Language: English is spoken throughout the UK, but there are other official languages too, such as Welsh, Scots and Gaelic, Irish and Ulster Scots, and Cornish.
It is estimated that 95% of the UK’s population are monolingual English speakers.
You will also hear lots of other languages in the UK, too. There are over 300 languages spoken in England. 5.5% of the population are estimated to speak languages brought to the UK as a result of relatively recent immigration. South Asian languages, including Bengali, Tamil, Punjabi, Hindi and Gujarati, are the largest grouping and are spoken by 2.7% of the UK population. According to the 2011 census, Polish has become the second-largest language spoken in England and has 546,000 speakers. Students, tourists and business visitors have also brought various international languages
You might find it difficult to understand some British people as there are many different accents and dialects in English, which can cause difficulty even for British people to understand.
You will often hear slang words and phrases in English when you are in the UK. Slang is a type of language consisting of words and phrases that:
- are considered to be very informal
- are more common in speech than in writing
- are typically restricted to a particular group of people or context
Without knowing the real meaning of slang could make it difficult for you to understand English, but it could also be a lot of fun learning slangs. For example, happy a larry means very very happy, bottle means courage, cheers means thank you.