The Council of Europe and the European Union have declared September 26, European Day of Languages whose aim it is to encourage language learning across Europe.
There are about 225 indigenous languages in Europe – roughly 3% of the world’s total. 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.