19th Edition



A language of United Kingdom


56,600,000 in United Kingdom (2011 census). England and Wales 49,800,000, Scotland 5,118,000, Northern Ireland 1,681,000. L2 users: 1,500,000 in United Kingdom (Crystal 2003a). Total users in all countries: 942,533,930 (as L1: 339,370,920; as L2: 603,163,010).

Language Status

1 (National). De facto national language.


Cockney, Scouse, Geordie, West Country, East Anglia, Birmingham (Brummie, Brummy), South Wales, Edinburgh, Belfast, Cornwall, Cumberland, Central Cumberland, Devonshire, East Devonshire, Dorset, Durham, Bolton Lancashire, North Lancashire, Radcliffe Lancashire, Northumberland, Norfolk, Newcastle Northumberland, Tyneside Northumberland, Lowland Scottish, Somerset, Sussex, Westmorland, North Wiltshire, Craven Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, Sheffield Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Glaswegian. Many local English varieties around the world. Lexical similarity: 60% with German, 27% with French, 24% with Russian.


SVO; prepositions; genitives after noun heads; articles, adjectives, numerals before noun heads; question word initial; word order distinguishes subject, object, indirect objects, given and new information, topic and comment; active and passive; causative; comparative; consonant and vowel clusters; 24 consonants, 13 vowels, 8 diphthongs; non-tonal; free stress; phrasal verbs.

Language Use

Some also use French [fra] (European Commission 2006). A few also use Spanish [spa] (European Commission 2006), Standard German [deu] (European Commission 2006).

Language Development
Fully developed. Bible: 1382–2002.

Braille script [Brai]. Deseret Alphabet [Dsrt], developed in 1854 with limited usage until 1877. Latin script [Latn], primary usage. Shavian (Shaw) script [Shaw], no longer in use.

Other Comments


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