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Population and Languages / Население и язык

It is incorrect to call the inhabitants of the UK the English. Only people outside the British Isles do so.

People of four main nationalities inhabit the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northem Ireland. They are: the English, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish.

These four nationalities make up the British nation or the Britons.

The British is the nation, whose ancestors settled in the British Isles at different times.

The density of population in Great Britain is one of the highest in the world and the average number is 220 people per square kilometre. Four out of every five people in Britain live in numerous towns and cities. This means that the majority of the population is urban.

People of different races live in the UK. They usually represent inhabitants of the former British colonies. There are also many people of Asian, West Indian and African origin living in Britain.

Until recently, British politics tended to be dominated by England, but both Wales and Scotland now have their own political assemblies, as well as they are represented in the British Parliament.

In Ireland, the political situation is difficult because of nationalism and religious views of its people.

As for the language, British law does not recognize any language as official. And the English language is not the only language that is spoken in the UK. But English is the only language used in England for general official business.

The other national languages of the UK are Welsh, Irish Gaelic and Scottish Gaelic. It is so because Welsh, Scottish and Irish people feel their national identity very strongly and value their cultural heritage.

Wales is officially bilingual. In Wales the Welsh language is used alongside English. Welsh is treated by law as an equal to English. And in Scotland over 75,000 people speak Scottish Gaelic.

Standard English or the Queen’s English is the same English language, but it is called so because it is spoken by educated people in Britain.

Besides standard literary English there exist regional and social dialects. One of such dialects which is well-known all over the world is the dialect called Cockney. Cockney is spoken colloquially in London.


  • the English — англичане
  • the Scots — шотландцы
  • the Welsh — уэльсцы (валлийцы)
  • the Irish — ирландцы
  • the British — британцы
  • the English language (English) — английский язык
  • the Welsh language (Welsh) — валлийский язык
  • Gaelic ['geIlIk] — гаэльский язык (относится к кельтской группе индоевропейских языков; в V–VI вв. был вытеснен латинским языком)
  • Cockney ['kɔknI] — кокни (лондонское просторечие)


► Читайте также другие темы раздела "General Information about the UK / Общая информация о Великобритании":

 Перейти к оглавлению книги Страноведческий справочник. Топики (темы) о Великобритании на английском языке