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Dana Nutter wrote:
 > And there is much more diversity in the languages of Asia and
 > Africa. You have many completely different language families
 > represented where Europe is mostly just the three big braches
 > (Romance, Germanic and Slavic) of IE.

Note that geographically Europe is also much smaller than Asia and 
Africa. It's only about 1/4 of Asia and 1/3 of Africa.

 > The other thing is in some of these places, they don't really
 > have "languages" so much as a continuum of dialects that range
 > in their levels of mutal intelligibility.

Basically that's the situation in Europe too, but there are certain 
privileged standard varieties that ensure mutual intelligibility through 
literature and mass media.