19 Lower Sixth pupils took part in the first round of the National Linguistics Olympiad on 6 February, the morning after a scintillating and inspiring talk on Linguistics in Everyday Life by Dr Rebecca Mitchell from Cambridge University.
The Linguistics Olympiad is an annual event open to anyone who likes Languages, logical thinking, problem-solving, code-breaking, Maths or English. Although the knowledge of a foreign language is not compulsory, it may be an advantage if a question on the particular language appears in the competition. The problem-solving is based on a variety of world languages and this year’s problem selection included Mongolian, Gumatj and Pitjantjatjara (Aboriginal Australian languages), Ndebele (spoken in parts of southern Africa – mainly Zimbabwe), Japanese, Ladin (a language spoken by about 30,000 people in northern Italy in the Dolomite mountains), Jahi (spoken in Northern Malaysia) and Welsh.
Successful candidates will proceed into the second round (the National Competition at the University of Birmingham in March). The top pupils will be selected to represent the UK in the third round in Yongin, South Korea in the summer. Good luck to all Lancing Linguists!
Sergei Drozdov, Head of MFL