London - a Multilingual Melting Pot

In: Social Issues

Submitted By jwlshan
Words 519
Pages 3
With millions of people, London truly is a beacon for multicultural capital of Europe if not the world. With over 300 languages and dozens of different cultures intermingling every-day, it makes perfect sense why so many massive multinational corporations have headquarters in London.

Within the 32 boroughs that make up Greater London, the proud capital of United Kingdom, there are over 300 different languages spoken daily. This makes London a truly cosmopolitan city, probably more so than New York. New York too has diverse demographics of languages spoken but considering the presence of United Nations there, perhaps it makes more sense. But London being so close to mainland Europe, has almost become a destination of choice for bilingual professionals.

The business world recognises this and has reacted adequately. A good example of this would be the fact that Air-France consolidated all of the European call centres and moved them to Wembley in North London hence creating over 200 jobs. There are plenty of other similar examples and London now hosts more multilingual contact centres than anywhere else in the world and across the board, in many industry sectors the need for bilingual professionals has seen a steady growth. Probably New York is the only city that comes close to London in terms of Internationalism.

Prof. John Wells of UCL says besides the obvious business sense this helps to eliminate the narrow-mindedness of British people in learning languages. He also adds that while this makes the population more diverse it also encourages learning new languages hence a skill, when you are living amidst it. According to the report published by University of London's School of Oriental and African studies, dated 1993 there are 275 languages regularly spoken in London. However a later study conducted by The Times the number went by 25 to a sum of 300. This,…...

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