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Main article: "Languages of Europe

There are about 225 "indigenous languages in Europe – roughly 3% of the world's total["citation needed]. Most of the "European languages are of "Indo-European origin. Since the end of the 18th century, the most widespread language of Europe (both in terms of geography and the number of native speakers) has been "Russian, which replaced French. Counting only native speakers, approximately 150 million Europeans speak Russian on a daily basis, followed by "German (approx. 95 mil.), "English and "French (each by 65 mil.), "Italian (60 mil.), "Spanish and "Polish (40 mil. each), "Ukrainian (30 mil.) and "Romanian (26 mil.). As far as foreign language studies are concerned, English is currently the most popular foreign language in Europe, followed by German, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish.

Multilingualism today[edit]

List of multilingual countries and regions § Europe

According to the European Union survey "Europeans and their Languages" ("Special "Eurobarometer 243", February 2006),[5] 56% of EU "citizens (25 member states) speak a language other than their "mother tongue, but 44% admit to not knowing any languages other than their "native language. However, 28% have knowledge of two foreign languages. Among EU citizens, 38% indicate that they know "English, followed by 14% knowing "French or "German, 7% Russian, 5% Spanish and 3% Italian. The typical multilingual European is a student or someone holding a managerial position or someone born in a country where the language of his/her parents is different from the main language of the country.

With greater numbers of "immigrants and "refugees, European cities have become more multilingual.["when?] For example: in "Moscow and "Saint Petersburg many recent immigrants speak "Ukrainian, "Moldovan, "Armenian, "Tatar, "Azeri, "Tajik, "Chinese or one of many other languages; in "London some 300 languages are spoken ("English, "French, "Chinese, "Polish, "Russian, "Spanish, "Portuguese, "Arabic, "Bengali, "Turkish, "Kurdish, "Berber, "Hindi, "Urdu, "Punjabi etc.).

The European Union adheres to a policy of multilingualism, both in its institutional workings and as an aim for its citizens. At the 2002 "EU summit in "Barcelona, it set a target for children to learn at least two foreign languages from an early age.[6] Multilingualism for the EU is linked to "worker mobility and the European economy. The European Union spends more than €30 million a year promoting language learning and linguistic diversity through the "Socrates and "Leonardo da Vinci programmes, a policy that began with the pioneering Lingua programme in 1990.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Committee of Ministers – European Year of Languages Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1539 (2001)". Wcd.coe.int. Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  2. ^ "European Day of Languages 2012 / Journée européenne des langues 2012 > Home". Ecml.at. Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  3. ^ "European Day of Languages". "European Day of Languages". News.google.com. Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  4. ^ "European Day of Languages". Cilt.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  5. ^ "Europeans and their Languages" (PDF). Ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  6. ^ "Presidency Conclusions; March 2002" (PDF). Ue.eu.int. Retrieved 2012-09-26. 

External links[edit]

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