Two Spanish students have been awarded prizes for their Spanish language efforts. Earlier this year, A-Level Spanish student Grace Lear was awarded the runner up prize for the 2019 Lancaster University Modern Languages Schools Essay Prize. The topic of the 500-words essay was ‘Learn languages to Speak to the Future’, it was written in Spanish and it included a bibliography.
Fellow AS Spanish student, Zenna Hussain was the winner of the Year 12 and Year 13 Category in the Other Tongue Section of the North West Mother Tongue Other Tongue contest co-ordinated by Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). This is a national project, led by the Poet Laureate and Director of the Manchester Writing School at MMU, Carol Ann Duffy. The Other Tongue half of the competition encourages children learning another language to use that language creatively by writing a poem. Zenna thoroughly enjoyed taking part and said of the experience, “The competition was a lot of fun and I was able to practice my Spanish and writing skills’.
Below is the poem titled ‘Su Idioma’ (Her Language) which was written in by Zenna Hussain, it was also read at the regional prize-giving and performance ceremony and published in the competition Anthology.
Congratulations to Zenna and Grace for this fantastic achievement!
Llevaron este idioma para ella,
Embalado entre los dientes lo apretó,
Llevado junto con las expresiones asustadas.
Como dejaron atrás la familia y un futuro definitivo
Su idioma era todo lo que quedaba,
Una amiga insólita en un nuevo país frío.
Las palabras se derriten en su lengua
Como un plato favorito de la infancia.
Su acento es tiempo desgastado
Como lágrimas empapadas fotografías antiguas.
Algunos días, la pérdida de palabras
Se siente como una pérdida de cultura,
Como cómo su mente instintivamente elige inglés
Hace que su corazón también lo haga.
They carried this language for her,
Packed between gritted teeth,
Carried among worried expressions.
As they left behind family and a definite future
her language was all that was left.
An unlikely friend in a cold, new country.
The words melt on her tongue
Like a childhood favourite dish.
Her accent is time worn
Like tear soaked old photographs.
Some days the loss of words
Feels like a loss of culture,
Like how her mind instinctively chooses English
means her heart does too.