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The Story

Four pupils are sent out of the classroom during a dictation exercise. They have to be back in an hour with a presentation about language. It should be something new that the teacher didn’t know before. The pupils indeed come up with something the teacher does not know. They know languages, many languages.

The pupils

The pupils have different backgrounds, e.g. Swedish, Surinamese, Turkish, German, Polish, Sami, Arabic, Dutch, Kurdish, Finland-Swedish.

Mercé deals with the sounds of language.

She does that with the help of the language of her grandmother’s, Sranantongo, the language of her baby brother and a mouth full of vowels and consonants from different languages.

Ahmet is responsible for rhythm and intonation, which he connects with rap and emotions.

He demonstrates how volume, pitch and speed work in language.

Lilian finds out how words can be combined and how that affects the meaning of a sentence.

In Berber the verb is initial, in Turkish it is final. Often there are differences even between closely related languages.

Lukas uses sign language to communicate with his deaf brother.

He manages the different languages for the Taaltrotters song. His cool slang is inspired by lists of the ten most common languages of the world, and the languages spoken in different countries, text messaging and English as a world language.