London a potpourri of languages

  • Posted by Andrew Smith
  • December 21, 2017 2:16:46 AM PST
London is among the greatest cities on the planet and has been described as a cosmopolitan melting pot with more than 300 languages spoken in the city.

It is also a prominent cultural hub with a myriad of culinary delights and an equally diverse and vibrant arts and music scene. For those who are passionate about different languages and cultures, London is a terrific city to visit.


If you have a trip planned to the city a good location to stay would be any of the Hammersmith hotels that offer luxury and comfort and are located in a central location.


A great boutique property to stay in the area is the Adria Hotel London Hammersmith, which is wallet-friendly with excellent amenities to boot as well.  Some of the locations where you will experience a smattering of languages and culture apart from English are as follows:  


Central London: The hub of the city is where you will find all the action. There are tourists and visitors from all corners of the globe milling about the place visiting the numerous attractions and touristy hot spots in this part of the city. In the area is one of the finest and most visited museums in the world the British Museum, which is home to the priceless Rosetta Stone, a cuneiform relic, which helped archaeologists to decipher the Egyptian hieroglyphics. Take a short stroll from the museums and head to Foyles and head to the fifth floor to find the biggest collection of books in every conceivable language.


South Kensington: The place is humorously referred to as the 6the biggest city of France, because of a large number of French staying here more than other French City. Drop in at any of the Parisian style cafes in the neighbourhood and you will them a large number of French nationals there. Other areas famously associated with the French in London are the French Institute, the French Lycee and the Institut Francais, which has a panoply of all things related to France and its culture.


Brick Lane and Whitechapel: Brick Lane is also referred to as Curry Lane and has a large South Asian community-based in the area. Most of them are from Bangladesh and are known for their excellent culinary fare that is served in restaurants and stalls in the area. There is a large number of restaurants all along Brick Lane and continue through to Whitechapel Market moving further up. The area of Brick Lane has had a chequered history having once served as home to the Protestant Huguenots who fled to the area to avoid persecutions back home in France. It later was a popular location for the Jews and was the hub of the Jewish East End with its salt beef bagels among the best in London. The mosque in Brick Lane previously served as a church of the Huguenots in 1743. Later it was used a synagogue at the end of the 19th century and finally became the Jama Masjid of London in 1973.


Hammersmith and West London: One of the most commonly used languages in the city over the past decade is Polish, which has deep roots in the city. Over the years the Poles mostly stayed in West London with Hammersmith a hub for the community. This reason why Hammersmith was a popular spot for them is that the Polish Social and Cultural Association is in the area. It is in a building that was home to the exiled Polish government for more than half-a-century from 1940-90. The centre organises numerous cultural events and there are a number of Polish food joints in the nearby area.


Green Lanes and Stoke Newington: When the civil war erupted in Cyprus many were left homeless, a result of which a large number of Cypriots relocated to London. The area they mainly inhabited was that of Stoke Newington, where you will find a large segment of them in the lower section of Green Lanes close to Newington Green. The place is now home to various social clubs, grocery stores, restaurants and among the finest kebab joints in the city. All of these are managed by Cypriot Turkish members from the community and is where you will hear a number of them converse in the Turkish language.


Palmers Green: Similarly move a bit further to Palmers Green and you will find a community of Greek Cypriots, who migrated to London also in troubled times. You will find a number of  Greek Cypriot bakeries along Myddleton Road along with several restaurants, bars, cafes all of which are run by Greek Cypriots. You will also find a large number of them milling about the place onto the sidewalks. The non-Cypriot Greeks are spread out across the city but can be found during Easter at St. Sophia’s Church in Bayswater.  


Golders Green: The place serves as home to the sizeable Jewish community that lives in and around Golders Green. If you want to learn Yiddish or Hebrew this is the place to visit. The irony is there is a restaurant in the area with a rather Chinese name of Met Su Yan (Hebrew phrase meaning excellent). You will hear a number of people converse in a mix of languages including English, Yiddish and Hebrew around the place. There also is an influx of members from the Southeast Asian and Japanese communities with a number of Far Eastern food joints mushrooming in the area.


Stockwell: Located to the south of the city it is also called Little Portugal. The nickname is because a tranche of people migrated to this area from Madeira and Portugal, during the 60 and 70s. There even is a sizeable Portuguese community from Brazil in the area and is the place to head for the most authentic Portuguese cuisine in the country. These eateries extend up to South Lambeth Road. Apart from the large native Portuguese community there also is a smattering of the Caribbean and West African descendants in the area.