The United Kingdom has traditionally been home to a large number of language schools offering “English in the home of English”. Students from the world over make linguistic pilgrimages to the major cities of England in order to learn, study, brush up on or tweak their English language skills.
However, due to the influx of so many Polish people, the Polish language is now in vogue. Language schools and local community centres are all registering a large number of people wanting to learn Polish. Evening classes offering Polish have become incredibly popular in the south of England.
What is more interesting is the fact that the greatest number of people wanting to learn Polish are English men, the reason being is that they are eager to learn the language of their newly-acquired Polish girlfriends or wives.
The effect of minority languages on nations has never really been a focal point of research within modern linguistics. Bilingualism and diglossia usually prevails in the literature, although it could be fascinating to learn what effects (new and old) minority languages might have on a society and its linguistic habits.
Polish made its first modern impact on the British Isles after the war with a whole host of communities being scattered all over England, Wales and Scotland, however, the post-war Poles left a fairly weak linguistic imprint on modern-day English. The new Polish influx could be different. Nowadays, British citizens are more eager to learn foreign languages than their parents and grandparents before them; linguistic tolerance is at a much higher level than before.
Polish will never have the same effect as Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati or Bengali but in the upcoming years it will be curious to see the linguistic ripples (or waves) that this Slavonic language might have on the already colourful linguistic patchwork that is the modern-day United Kingdom. The hope is that linguists will have the foresight to map this interesting process.