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Thank you for translating our manifesto into Spanish, Maria!

Why did you choose to do this on top of all your other work?
“When you come into this new environment not knowing anyone, which is a scenario that I think we have all seen ourselves in, it’s very easy to feel lost, and perhaps like you don’t yet belong. Coming across this piece of work written in your own language can make you feel like home and like this school is the right place for you which I find very important when adapting yourself into this new environment. At the same time I think it's also something generally good for parents to have and see as they get to understand the values of the school into their own native language which is always a plus. Instead of it just being a piece of text, it becomes something that they can form a deeper bond with and understand in a more applicable context. For example, both my parents speak English fluently, and so they would be able to understand the manifesto in English. However having the manifesto written in Spanish makes it much easier for them to understand as they feel more of an emotional connection to it which makes them have deeper thoughts about it. You know, generally speaking, I think understanding what the school has to offer in terms of values and objectives is equally as important as the curriculum. I mean, they're shaping you both as a student and as a person.”

You’re right. Where are you from?
“I am originally from Spain. I’ve lived almost my entire life in Madrid, but I also lived in Barcelona as a baby and the Czech Republic.”

You speak Castilian, right?
“Yes.”

But Spanish is really a world language.
“Yes, I think about 460 million people are native Spanish speakers around the world. I believe it's the second most spoken language in terms of native speakers.”

What’s it like for you when you speak with other Spanish speakers around the world?
“If I talk to somebody who speaks the Latin version of Spanish, it's funny to see what words are employed for an object. For example, ‘car’ in Castilian is ‘coche’, but in Latin Spanish, it’s ‘carro’. What’s funny about this is that the word ‘carro’ for us has a different meaning; it means ‘cart’ or even ‘baby stroller’, however for them it’s something completely different. So it's generally very interesting to see which words they use and what meaning it has for them. There are as well a lot of accents, you know, even within Spain. In the south of Spain, they have a very peculiar accent, and even in the little towns inside Spain they also have their own accents. Sometimes it even sounds similar to other European languages which I find very interesting as you’re still within the same country with people that speak the same language but people speak it in very diverse ways. You have different accents within Spain but also outside in other Spanish speaking countries. In Latin America, I think there is an accent for every single country and probably even within the countries themselves, in different regions.”

Is there anything else you think we should know about Spanish?
“Yes. I think Spanish, Portuguese and Italian are commonly known as the ‘cousin languages’ because they sound so similar to each other. But something that people maybe don’t know is that languages such as French are very similar to any of those languages that I mentioned before. And so when learning any of those Romance languages if you know either one of the others you will have a huge advantage and find many similarities between them. You know, I am a native French and Spanish speaker as I basically grew up with both languages. So when learning some words in Italian which I think is a mix between French and Spanish I can see how much both come in handy. Sometimes I can even use the same word and change the accent.”

Maria is in 11th Grade and busy with her Diploma, so we really appreciate her translating our manifesto into Spanish. Spanish is the fourth most common language in our community, spoken by 165 of our students.

Want to read more about this particular mother tongue project?