Congratulations to the Year 8 and 9 girls who are winners of the Mother Tongue Other Tongue multilingual poetry competition.

Aubrey’s poem is written in Tagalog and reflects upon the need for young people to respect and love themselves whilst Zoe’s poem, written in Tiv from Benue State, is about taking care of Earth, our common home.

Millie is studying Spanish and her poem is about the world needing a wake-up call, in light of recent violent and terrorist acts. Finally, Grace has composed a French poem on similar themes and the need to treat one another other with respect.

The judges were thoroughly impressed by the quality and complexity of the language they used and the serious and moving themes that they have chosen. The four winning poems will be published in an anthology book and we wish them luck at the final celebration event at Manchester Metropolitan University in June.

This Laureate Education Project is a multilingual poetry competition that celebrates cultural diversity and the many languages spoken in schools in the UK. Mother Tongue Other Tongue is a national Laureate Education Project, led by the former Poet Laureate, Dame Carol Ann Duffy. Regional competitions and events take place throughout the year. The competition is co-ordinated by Routes into Languages.

Zoe (Year 8), writing in Tiv.

Se venda uh ungwan imo uh tar uh musan jah.Se za hemen uh vihin um ne uh Aondo.

Se saashe akaa uh tar a ne se yo.

Ba lun a nyale yusu akaa uh tar a ne sha chu haama or.

Ba lun a nyale mimi je ba a hama kwagh.

Ba a mi ger je gande.

Mayange ba a ya chan ga, ba a ya chan yange mom ke uma ve ga.

Ve fa e alu u zendin yange mom a unger shoo ga.

Ve fatyo uh kaven kwagh uh wan kende un unger a mean ga.

Ve fatyo un kaven er a unger shoo ga ve lor ga ve sunda ga, iyor a saar ku.

Ba lun a nyale ba ah unhem ze, ba a fay ga. Ka ve de unger a saashe ve venda uh pilin usu, haama kwagh ka ve ta kela.

Ve haa chocho ba akaa ke kweku a unhem show, a un fa eh iyor ba gen ka him ape ka ve zuwa shan kobo ve jela.

Kwa ne gande imemi ga bidyen ah iyor un ungwan shoo shin uh musan injah.

Ka ni kwagh I a er ve se unma che se nenge byume yese.

Iyuhe wase un na lu kwagh uh a wuwa se chacha.

Higon ya se de wei se va vaa afanyo ka wan mase tyoh shini???

Shin se musan injah yeseh shini???

Shen a va kuma tya se fa.

Boki wama se gber imo ne yange ungen.


I wrote this poem because the world is our common home and its problems are our problems. We need to take better care of it. This message isn’t just for Europe, it’s for all the continents because we all need to take care of our home, some countries more than others.

You may be reading this and thinking that this problem doesn’t concern you but it does. The world belongs to all of us and if we do irreversible damage, we don’t have any other back up plans, for example, another world where we can go to. I believe the big and small, the rich and poor countries should band together as a community and put aside their differences to save this planet.

In conclusion, no matter how much we may fight and disagree amongst ourselves the world the common home we share that binds us all together.

Aubrey (Year 8), writing in Tagalog.

Oras na upang mahalin ang sarili,

Oras na upang iwaksi ang mga negatibong pagiisip.

Di na kailangan ang make-up,

Di na kailangan ang magpa gutom,

Ang importante ay ikaw.

Oras na upang mahalin ang sarili mo,

Upang matutong mag mahal…

Simulan na natin ngayon.

I wrote this poem as a script that young people can look at in the morning and remind themselves that they are beautiful and perfect just the way they are, there is no need for ‘extreme’ makeovers or self-harm. This teaches them to not think negatively and to ‘love themselves’. So many people think lowly of themselves and have low self-esteem. I WANT TO HELP! Being called fat, ugly or any sort of insult is just jealousy talking, it’s what you think of yourself that counts.

Millie (Year 8), writing in Spanish.

La sociedad necesita, una llamada de atención

La sociedad necesita uno saber

Antes de que algo vuelva a pasar.


A que hemos venido

Donde nuestro mundo piensa

Matar gente por religión o raza

Está bien.


Donde matar a extraños se está

Convirtiendo en la norma.

No tenemos que poner fin a esto ahora.

La gente encuentra aceptable matar en

Un lugar de culto

O bombardear un concierto

Lleno de adultos y niños

Que están bien.


2 minutos para que la vida de alguien cambie

De las manos de otra persona.


Society needs a wake-up call

Society needs one to know

Before something happens again.


What have we come to?

Where our world thinks

Killing people for religion or race

Is okay.


Where to kill strangers is

Becoming the norm.

We have to put a stop to this now.


People find it acceptable to kill in

A place of worship

Or to bomb a concert

Full of adults and children

Who are

Having a good time.

2 minutes for someone’s life to change

From the hands of someone else.


Grace (Year 9), writing in French.

Mère! Mère! Excusez-moi, tu peux m’aider trouver ma mère?
Courir! Courir! Tout le monde doit courir!
Comment le monde est venu à cela?
Ce n’est pas comment les gens traitent unes des autres,
Pourquoi tout cela destruction est en cours?
Nous devrions traiter les gens avec gentillesse!
Arrêter de détester et commencer aimer,
Ne pas juger les gens pour leur:
Deux cent et cinquante-trois les gens sont morts au Sri Lanka,
Cinquante les gens sont morts en Nouvelle-Zélande,
Vingt-deux les gens sont morts à Manchester,
Cent et trente gens sont morts à Paris,
Il faut que cela cesse!
Il est temps que nous traitons les uns les autres avec du respect
S’il vous plaît, cela doit cesser.


Mother! Mother! Excuse me, can you help me find my mother?
Run! Run! Everyone must run! How did the world come to this? It’s not how people treat each other,
Why is all this destruction going on?
We should treat people with kindness!
Stop hating and start loving,
Do not judge people for their:
Two hundred and fifty-three people died in Sri Lanka,
Fifty people died in New Zealand,
Twenty-two people died in Manchester,
One hundred and thirty people died in Paris,
It must stop!
It’s time for us to treat each other with respect,
Please, this must stop.


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