Mother Tongue Other Tongue is a celebration of poetry written by young people in the languages they speak as a first language or at home, or in a language they are learning at school, and the Poetry Archive is delighted to share this year’s fantastic winning entries in this special collection.

The project is run by SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, which supports and celebrates language learning in all Scotland’s schools. Mother Tongue Other Tongue is open to all young linguists in Scotland aged 4-18, and celebrates not only language skills, but creativity and cultural diversity. Entrants are invited to submit an original poem, written in a language other than English and recorded in their own voice. Poems have been written and performed in languages as diverse as Gaelic, Telugu, Urdu, Arabic, British Sign Language (BSL) and Hausa, as well as French, Spanish, Italian and German.

Mother Tongue, Other Tongue gives young linguists the opportunity to proudly showcase their learning, their heritage and their love of languages. You can find more information here.

Content warning: Some of the poems in this collection contain themes and language that may be a little mature for smaller children. We recommend supervised listening.