. It would be a great decision to take German classes on Lingoda platform to achieve this goal faster.

4. The English Language

More than 1 billion people speak the English language globally. It’s also the official language of many countries across multiple continents.

However, only 63 million English language speakers reside in Europe. Most of these native or native-level English language speakers live specifically in Ireland as well as the UK (United Kingdom).

The English language takes the lead in terms of vocabulary and words. Thousands of brand-new words/vocabs always work their way into many official dictionaries each year.

Learning new English language vocabulary is one of the easiest endeavors of mankind. However, pronouncing brand-new vocabulary is another ball game altogether.

The English language has been extensively influenced by French as well as other Germanic languages. This is probably the primary reason new vocabulary or words pop up seemingly out of nowhere every year.

5. The Italian Language

Italian is inarguably the fourth most commonly used language in Europe. More than 65 million Italian-speaking individuals speak the language at native and near-native levels.

This is the official language of Vatican City, Italy, Croatia, and San Marino. If you’re planning to visit one of the aforementioned countries, start learning the basic words and phrases with The Intrepid Guide to communicate with the locals and for you to have a full experience of the place.
Italian was the official language of ancient Rome as well as the only language most closely associated with Latin. Being one of the most popular European languages, it’s highly synonymous with classical music, high-end branding, fine art, as well as luxury goods.

6. The Spanish Language

The majority of native Spanish-speaking folks originate from the Americas. Nevertheless, 47 million native Spanish speakers live in Europe, many residing in Spain.

Some Spanish-speaking folks call Portugal, France—as well as other neighboring countries—home. Notably, up to 10% of the people in France speak Spanish as their official language.


Were you surprised to see any of the languages on the list? You probably thought some aren’t as popular as they are in Europe until now.

Learning any of the most common languages in the EU will dramatically broaden your personal and professional horizons. It’ll also open new doors of immense career opportunities and open your mind and heart to new people and places.

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