Europe is home to over 740 million people and many different languages and dialects. So, if you’re launching a new business and need to communicate with people across Europe, or you’re creating PR video content, or a marketing campaign for Europe, it’s a good idea to understand which languages are spoken the most in the European continent.
With a better understanding of the key languages of Europe, you have a better chance of choosing the right language for your goals. So, with that information you can use an agency for voice overs to get your message across in the best possible way, so here’s an overview of the most common languages spoken in Europe:
Official Languages of Europe
Whilst there are hundreds of languages across Europe, only 24 are considered official languages of the continent and they include:
Most Commonly Spoken Languages in Europe
A lot of people across Europe are able to speak more than one language at least. However, there are languages that are key to the continent and spoken most often either as a mother tongue, or as a second or third language and they are the following:
English – 370 million speakers
It’s no surprise that English is spoken regularly by many Europeans, with many of the biggest countries having over sixty percent of their population able to speak English. When it comes to applying English to any marketing material, it is still important to ensure the localisms and accents will resonate and impact your target audience as RP isn’t necessarily the best choice, even in the UK. For this reason, English voiceovers, subtitles and other scripted content still need to be localised and considered when they are used for European marketing.
Russian – 140 million speakers
Russian is spoken across Europe in various different Slavic countries, but predominantly in Russia itself. If you’re travelling to Russia, or you plan to market to Russia, it’s important to use the Russian language because such a small percentage of Russians speak English.
German – 100 million speakers
German is spoken in Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg. So, if you are marketing to any of these areas, a German voice over could be exactly what you need to include to reach your target audience. In fact, it’s a popular second language across Europe so it could be a great choice as a voice over option for marketing targeted at Europe in general.
French – 80 million speakers
French is spoken across Europe, not just in France, and also appears in many countries worldwide too. With that in mind, if you want to learn a general language that could serve you well as you travel worldwide, French is a really good choice.
Turkish – 78 million speakers
Turkish is spoken in Turkey, Cypress, Greece and Serbia, as well as many additional parts of the Mediterranean. Surprisingly, there is also a lot of Turkish spoken in Germany too.
Italian – 67 million speakers
Italian is spoken in Italy and Switzerland, and although it’s less widely spoken across Europe, is known to be a really beautiful language to learn and speak.
Spanish – 43 million speakers
Spanish is spoken widely across the world, but sits behind other languages when it comes to popularity in Europe, which is worth considering when you’re thinking about utilising a Spanish voice over for your business project. Interestingly, it is one of the easiest languages to learn, so if you want to learn a language that’s forgiving, Spanish could be the right choice for you.
Polish – Spoken by 98% of population of Poland, and by Slavic populations across Europe
Polish is spoken by most Polish people and is a popular second or third language across the continent. It is also spoken by a lot of people in the UK, so it’s certainly worth considering for business materials like E-learning courses if you want to boost video accessibility.
Ukrainian – 27 million speakers
Ukrainian is spoken across Europe, and with the current movement of Ukrainian people across the continent due to the political situation, is likely to spread more widely. Ukrainian is closely related to Russian, so a lot of Ukrainians can understand the Russian language to a degree, although they may not necessarily speak it.
Dutch – 22 million speakers
Dutch is predominantly spoken in the Netherlands and Belgium and is known to be very easy for English speakers to learn, if you wanted a slightly more niche language to add to your learning repertoire.
The above languages are the most commonly spoken in Europe, and whether you use any of the languages for business or personal purposes, there’s a rich selection to choose from to better your project.
Whichever language you choose to use in your business materials, do make sure you use a professional translation or voice over service so that the materials that you do create, are accurate and impactful.
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