Multilingual Manchester

All one needs to do is take a walk around Manchester to discover that the city is bursting with speakers of different languages.

Furthermore, and according to research carried out by Manchester Metropolitan University lecturer Rob Drummond, this influx of people from diverse cultures and backgrounds has even had an impact of the use of the English language variants by Manchester residents.

Manchester, a city that brings together students from its three major universities: The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and also the University of Salford is, no doubt, a hub of different cultures. Incidentally, the Greater Manchester universities’ campus is the largest outside London.

Each year the city is greeted by a high number of Erasmus and international students alike who contribute greatly to the local economy.

As well as in the field of academia, Manchester is also a welcoming place for overseas nationals wishing to find work in a variety of sectors or for international entrepreneurs keen to establish their own businesses in the city.

Migration gives people from other countries the opportunity to experience British culture. Additionally, migration results in a broadening of cultural perspectives. As the UN’s representative for migration, Peter Sutherland described migration as a “crucial dynamic for economic growth”.

A professor from the University of Manchester has worked on a study that found that over 100 languages are spoken in Manchester, including Romanian (Moldovan), RussianArmenian, Yiddish, YorubaUrduPunjabiBengaliSomaliKurdishFrenchArabicPortuguese and Polish. Yaron Matras carried out his research by interviewing hundreds of community groupsbusinesses and local people.

Furthermore, it has been found that in Manchester’s schools around 65 different languages are spoken amongst pupils, whereby two thirds of which are bilingual. The benefits of bilingualism and multilingualism have already been documented in one of our earlier blogs.

Thanks to being a Business Language Champion and also as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, Express Language Solutions has been actively promoting foreign language learning in schools. It is our belief at Express Language Solutions that multilingualism and multiculturalism contribute to the innovation and competitiveness of UK businesses in the marketplace, including International Trade.

How multicultural is your city? How many languages are spoken? We would be interested to hear your thoughts.

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