Congratulations, you have chosen a travel destination that requires no translation! The native language of London is, of course, English. But with this many immigrants, you’ll be surprised at how often countless other languages are spoken in this amazingly cosmopolitan city. A recent study discovered that 546 000 people in England and Wales speak Polish, now the most common second language of England. Other common languages you may encounter are languages from India and Pakistan, such as Punjabi, Urdu, and Bengali.
London is also home to a few regional accents and dialects such as Estuary English and the infamous East London accent Cockney. Along with a markedly different accent from a more “standard” English accent you might encounter across London, Cockneys are best known for their quirky rhyming slang. Here are a few of the most famous examples of rhyming slang in action:
English: telephone = Cockney: dog (from “dog and bone”)
English: stairs = Cockney: apples (from “apples and pears”)
English: wife = Cockney: trouble (from “trouble and strife”)
English: have a look = Cockney: have a butcher’s (from “butcher’s hook”)