How Many Different Languages Are Spoken in the UK

Different Languages

How Many Different Languages Are Spoken in the UK

How Many Different Languages Are Spoken in the UK

(Last Updated On: October 11, 2023)

There are a lot of things that haven’t changed in all the years humans have been on earth. Even before we had any proper means of transportation, humans loved to move from one place to the other. Sometimes, they had to move to a different location in search of food and shelter. As centuries passed, the earth got divided into different countries. Today, there are borders guarding countries, and crossing them involves a long process. People have to prepare their applications for visas and immigration. These applications get rejected too. But overall, the movement of people from one part of the world to the other hasn’t stopped.


The movement means that different communities and cultures have come into contact over the years and influenced each other. When you see a custom being practiced far away from the place of its origin, you will notice the effect of immigration. As people settle down overseas, they stay in touch with their roots through their culture and language. They teach their kids about the values from their homeland to keep the culture alive. Immigration has changed the shape of many countries, and the United Kingdom is one example of that.

The UK and Linguistic Diversity:

Foreigners live in every country on earth. Over the years, technology has shortened distances, and people don’t feel afraid to move away from their homeland in search of opportunities. However, every country has a different way of accepting these foreigners. Some societies are better at making foreigners a part of their community than others. The US has one of the biggest Spanish speaking communities in the world. That means the country’s system doesn’t force foreigners to learn the official language. However, things aren’t the same in the UK.


In 2011, 13.8 percent of the population of Britain was made up of foreign-born residents. But 98% of the population speaks English. However, that doesn’t mean there is no linguistic diversity in the country. People from different parts of the world live in this state, so it is understandable why you can hear multiple languages there.

Different Languages

How Many Different Languages Are Spoken in the UK?

Before foreign vernaculars, there were indigenous languages in the UK. Before the modern culture overtook the kingdom, there were people of Scotland and Wales who spoke their own languages; Scots and Welsh, respectively. A total of 14 indigenous tongues are spoken across the kingdom. The other vernaculars that are spoken by a significant number of people in the UK were brought to the land by the immigrants. Out of them, Polish, Punjabi, and Urdu are some of the most spoken

languages in the UK


Arabic, Chinese, Tamil, and Gujrati are a few other vernaculars spoken by the immigrants. An estimate puts the total number of vernaculars spoken in the UK to 300. Although there are speakers of various vernaculars in the UK, some of them end up adopting the official language full-time. After all, English is not only used in every government department but also in the legal system. It is impossible for someone to survive in the country without learning English. This is why it is not considered an ideal place for foreign vernaculars. Most of them do not flourish outside people’s homes in the UK.

Multilingual Population:

The people of England are known for being multilingual. Most of them can understand a second tongue. Even the natives have come in contact with different vernaculars through courses. 23% of the people can understand French even if all of them are not fluent in it. 9% of the population has the same relationship with German. People of the UK have the option to study European vernaculars at school. German, Spanish, Italian, and French are offered by almost all of the schools. Although not compulsory, many students end up taking one of the tongues in high school.

Influence of Foreign Languages on the Culture:


There are regions in the country where you can only hear a foreign vernacular wherever you turn. Such regions are populated by immigrants. Many immigrant communities end up living together so they can celebrate their culture with each other. They have been living in close contact for decades, and that’s why they have managed to create a close-knit community away from home. Even their children born in the UK speak both English and the native tongue of their parents.

Different Languages

It isn’t very easy to ascertain the exact influence of foreign languages on the culture of the UK. The local population may be accepting of immigrants, but they haven’t changed much due to outside forces. It is partly due to immigrants living in separate communities. Even when they live among the native population, they tend to interact with familiar faces more than their neighbors.


However, it is impossible for the local culture to have stayed the same after brushing against foreign vernaculars for years. A few changes in it can be seen. The translation is one of the biggest services industries in this country nowadays. Foreigners are frequently in need of linguistic help due to not being fluent in the official tongue.

Since there are plenty of companies working in the country, it can be difficult at times to figure out which one will be a good option. But by reading reviews and getting suggestions from others, you can find the right company. The agency that has native translators will offer you quality services. No one can understand a vernacular better than a native translator. Agencies that know this are the ones you can trust.

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