English Today

Original Articles

Multilingualism in Metropolitan London

Reinier Salverda a1
a1 Professor of Dutch Language and Literature, University College London, UK


A description and discussion of the vast linguistic diversity in the capital of the United Kingdom.

LONDON today is an enormous Tower of Babel, where in addition to the common language, English, many other languages are spoken. On Tuesday 13 March 2001, as part of the Lunch Hour Lecture Series at University College London, Professor Reinier Salverda discussed the linguistic diversity of contemporary London, presenting recent data on the other languages spoken there, as well as focussing on the social aspects of this linguistic diversity, in particular issues of language policy and language management. The following is a slightly adapted version of that presentation.