European languages are those spoken on the European continent, and include major world languages such as French, Italian, German and Spanish which have been traditionally widely-taught in Australian schools and universities. Most European Languages belong to the Indo-European language family, with the most well-known branches being Romance (including French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese) and Germanic (English, German, Dutch, Yiddish and the languages of Scandinavia). Many of the most popular European languages are pluricentric, which means they have several standard versions, each used in a different community of speakers. This pluricentricity is for many students a motivation for studying that language, creating more opportunities to use the language – even outside of Europe. A learner of French, for example, is able to use French in French-speaking destinations such Canada, French Polynesia, New Caledonia and many African countries.
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