*** Welcome to piglix ***

Indo-European languages

Before the 16th century: parts of Europe and Asia; today: worldwide
Linguistic classification: One of the world's primary language families
Proto-language: Proto-Indo-European
ISO 639-2 / 5:
Glottolog: indo1319
Present-day native distribution of Indo-European languages, within their homeland of Eurasia:
  Non-Indo-European languages
Dotted/striped areas indicate where multilingualism is common

The Indo-European languages are a language family of several hundred related languages and dialects. There are about 445 living Indo-European languages, according to the estimate by Ethnologue, with over two-thirds (313) of them belonging to the Indo-Iranian branch. The most widely spoken Indo-European languages by native speakers are Spanish, English, Hindustani (Hindi and Urdu), Portuguese, Bengali, Russian, Persian and Punjabi, each with over 100 million speakers. Today, 46% of the human population speaks an Indo-European language natively, by far the highest of any language family.

The Indo-European family includes most of the modern languages of Europe, and parts of Western, Central, and South Asia. It was also predominant in ancient Anatolia (present-day central and eastern Turkey), the ancient Tarim Basin (present-day Northwest China) and most of Central Asia until the medieval Turkic migrations and Mongol invasions. With written evidence appearing since the Bronze Age in the form of the Anatolian languages and Mycenaean Greek, the Indo-European family is significant to the field of historical linguistics as possessing the second-longest recorded history, after the Afroasiatic family.