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Learn about London
by Mandy Barrow

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Project Britain
About London
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(important street)
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Languages Spoken in London


Over 250 languages are spoken in London, making the capital the most linguistically diverse city in the world.

In a survey of 850,000 children in London schools the question about first language spoken at home was asked.

The 40 most common languages spoken are

Language  Approx total Language Approx total
English 608,500 Igbo (Nigeria) 1,900
Bengali & Silheti  40,400 French-based Creoles 1,800
Panjabi  29,800 Tagalog (Filipino 1,600
Gujerati  28,600 Kurdish 1,400
Hindi/Urdu  26,000 Polish 1,500
Turkish  15,600 Swahili 1,000
Arabic  11,000 Lingala (Congo) 1,000
English-based Creoles 10,700 Albanian 900
Yorubu (Nigeria) 10,400 Luganda (Uganda) 800
Somali 8,300 Ga (Ghana) 800
Cantonese  6,900 Tigrinya (Sudan) 800
Greek  6,300 German 800
Akan (Ashanti)  6,000 Japanese 800
Portuguese 6,000 Serbian/Croatian 700
French 5,600 Russian 700
Spanish 5,500 Hebrew 650
Tamil (Sri Lanka) 3,700 Korean 550
Farsi (Persian) 3,300 Pashto (Afghanistan) 450
Italian 2,500 Amharic (Ethiopia) 450
Vietnamese 2,400 Sinhala (Sri Lanka) 450
  Numbers have been rounded up or down to the nearest 50  

Source website: Baker, P. and Eversley, J. (eds) (2000) Multilingual Capital, London: Battlebridge.

Languages Spoken in Britain

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Mandy is the creator of the Woodlands Resources section of the Woodlands Junior website. 
The two websites and are the new homes for the Woodlands Resources.

Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant. 
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.

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