Official native languages
English is spoken across the UK, but it is not the only native official language. You may also occasionally hear:
- Welsh in Wales
- Gaelic and Scots in Scotland
- Irish and Ulster Scots in Northern Ireland
- Cornish in Cornwall, England
These other languages developed very differently to English and share few common words. You will hear them most commonly in rural areas, but many young people are now taught these languages at school as a second language and they are seeing a revival. However, wherever you go in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales you will find that English is the main language and that people speak English fluently.
As well as these native languages, you will hear lots of other languages in the UK too. In London alone it is estimated that you can hear over 300 languages! As well as immigrant communities, the UK attracts millions of students, tourists and business visitors from around the world each year.