Germanic (Teutonic)-Western : German (High German spoken in Central Europe, Low German closer to the coast), Yiddish (spoken by East European Ashkenazi Jews), English, Dutch, Afrikaans (South Africa) Frisian. Northern: Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Icelandic. Eastern: Gothic (extinct).
Romance -French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, and some minor languages: Provencal (in southern France), Catalan, Sardinian, Rhaeto-Romance, Ladino (spoken by Sephardic Jews).
Celtic-Formerly spoken over a wide territory; now a few million speakers of Gaelic (Irish), Scots-Gaelic, Welsh (Cymrag), Breton (in Brittany, France). The ancient Gauls were Celts. Many place names in central Europe are of Celtic origin.
Slavic-Three branches. East: Russian, Byelorussian, Ukrainian. West: Polish, Sorbian (a tiny group in Germany) Czech, Slovak. South: Serbian, Croatian, Slovene, Bulgarian, Macedonian.
Baltic-Lithuanian, Latvian; the closest relatives of the Slavic group; in contrast to most other modern Indo-European languages, the Baltic languages have changed very little since ancient times.
Albanian-Two dialects, Gheg and Tosk; contains many Turkish loan words.
Greek-Modern Greek has changed greatly from ancient Greek.
Armenian- Spoken by several million people north of Turkey and Iran.
Hittite-One of several extinct IE languages formerly spoken in what is now Turkey.
Tocharian-two extinct IE languages formerly spoken in western China.
Iranian-Dozens of languages spoken by millions in Iran and Afganistan; include Farsi (modern Persian), Pashto, Kurdish. Ancestors called themselves Aryans, meaning "strong" or "noble." (This ancient word appears in the modern toponym Iran.)
IE languages of India-Dozens of languages descended from ancient Sanscrit; include Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Punjabi; now spoken by over a billion people.
Non Indo-European languages of Europe and vicinity include:
Basque- The sole surviving relic of western Europe's pre-Indo-European past.
Etruscan- An extinct non IE language of Italy.
Finnish and Estonian- belong to the Finno-Ugric language group of northeastern Europe; the IE peoples didn't get to this part of Europe.
Hungarian-Distantly related to Finnish; spoken by descendants of North Asian invaders from the ninth century AD. Several non-IE peoples invaded Europe after the fall of Rome, but only the Hungarians stayed and preserved their language.
Georgian-a language isolate spoken by a few million people north of Turkey.
Turkish, Arabic, and Hebrew are important non Indo-European of Southwest Asia.
Number of speakers of the world's major languages
Today, roughly half the world's population speak an Indo-European language. Most of the world's major languages are IE (except: Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, and Malay-Indonesian).
Number of speakers (in millions as of 1994) Number of speakers
Total Natives only Total Natives only
Mandarin 930 827 Portuguese 179 167
English 463 319 Malay-Indonesian 152 49
Hindi 400 327 Japanese 126 124
Spanish 371 326 French 124 72
Russian 291 172 German 120 98
Arabic 214 182 Urdu 98 95
Bengali 192 184 Punjabi 92 90