The Bochum Gateway to World Englishes






Europe is the continent where English developed after the Anglo-Saxon tribes had settled on the British isles from 449 onwards. Throughout its history, English has been in contact with other languages, for example with the Celtic or Romance languages. Today, the vast majority of British citizens have English as their mother tongue, but a large part of the population is bilingual and has English as a second language. Immigration to the UK from Commonwealth countries such as India, Kenya or Jamaica has also resulted in many forms of English which are strongly influenced by the original mother tongues of the first generation immigrants.

Throughout the UK, English has developed into a large number of regional dialects. English is also spoken as a mother tongue in the Republic of Ireland as well as in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, Malta and in Gibraltar. Elsewhere in Europe, English has traditionally been learned as a foreign language, i.e. for international communication. However, it increasingly serves as a lingua franca in tertiary education, particularly in countries such as Sweden or the Netherlands, and it has become the working language in most of the European Union’s offices. Map Europe

At present, reviews and exercises as well as film and literature tips are available for the countries listed in the left frame.

WE Gate grows through your contributions. If you are interested in working on English in a particular country and would like to turn your contribution into credits, please contact us.

International Association for World Englishes (IAWE)


International Corpus of English Website

International Dialects of English Archive

English Linguistics




© Christiane Meierkord
and individual reviewers