Unit 0

Linguistic policy

Official and Co-official Languages

    • English is the official language of the United Kingdom, it is spoken by 98% of the population.
    • Welsh is an only Celtic language with official status. In Wales, 21% of the population can speak it.
    • Scots is also known as Lowland Scots and is spoken by 2.5 % of the population in Scotland. It is still debated if it is a language or dialect of English.
    • Scottish Gaelic is a Celtic language spoken by 1.7 % of the population in Scotland.
    • Irish is the language found in Northern Ireland where around 6 % of the population is bilingual in Irish and English. Only 0.2% of the Irish population use it as their main language.
    • Cornish is a Celtic language spoken mainly in Cornwall. It used to be a dead language but was reviewed. Now there are around 3,000 speakers of it.

Public Organisations and Institutions for the Care and Promotion of the Language

    • Oxford University Press (creators of the Oxford English Dictionary) is a public organization that inspires people to understand the importance of languages and supports the development of language policies. It improves public understanding of language learning and methods for successful language teaching.
    • Welsh Language Commissioner is a politically independent role that aims to promote the use of Welsh language and making sure that Welsh is treated no less favourably than English.
    • Bòrd na Gàidhlig works to promote Gaelic, and works with the Scottish Government, the people of Scotland and the Gaelic organizations to improve the status of the Scottish Gaelic language.
    • Foras na Gaeilge is a public body responsible for the promotion of the Irish language on the island of Ireland. It formerly was a part of the Irish government.

Public Organisations and Institutions for the Diffusion of Language and Culture

    • The British Council is the UK’s international organization for cultural relations and educational possibilities. It is building lasting relationships between the UK and other countries.
    • Welsh Language Society is an active group aiming for the right of Welsh people to use the Welsh language in every part of their life.
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