Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

When you arrive in London, you come with expectations. In addition to working, many decide to go to the capital of the United Kingdom to learn or improve their English. The surprise for these newbies in the city is when, in addition to English, they listen to many other languages including Spanish.

The most outstanding example is when one leaves the Oxford Circus station and starts listening to a medley of languages at the same time. This can be understood, Oxford Street is one of the busiest streets in London and with more affluence of foreign tourists who come and go shopping or drinking. However, this scenario is the best reflection of what happens throughout the city.

London, a multicultural city

Especially in the last decade, London has adopted many other languages that coexist with the language of Shakespeare. The city is in constant transformation, full of multiculturalism. The boroughs of the city have been transformed as a small symbolic part of the country of origin with citizens of Turkey, France, India, Pakistan, Portugal, Spain, Italy, China, and many more.

Thanks to the data of the census created by Oliver O’Brien, researcher in geovisualization and web cartography for University College London, now you can know thanks to an interactive map which is the second most spoken language in London or which languages predominate in the city. The sample is based on the transport of the city, specifically the metro. In the interactive map we can see information about the diversity of dialects spoken throughout London and where these languages are most concentrated.

The capital of the United Kingdom, neighborhood by neighborhood

The second most used language in many stations represents less than 5% of the nearby population. With this reference, it is understood that many little spoken languages appear as the most spoken in different areas, such as, for example, the Yiddish in Stamford Hill because it has a large Jewish population very orthodox. The Polish community or the Gujarati-speaking Indian community carry great weight in and around London, especially in the north-west.

When analyzing Spanish or Portuguese, the area where these languages are most spoken is the center-south zone of the city. The streets of Clapham, Kennington, Elephant & Castle, Bermondsey, Queens Road Peckham, Greenwich, or Rotherhithe have a large community of Spanish speakers.

On the other hand, in the case of French, in London reside the largest number of French nationals compared to other cities outside the French country. In addition, many of the French people live in the center and these residents are joined by the large number of French tourists who visit the city due to its geographical proximity.

Some areas contain strong concentrations of a dialect, for example, more than 30% of people in Shadwell speak Bengali and in the West Acton area it is more than 20% the population that speaks Japanese.

If you want to find out about the religious groups, check out our article on this topic: What are the major religious groups in the UK?

[Photo from Unsplash]