Además de sus lenguas oficiales, Europa cuenta con muchísimas lenguas minoritarias o regionales. Sin embargo según un informe de la UNESCO, hay nada menos que 30 lenguas europeas están amenazadas o en peligro de desaparición. Por eso existe un acuerdo fue signado en 1992 por los estados miembros del consejo de Europa para la defensa y la promoción de todas las lenguas que no son oficiales. Esta protección de las lenguas minoritarias de Europa que estaban desapareciendo contribuye al mantenimiento y al desarrollo de las lenguas tradicionales que conforman la riqueza cultural del continente Europeo.

Además, la posibilidad de hablar estos idiomas en la vida privada constituye un derecho fundamental. Sin embargo, las lenguas minoritarias no deben ser enseñadas en detrimento de las lenguas oficiales del país.

Para ser preciso, hay en Europa más de 40 millones de personas que hablan una lengua regional o minoritaria histórica que se ha ido transmitiendo por la tradición oral de generación en generación. En total, existen más de 60 comunidades de personas que hablan lenguas regionales o minoritarias autóctonas. Además esta cifra aumentará probablemente  con la integración de nuevos países en la Unión Europea.  Como podemos verlo en este mapa, algunos países tienen idiomas minoritarios.

¿Como definir una lengua minoritaria?

Para que una lengua sea definida como una lengua minoritaria, tiene que ser hablada por un número de personas inferior al resto de la población del Estado. Debe ser diferente de las lenguas oficiales y no incluir los dialectos ni las lenguas de los inmigrantes.

El territorio donde se habla una lengua regional o minoritaria es el área geográfica en la cual estas lenguas son el modo de expresión de un número de personas que justifica la adopción de diferentes medidas de protección.

Algunas comunidades mantienen vínculos por encima de las fronteras nacionales: por ejemplo las comunidades vascas y catalanas de España y Francia. Otro ejemplo con el grupo lingüístico céltico en Francia, Irlanda y Reino Unido. Estas comunidades comparten una serie de intereses acerca de la supervivencia y el desarrollo continuado de sus lenguas y de sus culturas en la Unión Europea.  Pero esas comunidades pierden hablantes porque se pierde la transmisión intergeneracional y muchos hablantes no tienen el derecho de usar su propia lengua en el ámbito oficial del Estado en el que tiene su base de comunidad lingüística a la cual pertenecen.

Gracias a su diversidad de idiomas, Europa tiene un amplio abanico de personas con su propria cultura que representan una gran riqueza  a nivel de cultura y de diversidad.

 regionales

Lenguas Romances 

Las lenguas romances, también conocidas como románicas, cuentan con 670 millones de hablantes. Estas lenguas se hablan a lo largo y ancho de este mundo, aunque principalmente en Europa y en el hemisferio occidental. La razón por la que se las conoce bajo esa denominación es porque el latín, lengua de la que todas ellas parten, era el idioma de los romanos. En sus orígenes, la primera versión del idioma, conocida como latín vulgar, se extendió por todo el Imperio Romano a través de soldados y colonizadores. Más tarde, esta primera versión fue influenciada por las características lingüísticas propias de cada zona, por los colonos y, posteriormente, por invasores. De esta forma la lengua fue sufriendo algunas variaciones.

Después de la caída del Imperio Romano de Occidente y las invasiones germánicas del norte, la primera versión del latín dio lugar a distintos dialectos locales.

Así, esta lengua propició el desarrollo de las lenguas pertenecientes a la subfamilia de las lenguas itálicas, dentro del grupo de las indoeuropeas. Destacan de entre ellas:

  • El francés
  • El italiano
  • El español
  • El catalán
  • El portugués
  • El occitano
  • El retorrománico
  • El rumano

Además, las lenguas romances presentan muchas similitudes tanto gramaticales como léxicas y las diferencias suelen ser más fonéticas que léxicas o estructurales. A día de hoy, a pesar de las diferencias que estas lenguas tienen gramaticalmente con respecto al latín, todas comparten una evolución paralela desde el latín vulgar. Un ejemplo de ello son los géneros gramaticales: el latín tenía tres géneros distintos (masculino, femenino y neutro) y las lenguas romances, dos (masculino y femenino). Además, otro rasgo común que las lenguas romances han preservado hasta nuestros días es la conjugación verbal tan desarrollada con la que cuentan.

Resulta interesante conocer que el germánico de Gran Bretaña evolucionó prácticamente libre de influencias del latín hasta el siglo XI, cuando, en 1066, fue conquistada por los normandos, que llegaron atravesando el Canal. A partir de entonces, durante al menos dos siglos y debido a la dominación de la lengua romance, el inglés fue considerado lengua semirromance. Después fue descrito como «el francés mal pronunciado» por la influencia del neolatín a través de las relaciones con franceses, que es la causa de que existan palabras similares entre estos idiomas como «art» (en francés: art y en español e italiano: arte).

Fuente de la imagen 1
Fuente de la imagen 2

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