Last updated
1 Mar 2022

What is your main language?

How do I answer this question?

Either select English or enter one language only. Your main language is your first or preferred language. It could be the language you:

  • were brought up using
  • feel most comfortable using
  • use at home, or
  • use most often

If you select ‘Other’ also enter your main language.

I have more than one main language that I use. How do I answer?

If you are equally comfortable using English and one or more other languages, select ‘Other’ and enter the other language you prefer using. This may be the language you use at home.

I speak more than one language but neither of my main languages are English. How do I answer?

If you use one of your languages more than the other, enter this language. If you use both languages equally, choose the one you would wish to use public services in.

What is BSL?

British Sign Language or BSL is a language which is the main language of many deaf people. BSL uses hand signs and facial expressions as a visual form of communication.

What is tactile BSL?

Tactile BSL is a manual version of BSL. It is used by people with both sight and hearing loss.

I use BSL for conversation and English for reading and writing. What do I select?

Select ‘Other’ and enter ‘British Sign Language’ in the write-in box.

Why is this question asked? 

We need to know how many people do not have English as their first language and what their main language is. This helps us provide public services in the right languages.

For example:

  • local authorities need to know which languages their schools should provide support in
  • health boards need to know what languages to print forms and leaflets in

Who should answer this question?

This question should be answered for everybody who is aged 3 or over.

I am answering on paper for a child who is too young to speak. How do I answer?

You do not need to answer this question for children aged 2 or under.

We will be able to tell that this person’s language skills are age related from their date of birth.

Is this page useful?

Do not include personal information or contact information. Please note that we will not respond directly to any feedback sent from this page. We will use this information to improve our service.