Map of European language groups

European family tree (main language groups in Europe).

  • Italic (Latin) - blue
  • Germanic - green
  • Slavic - brown
  • Baltic - yellow
  • Hellenic (Greek) - red
  • Uralic - light green

 

 

European family tree

The actual title should be Indo-European language tree as Armenian and Indo-Iranian (Hindi, Farsi, Urdu, Kurdish, etc..) languages should be included. Within this European language tree, only main languages have been included, there are a lot of smaller regional languages that have not been included.

Finnish, Hungarian and Estonian belong to the Uralic (also called Finno-Ugric) family.

Italic (Latin)

Romance

French writing

 

Romance languages

All languages in this group are derived from Latin. All are geographically in Western Europe and form the five main national languages: French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian.

The Romance languages are similar and share a lot of similar words, eg: French and Italian share 89% lexical similarity, as do Spanish and Portuguese. Spanish and Portuguese have borrowed from Arabic, French from Germanic, and Romanian from Slavic because of historical and geographical reasons.

French, Portuguese and Spanish generally use /s/ in the plural form, while the Italian and Romanian use vowels.

The two genders (masculine and feminine) are used by all the above languages.

Word order in the sentance is subject-verb-object. Adjectives follow after the noun and agree with it in gender and number.

In order of most amount of speakers: Mandarin Chinese, English, Hindi/Urdu, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, German, Indonesian and Portuguese.

English, French and Spanish in corresponding order are the main second languages learnt.

 

Germanic

Dansk writing

North Germanic

West Germanic

Dutch writing

 

Germanic languages

Dutch is the closest language to English, although English speakers will not see the similarity (written and spoken) as the two are not at all mutualy intelligible. Most Dutch, German and Scandinavians speak English fluently.

German is the most spoken second language (before English) in Eastern and Central Europe.

Word order in German is much more complicated because of the verb final position in subordinate clauses.

German is the least like the other languages in this group.

Scandinavian word order is similar to English

Swedish and Norwegian use different tones/pitches with accents so can sound very up and down when listening to it being spoken.

 

Slavic

Czech writing

Western

Eastern

Belarusian writing

Southern

Bulgarian writing

 

Slavic languages

The Western Slavic languages (see the list above) use the Roman alphabet, while the Eastern Slavic languages (see above) use the Cyrillic alphabet.

Slavic languages are very similar to Lithuanian and Latvian (Baltic languages).

All Slavic languages use singular and plural, as well as three genders (masculine, feminine and neuter).

 

Baltic

Latvian writing

 

Uralic

Estonian writing

Finno-Ugric

 

Celtic

Breton writing

Brythonic

  • Breton
  • Welsh

Goidelic

  • Irish
  • Scottish (Gaelic)

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