LondonNet News Headlines
25/01/00
City of 300 Tongues
- London languages most varied of all

LONDON is the most linguistically diverse city in the world, according to a new survey.

The study concentrated on languages spoken in London's schools and came to the conclusion that over 300 hundred different mother tongues used. "When we started to investigate I thought it might be as many as 100," said Dr Philip Baker, the report's author. "But we are now pretty certain that London is the most multi-lingual city in the world, more so even than New York."

While languages from the Indian sub-continent rank second to English with 125,000 speakers, pity the poor student whose mother tongue is Pidgin - she is the only one. The diversity of languages can cause problems for teaching but experts believe it is good for the economy. "London is unique in Europe in being able to provide such a large, skilled, multi-lingual labour force," said Andy Land of business pressure group London First.




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