The three top languages, in terms of numbers of speakers, are Arabic, Persian and Turkish, representing Afro-Asiatic, Indo-European, and Turkic language families respectively. Various other languages are also spoken in the Middle East, and they too span many different language families. Arabic is the most widely spoken language in the Middle East, being official in all the Arab countries. It is also spoken in some adjacent areas in neighbouring Middle Eastern non-Arab countries. It is a member of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic languages. For more information contact French Lessons.

The second-most widely spoken language is Persian. While it is confined to Iran and some border areas in neghbouring countries, the country is one of the region's largest and most populous. It is an Aryan language of the Indo-Aryan branch of the family of Indo-European languages. It is much influenced by Arabic (through Islam) and Aramaic (the pre-Arabic lingua franca of the Middle East). For more information visit Persian Empire.

The third-most widely spoken language, Turkish, is confined to Turkey, which is also one of the region's largest and most populous countries. It is present in areas in neighboring countries. It is a member or the Turkic languages, which have their origins in Central Asia. Further information available from Turkey's history. Other languages spoken in the region include Syriac (a form of Aramaic), Armenian, Azerbaijani, Berber, Circassian, smaller Iranian languages, Hebrew, Kurdish, smaller Turkic languages, Greek, and several Modern South Arabian languages.