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Most Spoken European Languages: Top Ten

Most Spoken European Languages: Top Ten

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Creating content that can adapt to the most spoken European languages has become increasingly essential for audiovisual producers and professionals today. 

Over 740 million people live in Europe, and with the fast-paced globalization we are experiencing nowadays, content localization is a must.

With content localization, you can relate better with your audience. In addition, the cultural relevance of reaching people in their native language gives them a more personalized experience with your content. 

Whether for local legal requirements or competitive advantage, you can ramp up your localization strategic decisions by looking into the ten most spoken European languages to adapt your content to.

What are the Most Spoken European Languages?

Europe is home to a lot of languages, with some being widely used by hundreds of millions around the globe. 

Each language embodies different cultures, traditions, and histories that play an important part in each speaker’s life.

Here are the top ten most spoken European languages you can check out to make content that resonates better with your local audience:

1. Russian

Among the top ten most spoken European languages in the world and approximately 258 million speakers worldwide: The Russian language is a complex language that has served as a way to express intellect for a lot of successful academics in the science and technology department.

Russia has the most widely spoken eastern European languages as its official language. Russian is also the official language of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. 

Moreover, it is still widely used in Ukraine, Central Asia, and even the Baltic States.

Do you know the difference between Ukrainian and Russian languages?

2. German

Another one of the most spoken European languages, the German language is used in Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein, with more than 70 million native speakers.

A lot of academics have German as their mother tongue. However, most Germans don’t really use English except in school (except for their tech hub capital Berlin, where a lot of English-speaking people reside), making it a good target for localization efforts.

3. French

The language of passion is one of the native European languages most commonly spoken in 27 countries. France, Belgium, and Switzerland are just some of the countries that are home to about 76 million native French speakers

Localizing your content into the French Language not only ensures that you are capturing the language’s rich culture but also that your content follows the most recent customer privacy requirements in France.

4. Italian

The Italian language is spoken by over 80 million people and is the official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, and even Vatican City.

Italian is a good target for localization since, according to Housing Anywhere, only 13% of Italians are currently proficient in the English language.

Read our English to Italian Translation and Voice-Over Guide.

5. Turkish

Turkish makes the list of most spoken European languages, with about 77 million people using it as their mother tongue, which makes the Turkish language a good target for voice-over localization services.

The language is officially spoken widely in Greece, Macedonia, and Serbia, and is a co-official language in Cyprus. 

The half European and Half Asian city Istanbul, on the other hand, is abundant with people who speak English fluently.

6. English

With approximately 63 million native English speakers in Europe and ⅓ of Europeans speaking English as a second language, even with Brexit in 2020, English still continues to be the most used language in the UK and the rest of the region.

The language is one of the most spoken languages in the European Union. It is also the top spoken language in the world as of 2023.

Check out the differences between American and British English.

7. Spanish

The Spanish language is widespread mainly in the Americas and Spain and is also considered one of the most spoken European languages worldwide. 

It is the official language of countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and others.

Spanish localization is a great way to ensure your customers understand the value you can give them, and customize content to even the different Spanish dialects, such as Latin American Spanish, European, and United States Spanish.

Know the most popular Spanish accents to voice-over.

8. Polish

Even with only about 6% of the European population using Polish as their language, it is still included as one of the most spoken Eastern European languages, as it is widespread in the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Hungary and Belarus.

Poland has increasingly improved their education systems, helping their natives learn and get good at the English language. However, culturally aligning your content with the Polish market still contributes, especially to natives who prefer to read content in their native language.

Do you know that Polish is one of the top spoken languages in the UK besides English?

Check out this blog post about Polish Dialects and Languages. Knowing them is crucial before starting an English to Polish Translation Project!

9. Ukrainian

There are 27 million native Ukrainian speakers, allowing it to be in our list of most spoken European languages. The majority of these people are in Poland, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Slovakia, and Lithuania. 

The Ukrainian government is also working on new localization rules for the country. This plans to require the use of the Ukrainian language for business, government, education, and other public aspects in the country.

10. Romanian

With 24 million native speakers, the Romanian language beats the Dutch language by only 2 million native speakers (with the Dutch language currently having  22 million native speakers). It is the official language of Romania, as well as Moldova, and one of the most widely spoken European languages

The Romanian language is also derived from Vulgar Latin, which also includes Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, and even French, making these languages similar to each other.

Voice-Over Services in all Languages of Europe

For any business seeking to expand its reach, knowing the most spoken European languages is the best way to project your next localization language.

Golocalise takes pride in our expertise to help you succeed in localizing your content in any of these top 10 most spoken European languages. 
With our translation services, subtitling, voice-over, and localization services, we can help you reach audiences even in the least spoken languages in Europe, enabling your content to effectively communicate your message while giving culturally relevant, high-quality content to your local audience.

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