The languages of Nottingham: Ey up mi kaczka (that's duck in Polish)
On International Mother Language Day today - an observance introduced by Unesco in 1999 to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diersity - Winnie Agbonlahor looks at the different languages spoken in Nottingham.
WHEN Dr Beata Polanowska arrived in Nottingham in the early 1990s, her aim was to learn English.
"It wasn't very hard because I've learnt other foreign languages at school, including Latin," she said.
She is now co-ordinator of Nottingham charity the Signpost to Polish Success and editor of polish newspaper East Midlands po Polsku, which is based in Hyson Green.
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Dr Polanowska, of Hyson Green, also received the Silver Cross of Achievement for helping Poles who arrived in Nottingham after the enlargement of the EU in 2004.
A total of 6,548 or 2.2 per cent of the city's population gave Polish as their main language when asked for the 2011 census – out of 36,974 people whose main language was not English.
The survey also showed that 78 per cent of those whose main language was a foreign tongue, also spoke English well.
Peter Stokes, from the census team at the Office for National Statistics, said the findings were "encouraging".
"There are about 7.5 million people in this country who weren't born in England or Wales and nine out of ten speak English," he said.
The most important measure for councils, he added, was to support those who didn't speak English well.
This number in Nottingham is 8,120, compared to 23,523 in neighbouring Leicester.
"The reason for this discrepancy is people move to Nottingham to study or work, whereas people might move to Leicester predominantly because of family connections."
Dr Judith Rowbotham, a socio-legal historian at Nottingham Trent University's school of arts and humanities, said: "The interesting thing about Polish is that the migration is not recent.
"There has been a Polish community associated with Nottingham for at least 200 years.
"Nottingham's St Barnabas' church, in Derby Road, was one of the first Roman Catholic dioceses in the country.
"We did a lot of coal mining and textiles back then in the 19th century and so did Poland. So there was a big migration of Poles into Nottingham.
"There was a restoration of the church after 1829 and it was funded with donations from British and Polish people with almost a 50-50 split."
Dr Rowbotham said English language skills among foreigners helped cut racial tension.