Polish Becomes Britain's Second Language

Friday, 01 Feb 2013 05:56 AM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Polish is now become the most commonly spoken non-native language in England and Wales. New census figures reveal that more than half a million people now speak Polish as their first language, London’s Independent reports.
 
That puts Polish in the lead over the more established foreign languages Punjabi and Urdu and behind only Britain's official languages — English and Welsh, the newspaper says.

The figures also show that about 140,000 people in England and Wales cannot speak the English language and another 726,000 are barely proficient.

The Polish communities in England and Wales are also substituting more and more English words in the Polish language.

“Mostly English is incorporated into Polish in business speak, so terminology used in the office would be English rather than Polish,’’ Polish translator Anna Lycett told the Huffington Post. “For example you would go to a ‘briefing’ rather than use the Polish word for it.”

The census figures show other languages that are prominently used in the United Kingdom include Bengali, Gujarati, and Arabic — all of them more so than French or German.

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