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European Day of Languages

27 Sep 2018

Yesterday was the European Day of Languages. This year’s challenge to staff was to tell us their favourite word in any language and to give us a reason for their choice. Some words were inspired by fond memories of childhood (sogni d’oro), others reminded teachers of holidays abroad (péage in France and paralelepípedos in Portugal). Some were more obscure, such as the Norwegian word for outer space (verdensrommet). Many teachers like words which are hard to translate into English, such as the German concept of Schadenfreude or Japanese genki and German compound nouns proved a firm favourite (Knoblauchbrot, Rhabarbermarmelade). Overall, teachers chose words from 17 different languages. The most common reason for choosing a word, however, was simply that they liked the sound of it which is as good a reason as any. All students were invited to take part in a quiz about their teachers’ favourite words and prizes were awarded for the best responses.

In the afternoon the Sixth Form Centre was transformed into a French cinema (Le cinéma de Barney) and all students from Years 6, 7 and 8 were invited to watch a French film, introduced by our French Assistant M. Prévôt. In French lessons they had ‘earned’ a 10 euro note by learning how to ask for tickets and popcorn, then they queued up and exchanged their fake money for an entry ticket and ‘une tasse de popcorn’, all in French bien sûr. In their next French lesson they will do follow-up work on the film and learn how to express simple opinions.