List of endangered languages in Europe

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An endangered language is a language that is at risk of falling out of use, generally because it has few surviving speakers. If it loses all of its native speakers, it becomes an extinct language. A language may be endangered in one area but show signs of revitalisation in another, as with the Irish language.

UNESCO distinguishes four levels of endangerment in languages, based on intergenerational transfer:[1]

Vulnerable: Most children speak the language, but it may be restricted to certain domains (e.g., home).
Definitely endangered: Children no longer learn the language as mother tongue in the home.
Severely endangered: Language is spoken by grandparents and older generations; while the parent generation may understand it, they do not speak it to children or among themselves.
Critically endangered: The youngest speakers are grandparents and older, and they speak the language partially and infrequently.


Language Countries Speakers Status Comments Ref
Abkhaz language[2] Georgia, Russian Federation, Turkey 110,000 (1993) Vulnerable    
Alemannic German[2] Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Liechtenstein, Switzerland   Vulnerable Especially the variants in Germany and the Elsace are endangered, while the variants in Switzerland are more established.  
Algherese dialect[2] Italy   Definitely endangered A Sardinian variant of Catalan  
Alpine Provençal, Vivaro-Alpine dialect[2] France, Italy   Definitely endangered Alpine Provençal  
Aragonese language[2] Spain 10,000 (2007) Definitely endangered  
Arbanasi language[2] Croatia   Severely endangered Dialect of Gheg Albanian[citation needed]  
Arbëresh language[2] Italy 100,000 (2007) Definitely endangered Dialect of Albanian   
Aromanian language[2] Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Romania 250,000 (1997) Definitely endangered    
Arvanitika language[2] Greece 50,000 (2007) Severely endangered Dialect of Albanian   
Asturleonese languages[2] Spain, Portugal   Definitely endangered Asturian language
Extremaduran language
Mirandese language
 
Auvergnat dialect[2] France   Severely endangered    
Banat Bulgarian language[2] Romania, Serbia 8,000-15,000 Definitely endangered    
Basque language[2] Spain, France 720,000 (2012) Vulnerable    
Bats language[2] Georgia   Severely endangered    
Bavarian language[2] Germany, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland, Czech Republic   Vulnerable    
Belarusian language[2] Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russian Federation, Ukraine   Vulnerable    
Bohtan Neo-Aramaic[2] Georgia, Russian Federation   Severely endangered    
Breton language[2] France   Severely endangered    
Budukh language[2] Azerbaijan   Severely endangered    
Burgenland Croatian[2] Austria, Hungary, Slovakia   Definitely endangered    
Burgundian language[2] France   Severely endangered    
Campidanese Sardinian[2] Italy   Definitely endangered Macro-dialect of the Sardinian language  
Cappadocian Greek[2] Greece   Critically endangered    
Champenois dialect[2] Belgium, France   Severely endangered    
Cimbrian language[2] Italy   Definitely endangered    
Judeo-Italian languages[2] Greece 200 Critically endangered Corfiot Italkian  
Cornish language[2] United Kingdom   Critically endangered    
Corsican language[2] France, Italy   Definitely endangered    
Crimean Tatar language (Crimea)[2] Ukraine   Severely endangered  
Crimean Tatar language (Dobruja)[2] Bulgaria, Romania   Severely endangered  
Crimean Tatar language[2] Ukraine   Severely endangered Crimean Turkish language  
Csángó dialect[2] Romania   Severely endangered Csángó Hungarian, Csango; dialect of Hungarian  
Cypriot Maronite Arabic[2] Cyprus   Severely endangered    
Dalecarlian dialects[2] Sweden   Definitely endangered    
East Franconian German[2] Germany, Czech Republic   Vulnerable    
Tunumiit language[2] Greenland 3,000-3,500 (1995) Definitely endangered Tunumiit oraasiat, known as Tunumiisut in Greenlandic and also as East Greenlandic in English.  
Slovak language (Eastern Slovak)[2] Slovakia, Ukraine   Vulnerable    
Emilian-Romagnolo[2] Italy, San Marino   Definitely endangered    
Faetar dialect[2] Italy 137,000 Definitely endangered Franco-Provençal language  
Faroese language[2] Faroe Islands   Vulnerable    
Franc-Comtois language[2] France, Switzerland   Severely endangered    
Franco-Provençal language[2] France, Italy, Switzerland   Definitely endangered Francoprovençal, Arpitan, Romand  
Friulan language[2] Italy   Definitely endangered Friulian  
Gagauz language (Bessarabia)[2] Moldova, Ukraine   Definitely endangered    
Gagauz language (Deli Orman)[2] Bulgaria   Critically endangered    
Gagauz language (Maritime)[2] Bulgaria, Romania   Severely endangered    
Gagauz language (South Balkans)[2] Greece, Macedonia, Turkey   Severely endangered  
Gallo language[2] France   Severely endangered    
Gallo-Italic of Sicily[2] Italy   Definitely endangered Gallo-Sicilian  
Gallurese[2] Italy   Definitely endangered A Sardinian variant of Corsican  
Gardiol dialect, Gardiol[2] Italy   Severely endangered Vivaro-Alpine dialect  
Gascon language, Gascon[2] Spain, France   Definitely endangered    
Gottscheerish[2] Slovenia   Critically endangered Granish  
Griko language (Calabria) [2] Italy   Severely endangered    
Griko language (Salento)[2] Italy   Severely endangered    
Guernésiais[2] Guernsey   Severely endangered Also known as Dgèrnésiais, Guernsey French, and Guernsey Norman French  
Modern Gutnish[2] Sweden 5,000 Definitely endangered    
Hértevin language[2] Turkey   Critically endangered    
Homshetsi dialect (Caucasus)[2] Georgia, Russian Federation   Severely endangered Homshetsma  
Homshetsi dialect (Turkey)[2] Turkey   Definitely endangered Homshetsma  
Inari Saami language[2] Finland 300 (all of them elders, with the exception of 6) Severely endangered    
Irish language[2] Ireland, United Kingdom (Northern Ireland) 83,000[3] Endangered as a traditional rural language (see Gaeltacht), but undergoing an urban revival (see Status of the Irish language).    
Istriot language[2] Croatia   Severely endangered    
Istro-Romanian language[2] Croatia ~137 (2001) - 1000 Severely endangered    
Jèrriais[2] Jersey   Severely endangered Jersey French  
Judaeo-Spanish (Europe) [2] Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Morocco, Romania, Turkey, Serbia   Severely endangered Judezmo  
Juhuri language (Caucasus) [2] Azerbaijan, Russian Federation   Definitely endangered Judeo-Tat, Juhur  
Karaim language (Lithuania) [2] Crimea, Lithuania, 100 (2005) 50 in Lithuania. Severely endangered    
Karaim language (Western Ukraine) [2] Ukraine   Critically endangered    
Karelian language (Karelia) [2] Finland, Russian Federation   Definitely endangered    
Kashubian language[2] Poland 108,000 (2011) Severely endangered Cassubian Polish 2011 Census
Khinalug language[2] Azerbaijan   Severely endangered    
Kryts language[2] Azerbaijan   Severely endangered Kryz  
Ladin language[2] Italy   Definitely endangered    
Languedocien dialect[2] France   Severely endangered Languedocian  
Latgalian language[2] Latvia, Russian Federation   Vulnerable    
Laz language[2] Georgia, Turkey   Definitely endangered    
Lezgian language[2] Azerbaijan, Russian Federation   Vulnerable    
Ligurian[2] France, Italy, Monaco   Definitely endangered    
Limburgish language[2] Germany, Belgium, Netherlands   Vulnerable Limburgish language  
Limousin dialect, Limousin[2] France   Severely endangered    
Livonian language, Livonian[2] Latvia   Critically endangered    
Logudorese Sardinian[2] Italy   Definitely endangered Macro-dialect of the Sardinian language  
Lombard language, Lombard[2] Italy, Switzerland   Definitely endangered    
Lorrain dialect, Lorrain[2] Belgium, France   Severely endangered    
West Low German[2] Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Poland, Russian Federation   Vulnerable Low Saxon  
Lule Saami language[2] Norway, Sweden   Severely endangered    
Manx language, Manx[2] Isle of Man   Critically endangered    
Mariupolitan Greek language, Mariupolitan Greek[2] Ukraine   Severely endangered    
Megleno-Romanian language[2] Greece, Macedonia   Severely endangered    
Mingrelian language[2] Georgia   Definitely endangered Megrelian  
Mócheno language[2] Italy   Definitely endangered Mócheno language  
Molise Croatian dialect[2] Italy   Severely endangered    
Moselle Franconian dialects[2] Germany, Belgium, France, Luxembourg   Vulnerable    
Nogay language (Crimea)[2] Ukraine   Severely endangered    
Nogay language(Dobruja)[2] Romania   Severely endangered    
Norman language, Norman[2] France   Severely endangered    
North Frisian language[2] Germany 10,000 (2001) Severely endangered    
Inuktun language, North Greenlandic[2] Greenland   Definitely endangered North Greenlandic  
North Saami language[2] Finland, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden   Definitely endangered    
Livvi-Karelian language[2] Finland, Russian Federation   Definitely endangered Olonetsian  
Ossetic language, Ossete[2] Georgia, Russian Federation   Vulnerable Ossete  
Picard language[2] Belgium, France   Severely endangered    
Piedmontese language[2] Italy   Definitely endangered    
Pite Saami language, Pite Saami[2] Norway, Sweden 20 in Sweden (2000 T. Salminen) 2,000 in Sweden (1995 M Krauss) Critically endangered    
Plautdietsch language, Plautdietsch[2] Ukraine   Definitely endangered    
Poitevin-Saintongeais[2] France   Severely endangered    
Polesian language, Polesian[2] Belarus, Poland, Ukraine   Vulnerable    
Pontic Greek[2] Armenia, Georgia, Greece, Russian Federation, Turkey, Ukraine   Definitely endangered    
Provençal dialect[2] France   Severely endangered    
Resian dialect[2] Italy   Definitely endangered    
Palatinate German[2] Germany, France   Vulnerable   Pfaelzisch, Rhenish Franconian dialects
Romani language, Romani[2] Albania, Germany, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, United Kingdom, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Turkey, Ukraine, Serbia, Montenegro   Definitely endangered Romany, Gypsy, Gipsy  
Romansh language[2] Switzerland   Definitely endangered    
Rusyn language[2] Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine   Vulnerable    
Rutul language[2] Azerbaijan, Russian Federation   Definitely endangered    
Samogitian language[2] Lithuania, Russian Federation, Poland, Latvia   Definitely endangered    
Sassarese language[2] Italy   Definitely endangered A transitional language between Sardinian and Corsican  
Saterland Frisian language[2] Germany 5,000 (2001) Severely endangered    
Scanian dialects[2] Denmark, Sweden   Vulnerable    
Scots language[2] United Kingdom (Scotland)   Vulnerable    
Scottish Gaelic[2] United Kingdom (Scotland) 58,552  Definitely endangered    
Sicilian language, Sicilian[2] Italy   Vulnerable Siculu or Calabro-Sicilian  
Skolt Saami language[2] Finland, Norway, Russian Federation   Severely endangered    
Sorbian languages[2] Germany   Definitely endangered    
Southern Italian[2] Italy   Vulnerable South Italian, Napoletano-Calabrese  
South Jutlandic[2] Germany, Denmark   Definitely endangered South Jutish  
Southern Sami language[2] Norway, Sweden   Severely endangered South Saami  
Neo-Aramaic languages[2] Armenia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey   Definitely endangered Suret  
Svan language[2] Georgia   Definitely endangered    
Talysh language[2] Azerbaijan, Iran   Vulnerable    
Tat language (Caucasus)[2] Azerbaijan   Severely endangered    
Walser German[2] Italy   Severely endangered Töitschu  
Torlakian dialect[2] Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia   Vulnerable    
Transylvanian Saxon dialect[2] Romania   Severely endangered    
Tsakhur language, Tsakhur[2] Azerbaijan, Russian Federation   Definitely endangered    
Tsakonian language, Tsakonian[2] Greece   Critically endangered    
Udi language (Azerbaijan) [2] Azerbaijan   Severely endangered    
Udi language (Georgia) [2] Georgia   Severely endangered    
Ume Saami language[2] Sweden 20 (2000 T Salminen) 1,000 (1995 M Krauss) Critically endangered    
Urum language, Urum[2] Georgia, Russian Federation, Ukraine   Definitely endangered    
Venetian language[2] Italy, Croatia, Slovenia   Vulnerable Venetan  
Wymysorys language[2] Poland 70 Severely endangered micro-language, native to Wilamowice  
Pannonian Rusyn language[2] Croatia, Serbia   Definitely endangered Vojvodina Rusyn  
Võro-Seto dialect[2] Estonia, Russian Federation   Definitely endangered Vôru (Werro), Seto (Setu); dialect of Estonian language  
Walloon language[2] Belgium, France, Luxembourg   Definitely endangered    
Welsh language[2] United Kingdom  562,000 (2011 Census) Vulnerable    
West Flemish[2] Belgium, France, Netherlands   Vulnerable    
West Frisian language[2] Netherlands   Vulnerable    
Greenlandic language[2] Greenland   Vulnerable West Greenlandic  
Western Armenian language (Turkey)[2] Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, France   Definitely endangered    
Yiddish language (Europe) [2] Germany, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, United Kingdom, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Ukraine   Definitely endangered    
Zazaki language[2] Turkey   Vulnerable    

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Moseley, Christopher (ed.). 2010. Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger, 3rd edn. Paris, UNESCO Publishing. Online version: http://www.unesco.org/culture/en/endangeredlanguages/atlas
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn co cp cq cr cs ct cu cv cw cx cy cz da db dc dd de df dg dh di dj dk dl dm dn do dp dq dr ds dt du dv dw dx dy dz ea eb ec ed ee ef eg eh ei ej ek el em en eo ep eq er es et eu ev ew Moseley, Christopher (ed.). 2010. Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger, 3rd edn. Paris, UNESCO Publishing. Online version: http://www.unesco.org/culture/languages-atlas/index.php
  3. ^ Government of Ireland, "20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030", p.9. Retrieved 20 Sept 2012.