Tiny countries are fascinating. They always remind me of fairy tales (“there was a small kingdom where everybody was happy”), even if with some un-Grimm-ly tones (“they happily never paid a dime of taxes ever after”). They also tell us something about the history of Europe and its languages.
For this journey, I chose European countries with less than 100,000 inhabitants, excluding small countries like Malta, with almost half a million inhabitants, and Luxembourg, a giant compared to these very compact states.
I must confess a very personal reason to write about these countries. It was in Andorra that I peered into Europe’s linguistic marvels for the first time. Going there as a child in one summer holidays, I listened to a very strange language that was neither French nor Spanish. No one told me about it at school. I was hooked for life.
So, keep reading…