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Linguistic Families of Eastern Europe

Linguistic Families of Eastern Europe
linguistic families of eastern europe
(Last Updated On: May 24, 2022)

There are around 100 languages spoken in Eastern Europe, which can be roughly divided into three language families: Slavic, Germanic and Turkic languages. The Slavic languages consist of the East Slavic subgroup (Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian) and the West Slavic subgroup (Polish, Czech and Slovak). The Germanic languages include the East Germanic subgroup (Lithuanian), the West Germanic subgroup (German, Yiddish and English) and the extinct Balti-Slavic subgroup.

Slavic Language

The Slavic languages are a group of Indo-European languages (Balto-Slavic) spoken by approximately 250 million people in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Siberia. The Slavic family includes more than two hundred languages. It is a part of a larger linguistic superfamily that encompasses many other language families such as Germanic, Romance, Baltic, Albanian and others. All Slavic languages have at least one phonological feature in common: palatalization. This refers to a common change from hard consonants to soft consonants or from soft consonants to hard ones under certain circumstances.

Balto-Slavic Languages

The Balto-Slavic languages are a branch of Indo-European languages, centred in eastern Europe. They consist of Baltic and Slavic languages, and therefore cover an area from parts of Germany to Bulgaria. They are spoken by approximately 360 million people in total. Roughly two thirds of that number speak Russian as their first language; it is also considered one of two official languages in Belarus and Kazakhstan. The largest non-Russian group is Polish, which has over 40 million speakers. It is also one of four official languages in Poland, along with Czech, Slovakian and German.

linguistic families
langauges of europe


Indo-European is a group of related languages that are part of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. The term “Indo-European” was coined by Wilhelm von Humboldt in 1814 to refer to the common roots shared by all European languages except those belonging to the Uralic or Altaic families. Today, however, the term is often used more broadly to mean any member of the Indo-European linguistic family, including its branches, which may be called “subfamilies”.

Uralic Languages

The Uralic languages are a language family that includes Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian and several minority languages spoken around Eurasia. The origins of these languages lie in southwestern Siberia. In fact, some linguists have theorized that Proto-Uralic speakers may have been part of an early migration out of Africa along with Indo-European speakers. Today, Uralic languages are spoken by about 25 million people across northern Eurasia.

Russian Language

The Russian language (;, or ;, ) is a Slavic language native to Russia and Belarus. It belongs to the East Slavic languages, together with Ukrainian, Belorussian, and Slovakian. The name “Russian” derives from Rus’, the Old East Slavic name for Kievan Rus’. Its ISO 639 alpha-2 code is ru, its ISO 639-1 alpha-3 code is roz, and its BGN/PCGN rus’ka is used in Bulgarian and Serbian.

The Russian language is the most widely spoken of all the modern Slavic languages, with almost 140 million native speakers worldwide. It is the fourth most commonly studied foreign language in the world after Spanish, French and Chinese. According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, there were just over 26 million native speakers of Russian in 2010. However, this figure is disputed by some experts who claim that the real number is much higher. For example, according to the CIA World Factbook, there were about 43 million native speakers of Russian as of 2014.

According to the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Russian language is divided into three dialects: Moscow dialect, St Petersburg dialect and Siberian dialect. These dialects are mutually intelligible but differ significantly enough that they can be distinguished from each other. The Moscow dialect is spoken mainly in Moscow and surrounding areas. The St Petersburg dialect is spoken in Saint Petersburg and nearby regions. The Siberian dialect is spoken in Siberia. In the early 21st century Russian was spoken as a native language by some 160 million people, including many inhabitants of countries that formerly were part of the Soviet Union.

The Russian alphabet consists of 33 letters, including 3 vowels and 30 consonants. The Cyrillic script was developed in the 10th century and is still used today. The Latin alphabet was introduced during the 17th century. Both alphabets are based on the Greek alphabet, but with many modifications.

The history of the Russian language dates back at least to the 9th century AD. There are records of written documents dating back to 859 AD. The earliest known document in the Russian language is the Primary Chronicle, which was written down sometime between 1018 and 1054. The oldest complete text of the Russian language was published in 1551.

In the past, the Russian language was not well-known outside of Russia. Even now, only few non-Russians know the Russian language. This has changed since the fall of the Soviet Union. Nowadays, the Russian language is taught in schools throughout the former USSR and also in many countries abroad.

In addition to being one of the official languages of the country, Russian is also used as a second language in various parts of the world. Many immigrants to North America speak it as their first language. Russian is also used as an international auxiliary language in certain situations.

european language families

A Quick History of European Languages

The history of the languages spoken in Europe is a fascinating topic. It’s also a very complicated one, and it can be difficult to understand how these languages came to be. The first thing we need to know about this subject is that there were no “languages” in Europe until the beginning of the Bronze Age. Before then, Europeans spoke different dialects of proto-Indo-European, a language that was probably spoken by the original settlers of Europe. These proto-Indo-Europeans spread throughout Europe, eventually giving rise to the various languages we now call Celtic, Italic, Iberian, Greek, Latin, Germanic, Balto-Slav, Baltic, etc.

Italic Languages

Italic languages are a group within the Indo-European language family. The well-attested languages of the Indo-European family fall fairly neatly into the 10 main branches listed below; these are arranged according to the age of their oldest sizable texts. They are spoken mainly in Italy, but they are also found in Sardinia, Malta, Sicily, southern France and Spain. Their name comes from the Roman Empire, where they originated. They include Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Romanian, Catalan, Sicilian, Neapolitan, Sardinian, Maltese, Corsican, Friulian, Venetian, Aragonese, Asturian, Galician, Basque, Occitan, Provençal, Romansh, Lombard, Piedmontese, Emilian, Romagnol, Gallic, Gascon, Breton, Corsican, Ladin, Aromanian and Rhaeto-Romance.

Celtic Languages

The Celtic languages are a group of Indo-European languages spoken by the Celts, an ancient people who lived in Europe and parts of Asia from c. 800 BC to AD 500. The term “Celtic” is used for the languages of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall, Manx, Isle of Man, Galicia (Spain), Asturias (Spain), Navarra (Spain) and Cantabria (northern Spain). There are also many smaller groups of Celtic languages, such as Welsh, Cornish, Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic, Manx, Gailico, Galician, Asturian, Basque, etc.

Hellenic Languages

Greek is the sole Hellenic language in the Indo-European family, with 13.5 million speakers.

eastern europe language families

Germanic Languages

The Germanic languages are a subgroup of the Indo-European languages. They are spoken primarily in Northern Europe and North America. Some of them are: English, Dutch, Frisian, Low Saxon, High German, Old Norse, Icelandic, Faroese, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Afrikaans, Yiddish, Flemish, Walloon, Limburgish, Luxembourgish, Kashubian, Sorbian, Saterland Frisian, West Frisian, Gothic etc.

The most important language in Germany is German (Deutsch). It belongs to the West Germanic branch of the Germanic family of languages. Other important Germanic languages include English, Dutch, Frisōn, Low Saxon, Hochdeutsche/High German, East Franconian, Westphalian, Bavarian, Swabian, Alemannic, Swiss German, Ripuarian, Austro-Bavarian, Hessian, Badenese, Palatine, Rhinelander, Plattdeutsch, Moselländisch, Kölsch, Jugoslavisch.

Albanian Languages

The Albanian language (, or ) is a South Slavic language spoken by the ethnic Albanians in Albania and Kosovo. It belongs to the Indo-European family of languages and is closely related to Serbo-Croatian, Bosnian, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Bulgarian and Serbian. The Albanian alphabet was derived from the Latin script during the Middle Ages. Like Greek, Albanian also has its own branch on the language map of Europe. There are around six million native Albanian speakers living in the Balkans.

Romance Languages

The Romance languages are the group of Indo-European languages that descend from Latin, including French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian and Catalan. The term is also used to refer to any language descended from a common ancestor with these languages.

Romance languages share many features in their grammar and vocabulary, such as gender-specific pronouns (French: je/il; Italian: io/lui), verb forms for third person singular present tense (Italian: sta parlando; French: il parle) and the use of prepositions to express time and space. Romance languages also have a number of grammatical structures that are unique to them.

Turkish Languages

Turkish is a Turkic language native to Turkey. It was historically written in the Latin script, but since 1923 it has been written in the Turkish alphabet. The modern Turkish language is an official language of Turkey and is spoken by over 80 million.

Italian Languages

The Italian language is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It is spoken by about 60 million people in Italy and surrounding areas, as well as by millions more worldwide who have immigrated to other countries. Some 69 million people in Europe speak Italian as their mother tongue. Italian speakers aren’t just located in Italy, but also in Switzerland, the Vatican City, San Marino, Croatia, and Slovenia.

Spanish Languages

Spanish is another of the world’s most common languages, as I mentioned above. Within Europe, it has 43 million speakers.

English Languages

The English language is a West Germanic language that developed from the Anglian dialects spoken in what is now England. It has been spoken by ethnic English people since at least the 5th century.

Frequently Asked Questions

The main language families of Eastern Europe are Slavic, Baltic, and Finno-Ugric. The former two are related to each other, while the latter one is not.

The Romans conquered most of Western and Central Europe. They brought with them a language that was different from what had been spoken there for thousands of years. The Romans called this new language Latin, but it was not really their own language; they spoke the same kind of language as the Greeks and other ancient peoples who lived in Italy before them. Romance, Germanic, and Slavic are the three biggest groups, each having more than 200 million speakers and accounting for about 90% of Europeans.

The French and the Germans. And what is the most important thing about this conflict? It’s not the fact that we have a common language.

The number of languages in Europe is astonishing. There are over 500 different languages spoken in the continent, and that’s not counting dialects or regional variants. In Europe, there are three major language families. The Indo-European language family is the biggest, with six sub-families represented in Europe. The Finno-Ugric family is the second, with three languages spoken in Northeast and Eastern Europe.

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