List of endangered languages in Europe

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An endangered language is a language that it 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.

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 language2 Georgia, Russian Federation, Turkey   Vulnerable    
Alemannic German2 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 dialect2 Italy   Definitely endangered A Sardinian variant of Catalan  
Alpine Provençal, Vivaro-Alpine dialect2 France, Italy   Definitely endangered Alpine Provençal  
Aragonese language2 Spain   Definitely endangered  
Arbanasi language2 Croatia   Severely endangered Dialect of Gheg Albaniancitation needed  
Arbëresh language2 Italy   Definitely endangered Dialect of Albanian   
Aromanian language2 Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Romania   Definitely endangered    
Arvanitika language2 Greece   Severely endangered Dialect of Albanian   
Asturleonese languages2 Spain, Portugal   Definitely endangered Asturian language
Extremaduran language
Mirandese language
Auvergnat dialect2 France   Severely endangered    
Banat Bulgarian language2 Romania, Serbia   Definitely endangered    
Basque language2 Spain, France   Vulnerable    
Bats language2 Georgia   Severely endangered    
Bavarian language2 Germany, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland, Czech Republic   Vulnerable    
Belarusian language2 Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russian Federation, Ukraine   Vulnerable    
Bohtan Neo-Aramaic2 Georgia, Russian Federation   Severely endangered    
Breton language2 France   Severely endangered    
Budukh language2 Azerbaijan   Severely endangered    
Burgenland Croatian2 Austria, Hungary, Slovakia   Definitely endangered    
Burgundian language2 France   Severely endangered    
Campidanese Sardinian2 Italy   Definitely endangered Macro-dialect of the Sardinian language  
Cappadocian Greek2 Greece   Critically endangered    
Champenois dialect2 Belgium, France   Severely endangered    
Cimbrian language2 Italy   Definitely endangered    
Judeo-Italian languages2 Greece 200 Critically endangered Corfiot Italkian  
Cornish language2 United Kingdom   Critically endangered    
Corsican language2 France, Italy   Definitely endangered    
Crimean Tatar language (Crimea)2 Ukraine   Severely endangered  
Crimean Tatar language (Dobruja)2 Bulgaria, Romania   Severely endangered  
Crimean Tatar language2 Ukraine   Severely endangered Crimean Turkish language  
Csángó dialect2 Romania   Severely endangered Csángó Hungarian, Csango; dialect of Hungarian  
Cypriot Maronite Arabic2 Cyprus   Severely endangered    
Dalecarlian dialects2 Sweden   Definitely endangered    
East Franconian German2 Germany, Czech Republic   Vulnerable    
Tunumiit language2 Greenland   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-Romagnolo2 Italy, San Marino   Definitely endangered    
Faetar dialect2 Italy 137,000 Definitely endangered Franco-Provençal language  
Faroese language2 Faroe Islands   Vulnerable    
Franc-Comtois language2 France, Switzerland   Severely endangered    
Franco-Provençal language2 France, Italy, Switzerland   Definitely endangered Francoprovençal, Arpitan, Romand  
Friulan language2 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 language2 France   Severely endangered    
Gallo-Italic of Sicily2 Italy   Definitely endangered Gallo-Sicilian  
Gallurese language2 Italy   Definitely endangered    
Gardiol dialect, Gardiol2 Italy   Severely endangered Vivaro-Alpine dialect  
Gascon language, Gascon2 Spain, France   Definitely endangered    
Gottscheerish2 Slovenia   Critically endangered Granish  
Griko language (Calabria) 2 Italy   Severely endangered    
Griko language (Salento)2 Italy   Severely endangered    
Guernésiais2 Guernsey   Severely endangered Also known as Dgèrnésiais, Guernsey French, and Guernsey Norman French  
Modern Gutnish2 Sweden 5,000 Definitely endangered    
Hértevin language2 Turkey   Critically endangered    
Homshetsi dialect (Caucasus)2 Georgia, Russian Federation   Severely endangered Homshetsma  
Homshetsi dialect (Turkey)2 Turkey   Definitely endangered Homshetsma  
Inari Saami language2 Finland 300 (all of them elders, with the exception of 6) Severely endangered    
Irish language2 Ireland, United Kingdom (Northern Ireland) 83,0003 Definitely endangered    
Istriot language2 Croatia   Severely endangered    
Istro-Romanian language2 Croatia ~137 (2001) - 1000 Severely endangered    
Jèrriais2 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 language2 Poland 53,000 (2002) Severely endangered Cassubian Polish 2002 Census
Khinalug language2 Azerbaijan   Severely endangered    
Kryts language2 Azerbaijan   Severely endangered Kryz  
Ladin language2 Italy   Definitely endangered    
Languedocien dialect2 France   Severely endangered Languedocian  
Latgalian language2 Latvia, Russian Federation   Vulnerable    
Laz language2 Georgia, Turkey   Definitely endangered    
Lezgian language2 Azerbaijan, Russian Federation   Vulnerable    
Ligurian2 France, Italy, Monaco   Definitely endangered    
Limburgish language2 Germany, Belgium, Netherlands   Vulnerable Limburgish language  
Limousin dialect, Limousin2 France   Severely endangered    
Livonian language, Livonian2 Latvia   Critically endangered    
Logudorese Sardinian2 Italy   Definitely endangered Macro-dialect of the Sardinian language  
Lombard language, Lombard2 Italy, Switzerland   Definitely endangered    
Lorrain dialect, Lorrain2 Belgium, France   Severely endangered    
West Low German2 Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Poland, Russian Federation   Vulnerable Low Saxon  
Lule Saami language2 Norway, Sweden   Severely endangered    
Manx language, Manx2 Isle of Man   Critically endangered    
Mariupolitan Greek language, Mariupolitan Greek2 Ukraine   Severely endangered    
Megleno-Romanian language2 Greece, Macedonia   Severely endangered    
Mingrelian language2 Georgia   Definitely endangered Megrelian  
Mócheno language2 Italy   Definitely endangered Mócheno language  
Molise Croatian dialect2 Italy   Severely endangered    
Moselle Franconian dialects2 Germany, Belgium, France, Luxembourg   Vulnerable    
Nogay language (Crimea)2 Ukraine   Severely endangered    
Nogay language(Dobruja)2 Romania   Severely endangered    
Norman language, Norman2 France   Severely endangered    
North Frisian language2 Germany 10,000 (2001) Severely endangered    
Inuktun language, North Greenlandic2 Greenland   Definitely endangered North Greenlandic  
North Saami language2 Finland, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden   Definitely endangered    
Livvi-Karelian language2 Finland, Russian Federation   Definitely endangered Olonetsian  
Ossetic language, Ossete2 Georgia, Russian Federation   Vulnerable Ossete  
Picard language2 Belgium, France   Severely endangered    
Piedmontese language2 Italy   Definitely endangered    
Pite Saami language, Pite Saami2 Norway, Sweden 20 in Sweden (2000 T. Salminen) 2,000 in Sweden (1995 M Krauss) Critically endangered    
Plautdietsch language, Plautdietsch2 Ukraine   Definitely endangered    
Poitevin-Saintongeais2 France   Severely endangered    
Polesian language, Polesian2 Belarus, Poland, Ukraine   Vulnerable    
Pontic Greek2 Armenia, Georgia, Greece, Russian Federation, Turkey, Ukraine   Definitely endangered    
Provençal dialect2 France   Severely endangered    
Resian dialect2 Italy   Definitely endangered    
Palatinate German2 Germany, France   Vulnerable   Pfaelzisch, Rhenish Franconian dialects
Romani language, Romani2 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 language2 Switzerland   Definitely endangered    
Rusyn language2 Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine   Vulnerable    
Rutul language2 Azerbaijan, Russian Federation   Definitely endangered    
Samogitian language2 Lithuania, Russian Federation, Poland, Latvia   Definitely endangered    
Sassarese language2 Italy   Definitely endangered    
Saterland Frisian language2 Germany 5,000 (2001) Severely endangered    
Scanian dialects2 Denmark, Sweden   Vulnerable    
Scots language2 United Kingdom (Scotland)   Vulnerable    
Scottish Gaelic2 United Kingdom (Scotland) 58,552  Definitely endangered    
Sicilian language, Sicilian2 Italy   Vulnerable Siculu or Calabro-Sicilian  
Skolt Saami language2 Finland, Norway, Russian Federation   Severely endangered    
Sorbian languages2 Germany   Definitely endangered    
Southern Italian2 Italy   Vulnerable South Italian, Napoletano-Calabrese  
South Jutlandic2 Germany, Denmark   Definitely endangered South Jutish  
Southern Sami language2 Norway, Sweden   Severely endangered South Saami  
Neo-Aramaic languages2 Armenia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey   Definitely endangered Suret  
Svan language2 Georgia   Definitely endangered    
Talysh language2 Azerbaijan, Iran   Vulnerable    
Tat language (Caucasus)2 Azerbaijan   Severely endangered    
Walser German2 Italy   Severely endangered Töitschu  
Torlakian dialect2 Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia   Vulnerable    
Transylvanian Saxon dialect2 Romania   Severely endangered    
Tsakhur language, Tsakhur2 Azerbaijan, Russian Federation   Definitely endangered    
Tsakonian language, Tsakonian2 Greece   Critically endangered    
Udi language (Azerbaijan) 2 Azerbaijan   Severely endangered    
Udi language (Georgia) 2 Georgia   Severely endangered    
Ume Saami language2 Sweden 20 (2000 T Salminen) 1,000 (1995 M Krauss) Critically endangered    
Urum language, Urum2 Georgia, Russian Federation, Ukraine   Definitely endangered    
Venetian language2 Italy, Croatia, Slovenia   Vulnerable Venetan  
Wymysorys language2 Poland 70 Severely endangered micro-language, native to Wilamowice  
Pannonian Rusyn language2 Croatia, Serbia   Definitely endangered Vojvodina Rusyn  
Võro-Seto dialect2 Estonia, Russian Federation   Definitely endangered Vôru (Werro), Seto (Setu); dialect of Estonian language  
Walloon language2 Belgium, France, Luxembourg   Definitely endangered    
Welsh language2 United Kingdom  562,000 (2011 Census) Vulnerable    
West Flemish2 Belgium, France, Netherlands   Vulnerable    
West Frisian language2 Netherlands   Vulnerable    
Greenlandic language2 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 language2 Turkey   Vulnerable    

See also


  1. ^ Moseley, Christopher (ed.). 2010. Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger, 3rd edn. Paris, UNESCO Publishing. Online version:
  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:
  3. ^ Government of Ireland, "20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030", p.9. Retrieved 20 Sept 2012.

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