Welcome to a journey through Europe’s languages!

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Lara sets off on a new language journey - On this chapter of her journey, Lara explores the fascinating world of regional and minority languages and, being inquisitive, she, of course, uncovers many linguistic treasures!

Having found out about some 46 of Europe’s mostly ‘bigger’ languages on her first journey, on this trip Lara has chosen to scratch beneath the surface and explore languages which are not so well known beyond the areas they are spoken in. In some cases the languages she encounters have several dialects, some do not have a standardised written form or can be rendered in different scripts and in several cases the numbers of native speakers are declining. In all cases, however, the languages have a proud tradition and very dedicated and active communities of speakers seeking to ensure that their linguistic heritage is passed on to future generations.

Language tree poster

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The languages you will encounter over the following pages reflect the diversity of the cultures and traditions which exist side by side on our continent. Some of the around 225 languages which are native to Europe are spoken by millions and others, that are only spoken by a handful of people, are, sadly, close to dying out.

During this short journey, you will discover lots of similarities. European languages largely fall into three main categories: Slavic, Romance and Germanic, the languages within each group have the same roots – however, over centuries they have developed in their own distinct directions. You will also find out about their differences: the variety of alphabets (such as Latin, Cyrillic, Greek, Armenian and Georgian), often using artistic scripts; how they deal with creating words for new inventions and their sometimes mysterious origins. All have a unique identity and their own story to tell!