Bye bye, Berlin! Hello, Novi Sad!

It is hard to believe that the Polyglot Gathering has already finished.  Judith and the team who organised it did a super job.  The atmosphere was really positive and we had a great time together, using our languages and learning lots of new things.

Alex Emanuele and Me

Now we have a few summer months to enjoy before we get ready to meet again.  This time it’s to The Balkans and the beautiful city of Novi Sad.

So what is the real difference between a Polyglot Gathering and a Polyglot Conference? 

The length of time we spent there is definitely the most obvious one.

The Polyglot Gathering model is more based on the wonderful Esperanto events put together by the Esperanto community and have a more relaxed feel to them.

The Polyglot Conference is more formal in style with people introducing speakers and leading the event in a more traditional conference style.  The other difference is that the Polyglot Conference is an opportunity to really highlight specific things about the local culture too.  In Budapest we had a lecture in Hungarian about the language with interpretation in English.  In Novi Sad, we will have similar talks also.

Of course every event has it’s own flavour too and its only enhanced by the people who come! :)

Novi Sad in particular

The Polyglot Conference in Novi Sad is sponsored by The Cultural Center of Novi Sad, which is an official body in Serbia.  As such there will be a more formal setting to the events, especially during the presentations.  During the downtime, participants will get to mix as usual and practice their languages.

Like many countries around the world, Serbia has its own history and unique traditions and social etiquette, which sometimes differ to what we see in the West or newer members of the EU in Central Europe.  It is important to note that certain things in Serbia are not openly discussed in the same way as they are in other countries as it observes its own current social etiquette.  As with any new country, if you are not familiar with The Balkans or Serbia, we strongly advise that you look at travel advice to Serbia ahead of your visit and to check out some travel writer comments on social norms in the country also.

Thanks for your questions! – Some queries that have arisen already are dealt with below:

Food – Veganism in Novi Sad is sadly impossible for us to cater for at the event.  Though you can check out this site for the vegan options out there.  We will be able to offer meat-free options to participants.  There are some typical dishes, which are either meat-free already, or can be made without meat (the word “posno” will serve you well in The Balkans – it means “without meat”).  Whilst we are making every effort to make this choice as wide and varied as possible, it must be stressed that outside the event the vegetarian options can appear limited.

Programme – This is the provisional programme we have available to share with you at this point.  We will endeavour to refine this and publish is fully on this site as soon as possible.

Speakers and topics – we have some of the details of the speakers and topics to share with you on the Speakers page on this site.  We are working in co-ordination with the Cultural Center of Novi Sad to ensure a mix of local speakers from the Balkans and members of the online language community.  Given the formal procedures that need to be respected in Serbia for an official State venue, we need to ensure that everything is in order in advance of the event itself.

If you are expecting to speak in Novi Sad and do not see your name there, please do get in touch as soon as possible.  Emanuele should have already reached out to those who wanted to speak initially.  We need to ensure that topics are agreed with the Cultural Center to finalise the programme.

Travel to Novi Sad – We will be putting together a booklet of relevant information for the event.  This will contain details on SIM cards (to avoid those terrible roaming charges out of the EU, as well as transport information (the new timetables come out in September) and other information that is useful to know during your stay in Serbia.  In any case the distance between Belgrade and ovi Sad is not huge.  You’re looking at an hour or so travel time! :)

Don’t forget to register before 7th July, if you intend on coming to Serbia to join us!  It promises to be a great event, but it’ll be even better with YOU there! :)

Looking forward to seeing as many of you there as possible in Novi Sad! :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Novi Sad Facebook Group launched!

DSCN1677It’s official and wheels are in motion for our second Polyglot Conference!  Join us in Novi Sad, Serbia on 10-12 October 2014.  We would love to see as many people from the language community there as possible.

Novi Sad is an exquisite city, offering the linguistic diversity we crave as language enthusiasts.  It makes for a perfect setting for this year’s Polyglot Conference.  With the full backing of The Cultural Center of Novi Sad, we are in a great place to offer you an amazing conference this year, building on the success of Budapest.

How do you get involved?

Well first of all, join our Facebook page and Facebook group for Novi Sad to keep up-to-date with the chatter around the event itself.  You can sign up to this site for updates to find out when registrations open.

What’s coming next on this page? 

We will be putting out information regarding the speakers and topics covered in Novi Sad soon.

Finally, we would like to say a few words in response to this question we got through a number of channels…

What happened with the plans for the conference in Montreal? 

Novi Sad Logo

Montreal has not gone away and we still plan to take the Polyglot Conference to the city.  We simply had a great offer from Novi Sad to host an event there, that we could not refuse.  After all, event organising from scratch does take a lot of work, especially when it’s done in your spare time…right? :D

As the organisation for Montreal was still in the early stages, we thought a slight push back on the dates for Canada would simply allow enough time to organise both conferences! :)

We look forward to seeing you in Novi Sad on 10-12 October this year!

1st Polyglot Conference – A great success!

One week after the very first Polyglot Conference became a success in Budapest, we still feel the spirit of the conference being among us. It was a great event, where people from all over the world came together, to share their passion for languages and everything related to it.

The warm-up

About 40 polyglots met on Friday evening already, to have dinner at “Centrál Kávéház“, a local restaurant. The atmosphere anticipated that the coming two days would be something extraordinary to all participants. This was the first time the participants could meet the person behind the language blog, the YT channel or the Twitter account.

Polyglot warm-up at Centrál Kávéház Photo © by Zsolt Balai

Polyglot warm-up at Centrál Kávéház
Photo © by Zsolt Balai

The programme

The community met at “Kossuth Klub“, where all participants signed in and got their name tags. While entering the room and getting a seat, you could see the video made by Benny Lewis and numerous polyglots: “Skype Me Maybe”. And finally, at 10:00 local time, Richard Simcott and Luca Lampariello were welcoming everyone to this very first community event.

The first speaker on Saturday 18th was Veronika Tóth, on how to set up a local polyglot club or language exchange group, and presenting Budapest Melting Pot and Language Exchange International, one of the sponsors of the Polygot Conference. Afterwards, Susanna Zaraysky spoke about saving endangered languages with music and technology. She presented a video, where two young men sang in Huiliche, an endangered language spoken in Chile, and pointed out, that there were projects dedicated to saving languages all over the world, such as the project of the “Alliance for Linguistic Diversity“. She also presented a trailer of her documentary “Saved by Language”, where a boy was able to save his life during World War II, by speaking Ladino.

Carole Westerkamp then spoke about NLP (neurolinguistic programming) and how to use those techniques to improve our own learning methods. After Carole’s talk, the community watched a video message by Michael Erard, author of the book “Babel No More”. The next speaker, Judith Meyer, had a talk about computational linguistics, future machine translation and how human translators will always be needed.

After lunch, Esperanto teachers Zsófia Pataki and Eva Fitzelová spoke about the advantages of learning Esperanto, followed by Alex Rawlings, who had an interesting talk about the wider picture of learning smaller languages (such as Dutch and Yiddish). Last not least, Benny Lewis shared many great tips about language blogging/vlogging and how to go viral.

Photo © by David Mansaray

Some of the speakers at the Polyglot Conference
Photo © by David Mansaray

On Sunday 19th, the conference began with a video message by Steve Kaufmann, founder of LingQ. The first speaker was Robert Bigler, who presented his work as an interpreter, pointing out differences between translating and interpreting, and sharing a few anecdotes. After this first presentation, two new logo options made by graphic designer Géri Dellsperger, creative director at “Hinchas Futbol Club” (a cross-cultural TV show), were presented to the participants. The new logo will be the official logo of the Polyglot Conference in the future. The participants voted for the logo with the speech bubbles!

New logo of the Polyglot Conference

New logo of the Polyglot Conference, designed by Géri Dellsperger, creative director at Hinchas FC

Ryan Boothe then spoke about conflict mediation and about how conflicts and different views can bring up wonderful solutions and great progress, if the parties open their minds for a reconciliation process. Thereupon, Anthony Lauder was bringing the house down, while explaining why polyglots were successful in learning languages, in contrast to “PolyNots”.

Lunchtime was again a great experience, where people from all over the world sat together to enjoy the delicious food served at the venue. The most frequent languages used were probably Spanish and English, but also a few “smaller” ones, such as Macedonian, Thai, Dutch, Greek, Esperanto, Turkish, Albanian, etc.

The afternoon began with Attila Mártonfi, research fellow at the Research Institute for Linguistics (Hungarian Academy of Sciences Department of Lexicology and Lexicography) and author of the biggest Hungarian orthographic handbook, speaking about Hungarian language interpreting Hungarian-English. English teacher Svetlana Gracheva explained how to learn languages from home, without travelling. Following, Bálint Korösi, author of the most popular Hungarian language learning blog “Öt év – öt nyelv”, spoke about learning languages and linking them to other hobbies and passions.

Photo © by David Mansaray

The audience at the Polyglot Conference 2013
Photo © by David Mansaray

To close the conference, the founders of the Polyglot Conference presented their topics: Richard Simcott had a talk about using languages for online moderation and community management, and shared some informatoin about his role, experiences and the services and opportunities offered by eModeration, another sponsor of the Polyglot Conference. Luca Lampariello shared some ideas about how to make languages work for you, and he spoke about his language learning journey and methods.

The feedback

We actually lost track about the numerous links, tweets, posts, articles, pictures and comments shared during the conference and afterwards. Certainly, the participants went back home quite energized by the catching atmosphere… At the moment there are a few new projects emerging. We will keep you updated about them.

While the official videos recorded at the conference are being cut, enhanced and finished, have a look at this video, where Brian, one of the participants, gives a nice summary of what happened at the conference: “Polyglot Conference Budapest Recap“.

Share your thoughts

What about you? Have you been to the very first Polyglot Conference too? Did it inspire you? What did you like most about this conference?

Share your ideas, ask your questions, give your opinion, make suggestions, encourage our team, make compliments, post your reflections, share your inspiration, make corrections where needed, leave some constructive criticism, etc. We appreciate your input!

Needless to say that interactions should be polite. Any rude, disrespectful or abusive comment will be deleted, as well as spam, trolling or non-sense text.

Polyglot Conference – 18-19 May 2013, Budapest, Hungary

We hope you will be able to join us in Budapest on 18-19 May 2013.  For more details on the Polyglot Conference in Budapest, please go to the www.polyglotconference.org, where we will be updating the details and programme for the event very soon.

If you are able to support the project financially, please consider a donation to meet the costs we cannot otherwise cover with voluntary contributions and help from the language community.  You can make a donation at: http://www.gofundme.com/22gv40

 

Polyglot Conference – Europe

Four years after the first YouTube videos from polyglots appeared, we are ready to move forward with the community.

So many of you have been active in the online language community to share stories, comment on methods, language displays, exchange ideas and help other with a host of resources you have found useful.

Now it is time to take elements of things we have seen along the way, meet-ups, hints and tips from language learners, language exchanges and get the community together.

Is it just for polyglots?

No! It is for ALL language learners, who have an interest in hearing more about languages and how they can use them.

Be part of the global network of language learners, connect with the online community.  Get the support you need to succeed in your language learning.

Enrich the experience, join us at the first Internet Polyglot Conference in Europe in May 2013.

How can you get involved?

We need you to tell us when you want to happen, how you want it to happen and where you want it to happen.  You can input into the whole process and make these annual Polyglot Conferences what you want them to be.

How do I get contact you?

Get in touch on Facebook, Twitter, on this blog and also via e-mail (PolyglotConference (at) gmail dot com)!  We want to hear from you.

Are you in?