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Doing the right thing in Dutch is not a subjective matter

“When I was translating into Dutch, I was looking at the Danish and the German versions because I think it's the same challenges and I found out that we have kind of the same expressions, like ‘met een frisse blik’. Those kinds of sentences are more or less the same.“

I see you translated “we do the right thing” into “wij gedragen ons correct” - isn’t that more like “we behave correctly”?
“Yes. I feel that ‘do the right thing’ is subject to judgement, but the right thing for you might not be the right thing for me, so it’s a bit subjective. But to ‘behave correctly’ isn't as subjective because it implies that these are the standards and this is what we do.”

Like “we agree on a common norm that we are following”?
“Yes, absolutely. I like it that we translate our manifesto into all these languages because I think especially for international children it's so important that they master their mother tongue language because that is the basis for learning other languages. I've seen so many Dutch students over the past years, also in France and Norway, and sometimes these children are multilingual. But if they don't master their first language, they're missing out on vocabulary and grammar, so how can they learn yet another language, I wonder.”

True. What about you? You speak Dutch, Danish, English and German?
“And French and a bit of Norwegian.”

That’s quite impressive!
“Thank you. On the other hand, I don't speak all those languages perfectly.”

A big thank you to Ineke, our Primary School Administrative Coordinator, for translating our manifesto into Dutch and for sharing her thoughts on why translanguaging matters.

Find out more about about our mother tongue project.