The Indo-European family of cognate languages spoken for at least the last 3,000 years originally over most of Europe and extending into Asia as far south as northern India and as far east as Chinese Turkistan. The Indo-European languages are thought to have originated in a language which has been called Proto-Indo-European, spoken at some distant time in the past, considerably before 2000 BC.

The main divisions to which the Proto-Indo-European language eventually split are the Baltic languages, the Celtic branch, the Germanic languages, the Greek branch, the Indic branch, the Italic branch, and the Slavic languages, as well as the ancient Anatolian languages, and Tocharian. In addition to these, Albanian and Armenian form distinct members of the family.

It constitutes the most extensively spoken group of languages in the world and virtually all the modern languages of Europe belong to this group.