2001 Census The most common countries of birth for foreign- born British residents in 2001 were: India - 466,416 people Pakistan - 320,767 people Germany - 262,276 people (although most are thought to be German-born children of British military personnel) The Caribbean - 254,740 people The USA - 155,030 people. The Republic of Ireland was the birthplace of 498,850 people, a decline of 97,433 from 1991, but for the purpose of this survey and in British law they are not considered "foreign".
1991 – 2001 Census The greatest percentage increases in foreign-born population between 1991 to 2001 were from: Albania - 1374% (from a base of 154 people) Former Yugoslavia - 242% (from a base of 13,846) Sierra Leone - 170% (from 6,280). Greece - 142% (from 14,459). Zimbabwe - 130% (from 21,427).
7.5% of people living in Britain were born abroad. The non-native-born population tends to be strongly attracted to London and the South East region 1.7 million foreign-born live in London, representing 25% of the city's total population, although 52% of Wembley's population was born abroad. Location of foreign-born population
Languages In Britain The United Kingdom has no official language. “English” is the main language and the de facto official language, spoken monolingually by an estimated 95% of the UK population. Norman French is still used in the Houses of Parliament for ‘some’ official business. Parts of the UK have frameworks for the promotion of minor languages.
Languages In Britain In Wales, English and Welsh are both widely used by officialdom. “Irish” is often used alongside English in Northern Ireland (official business) Scottish Gaelic in Scotland has an “official” status. The UK Government has committed itself to the promotion of certain linguistic traditions. Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, Scots, Irish and Cornish
Regional Languages Welsh is spoken by about 20% of the population of Wales (~600,000 speakers). However, not all speakers are 100% fluent. Many Welsh people are proud to speak Welsh. Scottish Gaelic has about 60,000 speakers (~1% of Scotland). In Northern Ireland, ~7% speak Irish Gaelic (~110,000 speakers) and 2% speak Scots (~ 30,000 speakers). Cornish is spoken by ~3,500 people (0.6% of Cornwall). Scots is spoken by 30% of Scottish people (~ 1.5 million). British Sign Language (for the deaf) is understood by less than 0.1% of the total population of the UK.
Varieties of English English (British English) – Cant – Cockney rhyming slang – English English – Estuary English – Geordie – Mid Ulster English – Polari – Scottish English Highland English – Scouse – Sign Supported English
"Language vs Dialect" Many people disagree on whether some of the various tongues spoken in the UK are Languages or Dialects (of a single language) E.g. - Scottish Gaelic and Irish Gaelic are viewed as different languages but are often intelligible to each other. The same is been true of Ulster Scots (Ireland) and Lowland Scots in Scotland. It is often a matter of national pride
Dialects of “English” The British Isles is one of the most linguistically diverse areas in the English-speaking world. Significant changes in dialect (pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary) may occur within one region. The four major divisions are: Southern English dialects Midlands English dialects Northern English dialects, Scottish English (including Scots and Ulster Scots) The various English dialects differ in the words they have borrowed from other languages. The Scottish and Northern dialects include many words originally borrowed from Old Norse; the Scottish dialects include words borrowed from Scots and Scottish Gaelic
Try this Website http://www.bbc.co.uk/voices/recordings/index.shtml You can listen to real British people from different parts of Britain
Cockney Rhyming Slang Cockney rhyming slang is a form of English slang which originated in the East End of London. Many of its expressions have passed into common language. Rhyming slang developed as a way to hide the meaning of sentences from those who did not understand the slang. Apples = apples and pears = stairs - e.g. "Get up the apples!" Barnet = Barnet Fair = hair - e.g. what´s a matter with yer Barnet Frog = frog & toad = road - e.g. "I was crossing the frog" Rosie = Rosie Lee = tea - e.g. "Have a cup of rosie"
Cornish (of Cornwall) Thought to be a “dead” language (not really spoken, or not fluently spoken by anyone). A number of children are being brought up to speak the language.
Shelta Also known as the Cant Is a language spoken by parts of the Irish Traveler people (Irish Gypsies). Shelta's vocabulary is based largely on Irish, The language's structure contains many grammatical similarities with English. It also contains elements of Romany languages, There are ~86,000 worldwide speakers of Shelta (~6,000- 25,000 in Ireland). Spoken almost exclusively by Travellers. Shelta existed as far back as the 13th century.
Geordie Geordie derives much less influence from French and Latin than does Standard English, being substantially Angle and Viking in origin. The accent and pronunciation, as in Lowland Scots, reflect old Anglo- Saxon pronunciations, accents and usages. Personal pronouns differ a lot from Standard English: Geordies use "youse" for plural "you", "me" for "my", "us" for "me", "wor" for "our". Vowel sounds are unusual. "er" on the end of words becomes "a" ("father" is pronounced "fatha", both "a" sounds as in "hat"). Many "a" sounds become more like "e": "hev" for "have". Double vowels are often pronounced separately: "boat" becomes "boh-ut". Some words acquire extra vowels ("growel" for "growl", "cannet" for "can't"). The "or" sound in words like "talk" becomes "aa", while "er" sounds in words like "work" becomes "or". The "ow" in words like "down" or, most famously, "town" becomes "oo“.
Scouse The word Scouse was originally a variation of lobscouse (probably from the north German sailor's dish Labscaus), the name of a traditional dish of mutton stew mixed with hardtack eaten by sailors. Scouse is the accent or dialect of English found in the northern English city of Liverpool. The Liverpool accent is highly distinctive and sounds wholly different from the accents used in the neighboring regions of Cheshire and rural Lancashire. Inhabitants of Liverpool are often called Scousers.
British English Around the World British English is still the model for the English spoken in many Commonwealth countries: Australia New Zealand South Africa India British English is still taught and used in former British colonies of Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia American English is often taught in Chinese and Japanese schools, and throughout other schools in Asia.