Languages & Linguistics

The Latin language is an Indo-European language belonging to the Italic branch. Latin is considered a classical language due to its ancient and independent tradition. The Latin language was originally spoken in Latium, a region of central western Italy where the city of Rome was founded. Because of the growth of the Roman Republic and its subsequent empire, Latin became the dominant language throughout Europe.

The Norn language is an extinct Nordic language that was spoken in the Northern Isles north of Scotland. The language was also spoken in Caithness, a small Scottish registration county at the very north of the mainland. Settlements by Norse explorers probably started in the 9th century, which spread the Norn language through the region. After Orkney and Shetland were granted to Scotland by Norway in 1468 or 1469, speakers eventually adopted Scots.


The Gaulish language was a Celtic language spoken from the 6th century BCE to the 6th century CE throughout parts of Europe. There are a number of opinions as to what fully constituted the Gaulish language. Some scholard argue that it's the language spoken by the inhabitants of Gaul, which was located in modern day France and Belgium. Others use the term to refer to the varieties of Celtic speech that were spoken throughout Europe, in the Balkans, and in Asia Minor.

The Karelian language is a Finnic language spoken primarily in the Russian Republic of Karelia. It's a recognized minority language in both Karelia and Finland, and is spoken by approximately 36,000 people who are ethnically distinct from their neighbors. The Karelian language is known natively as karjala, karjal, and kariela.

The Romansh language is a Romance language spoken primarily in the southeastern portion of Switzerland, in a Swiss canton called Grisons. The language is also spelled as Romansch, Rumantsch, and Romanche. Romansh, along with German, French, and Italian is an official language in Switzerland and has held this distinction since 1996.

The Venetian language is a Romance language spoken primarily in Italy by about 3.9 million people. The main geographic area where Venetian is spoken is the Veneto region where most inhabitants can understand it. Some linguists note that the Venetian language can be understood and sometimes spoken outside of this area in places such as Dalmatia, Trentino, Friuli, Istria, and Venezia Giulia.

The Breton language, also known as Brezhoneg, is a Celtic language spoken in Brittany, France. Recent census data shows that there are about 210,000 speakers of the Breton language in Brittany and an additional 16,000 in Île-de-France. The language is a member of the Brittonic branch of Celtic languages, meaning it's closely related to other languages from Great Britain.

The Welsh language (Cymraeg or y Gymraeg) is a Celtic language spoken natively in Great Britain. Welsh has been known by many names throughout history such as "the British tongue", "Cambrian", "Cambric", and "Cymric". According to census data and linguistic surveys, there are approximately 700,000 speakers of the Welsh language. Of these, about 562,016 reside in Wales itself. Another 8,648 live in areas of England.

The Faroese language, known as føroyskt, is a North Germanic language spoken by approximately 66,000 people. Of these, 45,000 reside in the Faroe Islands and 21,000 live elsewhere with a heavy concentration in Denmark. The Faroese language is closely related to Icelandic. While speakers of Icelandic can't understand spoken Faroese, they can read portions of the language since the orthography is very similar.

The Walloon language is a Romance language that's spoken primarily in a small portion of France, Brussels, and a district in Door County, Wisconsin. Walloon was widely spoken until the middle of the 20th century, but today there are only a few speakers who are fluent in the language. Most people born since the 1970's know only a handful of phrases of the Walloon language.


The Dalmatian language, also called the Dalmatic language was a Romance language spoken in Croatia and Montenegro. The language went extinct in 1898 when Tuone Udaina, the last known speaker, was killed at age 77 in a road work accident. Udaina had learned the language from his parents and was interviewed by the linguist Matteo Bartoli. No sound recordings of the Dalmatian language exist.

The Maranao language is an Austronesian language spoken by approximately 780,000 people. The Maranao people, the primary speakers of the language, live in the Philippines within the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur, as well as in Sabah, Malaysia. Maranao (also called Mëranaw and Maranaoan) is taught in primary schools in the Lanao provinces and is used conversationally in areas where speakers reside.

The Icelandic language (íslenska) is a Germanic language spoken mainly in Iceland. There are approximately 334,400 speakers; 320,000 live in Iceland itself, about 8,000 live in Denmark, 5,000 in the United States, and 1,400 in Canada. The language isn't necessarily regulated in any sense; the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies serves an advisory role in preserving Icelandic manuscripts and the Icelandic Language Council advises the government on language policy.

The Neapolitan language, also known as napulitano is a Romance language spoken by approximately 5.7 million people. Mainly, Neapolitan is spaken in and around Naples, but is widespread throughout southern Italy. The name for the Neapolitan language doesn't come from the city of Naples, but instead comes from the Kingdom of Naples which ruled over much of the area where the language is found today.

The Estonian language is a member of the Finnic language family and is spoken by approximately 1.1 million people. Of these, about 922,000 live in Estonia. Estonian has official status in Estonia and the European Union and is regulated by the Institute of the Estonian Language. Estonian is related to Finnish, Karelian, Hungarian, and a handful of other languages as part of a family that is no Indo-European in origin.