As an immigration hub in Europe, there are many languages spoken in the UK. People from all over the world live in the United Kingdom, making it a melting pot of cultures, languages, dialects, and accents.
English is widely spoken in the UK, but it is not the only language. You may also be able to hear Cornish, Irish, Gaelic, Welsh, and a lot of foreign languages.
For companies and producers targeting people in the United Kingdom, it is important to invest in localisation of audio-visual materials to effectively communicate their message to the intended audience.
How Many Languages are Spoken in the UK?
Do you know that some of the most spoken languages in the UK other than English are Polish, Punjabi, and Urdu?
The British Council says more than 300 languages are spoken in London alone! And according to the Office of National Statistics, 4.1 million of the population in the UK were fluent in English, but it was not their primary language.
Top Languages Spoken in The United Kingdom
There are a number of languages spoken in the UK other than English. The country’s colonial past opened the door to immigrants from around the world.
Here is the list of the top 10 languages in the UK.
With over 546,174 speakers, Polish is one of the most spoken languages in the UK after English.
Despite many Polish nationals leaving after Brexit, Polish is still a prominent language in the country and worth considering for subtitling and audio-visual translation for your marketing materials.
A large concentration of Polish people lives in West London. Outside London, large communities of Polish speakers can also be found in Slough, Southampton, Birmingham, and Leeds.
Listen to Julia, one of our best Polish Voice-Over artists giving tips about Polish Voice Over session recordings.
Because of India’s colonial past, the UK is home to the largest Punjabi community. With more than 273,000 speakers, Punjabi is the most common Indian language in the UK.
A large number of Punjabi speakers today live in the South Hall area of Greater London. This area has even earned the nickname “Little Punjab” for this reason.
Approximately 0.5% of the population in the United Kingdom speaks Urdu, with over 269,000 speakers! It is the second-largest Indian language spoken in the UK.
Large concentrations of Urdu speakers can be found in parts of London and other areas like Scotland, West Midlands, Manchester, Leeds, and Bradford.
Around 0.4% of the population of the UK speaks Bengali. The country has a thriving Bengali community with as many as 221,000 speakers.
London is home to approximately 71,000 Bengali speakers. The three boroughs where the most Bengali native speakers can be found are Tower Hamlets, Newham, and Camden.
Gujarati is also one of the most spoken languages in England due to the presence of Britain’s colony in India during the 19th and 20th centuries. Currently, there are over 213,094 Gujarati speakers in the country.
Large, vibrant Gujarati communities can be found today in metropolitan areas such as Greater London, Yorkshire, Lancashire, and West and East Midlands.
The United Kingdom is home to a large number of British Arabs from countries like the Gulf States, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Palestine, Morocco, and Egypt.
There are over 159,290 Arabic speakers in the UK. A majority of them reside in the Greater London area.
Smaller numbers of Arabic speakers can also be found in other geographical locations such as Birmingham, Liverpool, and Manchester.
Read How to Translate English to Arabic Audio and Video.
French is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the UK, but it is also the most learned foreign language by Britons.
Over 147,099 French speakers currently live in the UK. Most of them can be found in Greater London in the boroughs of Fulham, Hammersmith, Westminster, Kensington, and Chelsea. A smaller concentration can also be found in South East England.
Listen to Philippe, one of our experienced French Voice-Over artists giving tips about French Voice Over session recordings.
Chinese-speaking communities are the most geographically dispersed in the UK. There are currently more than 141,052 people in the country speaking Chinese languages such as Cantonese and Mandarin.
Chinese language speakers live in almost all major cities in the UK such as Greater London, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Newcastle upon Tyne, Liverpool, and Edinburgh.
Meet Weiliang, one of our most experienced Chinese Voice Over Artists.
Portuguese is among the top languages spoken in the UK with over 133,453 speakers.
The largest concentration of Portuguese speakers in the UK is in London. Vauxhall in Lambeth is a long-standing hub for the community. Norfolk has the largest concentration of Portuguese-speaking people outside of London.
Spanish rounds off the list of the most spoken languages in England with over 120,222 speakers.
The largest number of Spanish-speaking residents in the country live in West London in areas such as Chelsea, Regent’s Park, and Kensington. Smaller concentrations can also be found in Scotland and Wales.
Voice-Over in all Languages Spoken in the UK
The UK is a culturally and linguistically diverse country and reaching audiences in the country requires a strategic localisation effort.
GoLocalise can help you reach audiences in the UK in their primary language. Our voice-over services, subtitling, and translation services in over 300 languages can ensure that your marketing message is well received by your target audience.
Regardless of the audience you are targeting, our team is capable of delivering audio-visual localisation services for all the languages listed above.