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Index / Languages /
Indo-European languages



By country
Figures in 1000.
% of country population.
Algeria
110 0.3%
Bahrain
SbNA +1.0%
Egypt
85 0.1%
Iran
170 0.2%
Iraq
60 0.2%
Israel
1,650 22.0%
Jordan
16 0.3%
Lebanon
320 8.0%
Palestine
5 <0.1%
Qatar
SbNA +1.0%
Saudi Arabia
155 0.6%
Syria
320 1.6%
Tunisia
10 0.1%
Turkey
420 0.6%
United Arab Emirates
SbNA +1.0%
TOTAL
3,300 0.7%

Total calculated to the MENA, with 490 million inhabitants.
SbNA: Substantial, but no figures available.


Among the Indo-European languages one is native to MENA, Armenian. Close to 1 million speak that language in 7 countries across the Middle East.
The presence of other European languages in the MENA comes mainly from three backgrounds: Peoples with long roots in the region; modern immigration to Israel; and foreign workers in oil rich countries.
Russian, French and English are the dominant languages among these.
It appears that the Russian speaking community in Israel is vital, yet Hebrew is gaining ground with the younger generation.
In Turkey there are vital communities that will not assimilate from the reason that they have kindred peoples and languages across the border to Bulgaria or Greece.
Statistics to the European speakers in United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar is quite poor. European speakers in oil rich countries are expected to return to their homelands at some time, yet countries like United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar have policies that promotes permanent residence for wealthy foreigners.




By Tore Kjeilen