Europe is a continent that is incredibly diverse in terms of its languages. With over 200 languages spoken across the continent, it can be difficult to keep track of which language is spoken where. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the languages spoken in Europe, including which countries speak English, and list the main 2-3 languages for each country.
English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, and it’s no surprise that it’s spoken in many European countries as well. English is the official language in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and it’s widely spoken in other countries like Malta, Cyprus, and Gibraltar.
In addition to English, there are several other languages spoken throughout Europe. Here are the main 2-3 languages spoken in each country:
- Austria: German (official), Slovene, Croatian
- Belgium: Dutch (official), French (official), German (official)
- Bulgaria: Bulgarian (official), Turkish, Romani
- Croatia: Croatian (official), Serbian, Italian
- Cyprus: Greek (official), Turkish, English
- Czech Republic: Czech (official), Slovak, Polish
- Denmark: Danish (official), Faroese, Greenlandic
- Estonia: Estonian (official), Russian, Ukrainian
- Finland: Finnish (official), Swedish (official), Sami
- France: French (official), German, Breton
- Germany: German (official), Sorbian, Danish
- Greece: Greek (official), English, French
- Hungary: Hungarian (official), Romani, German
- Iceland: Icelandic (official), English, Danish
- Ireland: Irish (official), English (official), Ulster Scots
- Italy: Italian (official), German, French
- Latvia: Latvian (official), Russian, Lithuanian
- Lithuania: Lithuanian (official), Russian, Polish
- Luxembourg: Luxembourgish (official), French (official), German (official)
- Malta: Maltese (official), English (official), Italian
- Netherlands: Dutch (official), Frisian, Papiamento
- Norway: Norwegian (official), Sami, Kven
- Poland: Polish (official), German, Belarusian
- Portugal: Portuguese (official), Mirandese, Spanish
- Romania: Romanian (official), Hungarian, Romani
- Slovakia: Slovak (official), Hungarian, Romani
- Slovenia: Slovene (official), Italian, Hungarian
- Spain: Spanish (official), Catalan, Basque
- Sweden: Swedish (official), Sami, Finnish
- Switzerland: German (official), French (official), Italian (official)
- United Kingdom: English (official), Welsh, Scottish Gaelic
As you can see, each country has its own unique linguistic landscape, and some countries have multiple official languages. It’s worth noting that many European countries also have regional or minority languages that are spoken in addition to the official languages listed here.
What countries speak English as a first language?
English is the official language in only a few European countries, and is spoken as a first language in just two of them: the United Kingdom and Ireland. In the United Kingdom, English is spoken as a first language in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. In Ireland, English is spoken as a first language throughout the country, alongside Irish, which is also an official language. In other European countries, English is generally spoken as a second language, particularly in areas where there is a lot of international trade, tourism, or study abroad programs. While English is not a first language in most European countries, it is often taught as a mandatory or elective subject in schools, and is widely used as a lingua franca for business, travel, and cultural exchange.
What countries don’t speak much English?
While English is widely spoken throughout Europe, there are still some countries where it is not as common. In general, the countries that are less likely to speak English as a second language are those that are not as heavily involved in international trade and tourism. For example, in countries like Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary, English is not as commonly spoken as it is in some other parts of Europe. Additionally, countries in Eastern Europe, such as Ukraine and Belarus, may have less of a focus on English language education, and thus may have fewer English speakers. It’s worth noting, however, that even in these countries, younger generations are increasingly learning English as a second language, so it’s not uncommon to find some level of English proficiency among locals, particularly in major cities and tourist destinations.
In conclusion, Europe is a continent with a rich and diverse linguistic landscape. While English is widely spoken in many countries, it’s important to remember that each country has its own unique set of languages, dialects, and linguistic traditions. Whether you’re traveling to Europe or simply interested in learning more about its cultures and languages, exploring the linguistic diversity of this continent is a fascinating and rewarding experience.