Children near end of globetrotting language journey

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UK youngsters, who have clocked up three new languages in nine months, are now just weeks away from the Final of a national language learning competition.

Top prize in the uTalk Junior Language Challenge 2018 Final, on Fri Nov 9 at London’s Olympia, is a family holiday of a lifetime to Africa.

But, to be in with a chance of winning, the 32 finalists now have to get to grips with Kinyarwanda – a national language of Rwanda, Africa.

It’s the third language they’ve had to learn for the competition, following on from Khmer, the official language of Cambodia, and Spanish, as spoken in Spain.

Things they’ve learnt include:

  1. In Kinyarwanda, you can say ‘I don’t understand’ with just one word Simbyunva.
  2. Khmer uses a very different writing system e.g. ‘hello’ is [សួស្តី].
  3. The Spanish use two exclamation marks at a time – like in the word ¡Socorro! meaning help!

Well done to the finalists for getting this far. But, with more than 2,300 primary school-age children entering this year’s challenge, we’d like to congratulate all the other entrants as well.  We hope you enjoyed it and that it’s helped make language learning fun!

Giving children a chance to unlock their talent for language is why we set this competition up more than ten years ago.

We also use every penny of the entry fee to support the charity onebillion which works to educate children in developing countries. (We throw in all the language learning software and our time for free.)

Big thanks to all the children, their parents/guardians and teachers for supporting our Junior Language Challenge.

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