Parlez-vous Londonish? We’re a truly global, multicultural city attracting newcomers from all over the world, who come in search of cereal cafés and a pervasive sense of loneliness. As a result, over 300 languages are spoken in the capital. But which languages are spoken where? This new Tube Tongues Map from UCK’s Oliver O’Brien illustrates.
Each station’s circle is colour-coded according to the most commonly spoken non-English language in the area, while the circle size reflects what percentage of the populace speak that language.
For instance you can see the largely Bangladeshi community in Whitechapel and Shadwell, while to the north in Dalston and Hackney there’s a larger Turkish influence:
But there’s more to the map that meets eye. In some areas no one language is dominant (hence a small circle!) but people speak a lot of different languages. For instance, while 6.7 percent of people in Turnpike Lane speak Polish, no fewer than 16 different languages are spoken by more than 1 percent of the population:
And of course not all language speakers are from that language’s ‘home’ country – French speakers are just as likely to hail from Francophone Africa or the Caribbean as France, while some Portuguese speakers will come from Brazil.
In any case, it’s a fascinating overview of the ethnic and linguistic diversity of London, which will probably teach you a thing or two about London’s many communities. (Hello, Lithuanians of the DLR!)
See the Tube Tongues Map in full, or for more…
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