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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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“.
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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?
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