Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Best Multilingual Cities In Europe: Part 2

Yesterday, we started our search for some of the best multilingual cities in Europe. Today we are heading from France into Belgium as our first point of call.

Belgium

Brussels - It's only natural that the capital of Belgium and the administrative home of the EU would be multilingual. Aside from Brussels being the capital of a country that has both French and Flemish speakers, the EU's main working languages of English and German are also prominent in the city.

Germany

Berlin - Though the German capital has only one official language, Berlin is another one of Europe's most ethnically diverse cities with a large percentage of the population speaking Turkish.

Some Barbary macaques atop the rock of Gibraltar.
United Kingdom

Gibraltar - Despite its location, Gibraltar is part of the UK and has been responsible for heightening tension between Britain and Spain for many years now. Thanks to being slap-bang on the bottom of Spain, Gibraltar has some elements that make it feel like any other British city, except for beautiful weather and a large number of free-roaming monkeys. You can also hear English, Spanish and a mix of the two known as Llanito, which is like Andalusian Spanish peppered with an English lexicon.

Cardiff - Within Wales' capital you can find street signs in both English and Welsh. The Welsh name for the city is Caerdydd, and though the Welsh language has declined since its peak in the 13th century, over 1 in 10 inhabitants of Cardiff still speak it.

London - Despite an embarrassing number of monolingual speakers in the UK, London can thank its immigrant population for making the capital one of the most multilingual cities in the world. There's barely a language that can't be heard somewhere in London.

Ireland

Dublin - Though the capital of Ireland is mainly English-speaking, there still remain a good number of Irish speakers. The capital also boasts a higher number of Irish language schools than anywhere else in Ireland. It is the capital, after all!

If there are any multilingual European cities you feel we've missed, let us know in the comments below.