London's second languages mapped by tube stop

London's second languages mapped by tube stop

Which tube line in London is the most linguistically diverse? Where on the tube are you most likely to hear French or Portuguese? UCLs Oliver OBriens map of the most common second languages by tube stop will give you a clue

Walk along the streets of London and its not uncommon to hear a variety of langauges jostling for space in your eardrums. Step inside a tube carriage on the underground and the story is no different.

Oliver OBrien, researcher in geovisualisation and web mapping at University College Londons department of geography, has created a map showing which tongues are the most common second language (after English) that you may hear at certain tube stops across the capital.

So a circle where 10% of local people primarily speak French will be larger (and a different colour) than a circle where 5% of people primarily speak Spanish

Language correlates well with some ethnicities (e.g. South Asian) but not others (e.g. African), in London. So some familiar patterns appear e.g. a popular, and uniform, second language appearing at almost all Tower Hamlets stations.

Remember, the map is showing language, not origin so many of the Portuguese speakers, for instance, may be of Brazilian origin.

Using the tube lines in inner and central London as a geographical anchor to show the most commonly spoken language (after English) around each station. [It shows that] many languages cluster into distinct parts of the capital.

Looking at the DLR network, two major language clusters stand out – Bengali (in Tower Hamlets) and Lithuanian (in Royal Docks).

A tube line with a distinct language along its length, a journey on the Bakerloo passes through areas with large proportions of Gujarati, Portuguese, French and Tagalog languages speakers, as well as the varied Chinese languages spoken in Chinatown.

The map shows the most popular occupation of people living around each tube station – from the legal experts around Temple to artists in Hackney and protective services for the wealthy and famous of Knightsbridge

The northern line reveals itself as a tube line of teachers and artists in the north, and business administrators in the south.

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Source: Guardian Transport