Situated only about 15 miles from the Mexican Border, San Diego is truly a multicultural city. Countless languages are spoken here, some more so than others. And although English is the most widely spoken language, about 25% of the population are native or fluent Spanish speakers. So, it’s clear that picking up Spanish is vital for any polyglot who is going to live in this beautiful seaside city, but what other languages are spoken here?
Well, a great many, it turns out. According to the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, of those who speak a language other than English at home in San Diego County, roughly two-thirds (66.1%) speak Spanish — no surprise there. What is interesting to discover is the fact that, of those who speak a language other than English at home in San Diego County, roughly one in five (21.2%) speaks an Asian or Pacific Island language.
There are over 40,000 native Chinese speakers; about 14,000 native Korean speakers; nearly 12,000 native Japanese speakers; and about 5,000 native Mon-Khmer (Cambodian) speakers. Other languages with a sizable presence include Hmong, Thai, Laotian, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and other Pacific Island and Asian languages.
There are also a number of Indo-European languages represented in the city of San Diego. Nearly 9,000 people speak French; over 5,000 speak Italian; approximately 8,300 people speak Russian; over 11,000 speak German, and about 4,500 people speak Portuguese. Other Indo-European languages with a presence here include Armenian, Persian, Greek, Polish, and Hindi.
Arabic is another useful language for San Diego residents to pick up, as there are nearly 22,000 native speakers here. African languages are spoken by nearly 13,000 people, and there is a small collection of Navajo and other Native North American languages here as well.
So while you are definitely more likely to hear English and Spanish in the great city of San Diego, they are certainly not the only languages widely spoken within our bustling, multicultural metropolis.