The Languages of UK [Updated 2021]


Is English spoken in the United Kingdom? Without a doubt! However, English is not the sole language spoken in the United Kingdom.

In truth, English isn't the only native language spoken in the United Kingdom; there are several others.

To that, we may add a significant number of foreign languages spoken by the UK's varied population. So, what are the most prevalent languages in the UK, and who speaks them?

There are 14 distinct indigenous languages spoken in the United Kingdom. English has the most speakers, whereas Cornish, a language spoken in Cornwall, has the fewest — just around 500 people can communicate well in it.

Here are some of the most important indigenous languages still spoken in the United Kingdom.

Also Read: The Languages of UK: Expectations Vs. Reality


Some people are shocked to hear that English is not the United Kingdom's official language.

However, it is the de-facto national language of the United Kingdom since it is spoken by 92 percent of the population.

In the United Kingdom, there are many different dialects of English, although everyone can understand each other to some extent.


Welsh is said to be a Brythonic language, which means British Celtic, and was spoken in Britain long before the Roman invasion. Welsh is spoken by 1% of UK citizens, and it is an equal status language in Wales to English.

Welsh origins may be found in many British place names and physical characteristics, but few Welsh terms have made it into the daily English language.

They include words like "bard," "corgi," "flannel," and "penguin." The most frequent is 'dad,' which comes from the Welsh word tad.


With roughly 1.5 million speakers in Scotland, Scotish is the second most spoken language in the UK. Some individuals believe Scots is a dialect of English, although polls classify it as a different language.

The majority of Scots speakers learned the language as a second language, and it is considered an essential method to preserve Scottish culture.

Foreign Languages Spoken in the United Kingdom

The majority of people in the United Kingdom can use or comprehend a second or third language to a substantial degree as a result of private lessons or primary or secondary education. French is spoken or understood by 23% of the British population.

French, as well as other non-native languages such as German, Spanish, and Italian, has long been given as a foreign language in UK schools. German is spoken or understood by 9% of the British population, whereas Spanish is spoken or understood by 8%.

Except for their native tongue, 38 percent of British people can speak at least one foreign language; another 18 percent can speak at least two, and 6% can speak at least three.


The numerous distinct languages spoken in the United Kingdom make the nation more intriguing and diversified.

While learning English will allow you to communicate and transact with the greatest number of people, whether you speak Polish, Punjabi, or Somali, you're sure to find someone who speaks your language here as well. 

If you are expanding your business to the United Kingdom, contact us for any translation services, our team will help you out.


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