Twitter Maps out Multilingual London

Thanks to the work of PhD student Ed Manley and Advanced Spatial Analysis lecturer James Cheshire, both from the University College London, the ten most spoken languages in the city were detected through the medium of social networking site Twitter.

Aside from English, with 3.3 million users detected, the majority of tweets recorded are from Spanish speakers. The list of languages ranges from the second most spoken French to the tenth most spoken Russian, whose moderate number of users is in the region of 10,000. Overall the project detected a total of 66 languages in London between March and August 2012.

Data capture was carried out through the use of GPS devices. The collected data was then put through a language detector in order to track the variation of different languages being tweeted.

Unsurprisingly, Spatial Analyst James was the creator of the map which has a certain galactic aesthetic. The colours show the concentration of languages in particular areas of the city.

It is interesting to see such a representation of London’s diversity, which manifests the city’s ever growing appeal to inhabitants of a wide variety of nationalities. Owing to its size and recognition, London, without a doubt, has welcomed an increasing number of people from different countries to add to its cultural mix, similar to the diversity and multiculturalism of Manchester, as mentioned in one of our previous blogs.

For fellow twitter users out there, what languages do you tweet in?

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