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Polish is Britain's second language, says UK report

APF 4 | 106
30 Jan 2013 #2
And they will be more .. and more .. and more ..
Radders 3 | 47
30 Jan 2013 #3
I'm surprised the percentage of people they think can speak English is so high; most Poles can speak better English than a native 16 year old ;)
PennBoy 76 | 2,432
30 Jan 2013 #4
Merged: Polish England's Second Language

Data from 2011 census reveals 546,000 people in England and Wales speak Polish. Polish is now the main language spoken in England and Wales after English and Welsh, according to 2011 census data released by the Office of National Statistics.

The language-speaking figures recorded for the first time from a survey of 56.1 million residents of England and Wales show 546,000 speak Polish. It is now the second main language in England. There are still slightly more Welsh speakers in Wales at 562,000.
Wroclaw Boy
30 Jan 2013 #5
Data from 2011 census reveals 546,000 people in England and Wales speak Polish.

More like a million+.
ShawnH 8 | 1,491
31 Jan 2013 #6
There's quite a difference between ~546K and a Million +. What do you attribute the difference to?
Wroclaw Boy
31 Jan 2013 #7
ShawnH 8 | 1,491
31 Jan 2013 #8
Connect the dots for me if you would...
Tim Bucknall 7 | 98
31 Jan 2013 #9
pretty excellent news for people trying to learn it like me, maybe i'll even be able to get the Polish papers in my Home Town soon.

BBC Radio 4 this morning quoted the Daily mail as saying that Polish was the 2nd Language in the UK, this felt incorrect to me due to my experience in Wales. Even in Congleton i hear Welsh spoken more than Polish, not very much but still more than Polish.

when i saw a copy of the paper it said 564,000 Polish Speakers in the UK as a whole , i still found it hard to imagine there were less Welsh Speakers but a google search reaveals that apparently its true, theres only 562,000. (19% of the Welsh Population)

I'm really shocked by the decline in Welsh over the last decade as my own experience in North & Mid wales made me think the Language was in Robust good health. I'm saddened that a language with such an ancient history in this Island is struggling

you'd think with devolution that there would be increased interest in Welsh, i had naively imagined the number of Welsh Speakers would maybe be 1.5 million since its taught in School at primary level.

the government could do some things to improve this, it could put BBC Radio Cymru on national freeview/DAB multiplexes to make it easier to hear outside Wales and the same with the TV Station S4C.

here in North West England BBC R Cymru is available via overspill on 104.3 FM, i often have it on in the background.
Before Digital Switchover i could also watch S4C

My own towns name is almost certainly derived or partly derived from Welsh who were the original inhabitants here, we also have a district called "Hulme Walfield" the last part of that name indicating it was named after its Welsh inhabitants

so i'm pleased by the growth of Polish but saddened by the decline of the UK's oldest surviving native language
Radders 3 | 47
31 Jan 2013 #10
Data from 2011 census reveals 546,000 people in England and Wales speak Polish

That's interesting. The same 2011 census gives 579,121 persons born in Poland living in E&W; I guess the 33,000 difference is infants born at home in Poland but not yet talking; what a superb opportunity for them to grow-up bilingual

saddened by the decline of the UK's oldest surviving native language

There's another 35,000 Argentinians that speak Welsh ....
Tim Bucknall 7 | 98
31 Jan 2013 #11
35,000 is a nice surprise, good luck to them keeping their traditions alive.
my Dads great grandmother was Welsh (b1842), that sounds quite distant but when he was growing up in the 1940's there were still some Welsh words used in his home related to food etc.

have you guys heard the stories about possible linguistic links between some Native Americans and Welsh?
theres a theory that some ancient Welsh Cleric or Nobleman (i forget which) crossed the Atlantic, one of the words they used as proof is the word for Brook: "Nant" (as in Nantwich near Crewe)

we Holiday in the Lleyn Penninsular (near the Polish Retirement village) its the most beautiful place in the UK IMO, its nearer than Cornwall and the locals are friendlier!

if anyone reading this wants a really relaxing holiday i suggest North West Wales, hearing people speaking another language only adds to the feeling that one is far away from home and all ones troubles. if anyone wants details of B&B accomodation in the area, PM me

the BBC are now saying that Polish is 3rd Language after Welsh!, clearly nobody knows what the heck is going on and they rushed into this story without checking facts!

the media are catching up very slowly, Last Night BBC Radio 3's excellent late junction show played 2 polish tracks and advertised the Polish film festival

We need some Polish language radio in the UK, actually we've needed it since 1940
jon357 74 | 22,387
1 Feb 2013 #12
This article is one of the better ones I've read about the Polish Deluge:

A Polish friend, who grew up in south London, laments that the recent wave of Polish migrants to Britain has played havoc with his morning commute. Not, he says, because of the sheer numbers of Poles now using public transport, but because "10 or 15 years ago, you used to be able to sit on a bus and listen in on the most intimate conversations between Polish people.
Radders 3 | 47
1 Feb 2013 #13
We need some Polish language radio in the UK

In London we've got a DAB Polish station - also avail via the web from
Mostly kiddie pop. I'd prefer Chopin.
Tim Bucknall 7 | 98
1 Feb 2013 #14
cool, i didn't know about the DAB station, i guess its a start. but PRL is a rather unfortunate set of initials! ;-)

i once met a Welsh woman on holiday who was at a train station in Slovenia, so she thought she'd shout something really obscene since nobody would understand, but the reply came back : same to you Mrs!

yes pity about the music, Znad Wili is the same.
but the news was interesting to me, Belarus is never reported here
PennBoy 76 | 2,432
1 Feb 2013 #15
Polish Deluge

LOL. It's funny I recently watched the British documentary about the Polish pilots during the Battle of Britain, and a Polish woman at the end ( remember far less Poles came and stayed in the UK after WWII then today) says how "I don't think we were ever really welcome here, I don't think they ever wanted us" Some hospitality.
jon357 74 | 22,387
1 Feb 2013 #16
Jobs, houses etc. Yes, some hospitality.

And not just for the ex-Battle of Britain ones.
Tim Bucknall 7 | 98
1 Feb 2013 #17
you could argue it either way..
the Atlee Government was terrified of offending Stalin which caused them to behave shamefully and insultingly but they also treated the Karen in Burma badly too.

and as late as the 70's you still had stupid stuff like the Labour Government trying to block construction of the Katyn Monument in Cannock

however if we ignore the idiocy at the top of the uk, theres some amazingly inspiring stories about how the Polish community was built here.

there was a brilliant article in Dziennik on 3rd Jan this year (which i should have kept!) about how exiled academics from Universities like Lwow built new Polish

universities in abandoned RAF Nissan huts in places like Gloucestershire, then theres the Cadet school which was moved from Palestine to Southampton in 1947.
surely all of that couldn't have happened if the UK was totally unwelcoming?
PennBoy 76 | 2,432
4 Feb 2013 #19

Around 100 different languages are spoken by those living in England, and according to the latest census results, Polish is the second most widely spoken.
Tim Bucknall 7 | 98
4 Feb 2013 #20
my local news agents are going to try and stock Polski for me, they can't stock Angora or Dziennik because they don't deal with Quickmarsh distribution, so i'll still have an excuse to visit the beautiful market town of Leek

isn't it wierd how the story of Immigration here always starts with the Windrush in 1959, they never mention the Polish resettlement act of 1947.
My Dad just found his old army photos (Tank Corps) from the late 50's and pointed out his highly decorated Polish Sgt who fought his way across North Africa and up through Italy in WW2, the whole regiment signed the back of the picture but we can't decipher his signature.

will Polish politicians campaign here like the French do?

( who is happy to be living in North Polonia, aka England)
ismellnonsense - | 118
4 Feb 2013 #21
will Polish politicians campaign here like the French do?

they did already
particularly in 2007
the current government were very effective at getting them to vote for them
the queues in london were incredible
jump_bunny 5 | 237
4 Feb 2013 #22
More like a million+

That's a bit of an exaggeration, I'd say. Moping around as per usual, Wrocław Boy ;)
Tim Bucknall 7 | 98
4 Feb 2013 #23
thanks, are the UK residents combined into a seperate electoral seat like the French system, or are the votes counted in their home constituencies?

i don't suppose there's any chance of Wałesa canvassing in south cheshire ?, we have at least 1 Polish Pharmacist here :D
ismellnonsense - | 118
4 Feb 2013 #24
thanks, are the UK residents combined into a seperate electoral seat like the French system, or are the votes counted in their home constituencies?

i seem to remember that they are counted as being in the centre of warsaw
but i could be wrong
crochetbitch88 2 | 83
4 Feb 2013 #25
"I don't think we were ever really welcome here, I don't think they ever wanted us"

The same is true today. And I believe majority of that half a million Poles in the UK are well aware of that. The English are not welcoming but they are polite. It takes a while to get used to that cold politeness but once you've realised you will never make friends with them (not the sort of friends you could make with probably any other nationals) and have come to terms with that, you stop getting frustrated and just live peacefully. I've learnt to tolerate the English at work the way they tolerate me and I spend my private time with other people. Apparently there's a book called "The English. Are they human?" I've never read it as it's quite old and not easy to get hold of but I would love to ;)
Tim Bucknall 7 | 98
4 Feb 2013 #26
sorry to hear about your experience CB88, but i have to admit most of my online friends are from outside England,(i love talking with Finns & Germans)

i find that British people online are just looking for a fight and the politeness i was taught as a child is just seen as weakness these days.

now i think about it My GF's have mostly been Non-English: Maltese, American, Turkish. wierd

feel free to remind the miserable gits about 303 squadron ;-)

when i visited Czech rep in '93 there was obviously still a lot of poverty but the people had dignity and they were resourceful, making their own clothes etc,

not like the tracksuited hordes of violent "Chav" scum here in England, they need to be kicked up the arse and shown what real poverty and hardship is

sorry, i think its time for my medication, nurse!
crochetbitch88 2 | 83
4 Feb 2013 #27
Oh no, there's nothing to be sorry about. I don't see it in terms of negative vs positive, rather as a variety in the human kind. I think our national characters differ so much that anything more than mutual tolerance is probably too high an expectation; and yet despite the differences more than half a million of Poles have settled and live here safely - that makes the English/British virtue of tolerance worth recognition.

It's interesting that you like Finns and Germans - they are thought to be on the "colder", more composed, orderly side of spectrum, as opposite to for example Italians :) I think there's something about the way Poles and other Eastern Europeans digest their emotions and express them that makes it easier for us to get along with "warmer", "messier" nations. One German called us the Italians of the North, and he has lived in Poland for over 20 yrs :)

As for the Chavs - I don't think it's a national thing. In any nation there are people of this sort, just in poorer countries they are forced to making effort in order to survive. Poverty and hardship will not turn a decent person into a Chav, it's the way they cope with poverty and with money, and with all life problems that makes them the way they are
4 Feb 2013 #28

The Poles are the new ' Irish' in 30-40 years time 1 in every 10 Ldners will be laying claim to having a Polish grandmother. Good luck to them if thay can't make it in Poland and find more opportunity in the UK ' fortune favors the brave'
Tim Bucknall 7 | 98
4 Feb 2013 #29
its interesting, my friend from Latvia thinks Latvians & Russians are Cold, she likes England because she finds people friendlier.
i do indeed find Germans & Finns orderly, calm, precise in the way they use language and that is something i really appreciate.

i had a very positive experience of Italians when i was young, they love kids
we visited Rimini in'88 and it had been raining, but i was a silly kid and went out to play on the slippery wet climbing frame, so of course i fell off and badly banged my head and spent the rest of the holiday vomiting, we went to a little family cafe thinking i had recovered but i started vomiting all over the table, floor, chairs etc.the matriarch of the family bought a bucket and mop and when she'd cleaned up, she bought a cushion for me to put my head on "por la bambini". i will remember that act of kindness and the concern and sympathy on her face for the rest of my life.

i can't imagine that happening in England
i think it was almost worth bashing my brains out to get that insight into the Italian Character!
i think its the little things like that which stay with you and affect you
4 Feb 2013 #30
Soon a million, then two then 10 milllion ...
The invasion starts now !


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