October 18-20, 2019

Fukuoka, Japan



Richard Simcott — Founder & Lead Organizer

Richard Simcott, a polyglot from Chester, Great Britain, is a lifelong language learner who has studied more than 50 languages. HarperCollins has described him as one of the most multilingual people in the United Kingdom, and the Goethe-Institut has named him Ambassador for Multilingualism.

Richard manages a team of polyglots as the Languages Director at social media management agency The Social Element. He has many years of consulting experience using languages with diverse clients and offering his expertise on multilingual and multinational projects.

He is the original founder of the Polyglot Conference and manages a popular Facebook page called Speaking Fluently.

Tim Keeley - Local Organiser

Tim Keeley has a strong passion for experiencing diverse languages and cultures. Tim discovered that being a student was a great way to pursue this passion so he ended up studying at 8 universities around the globe and his areas of study include Business Administration (USA), Latin American Literature (Colombia), International Relations (Switzerland), Slavic Literature (Poland), Chinese Literature (Japan) and Cross-Cultural Management (Australia). He is presently a professor of Cross-Cultural Management at Kyushu Sangyo University and Kyushu University in Japan, where he mainly teaches in Japanese but also enjoys the opportunity to use Chinese, Thai, Nepali and Vietnamese with his foreign students. He has also taught management in EMBA programs in Shanghai, Taipei, and Bangkok.

Alexander Arguelles - Programme Co-ordinator and Academic Liaison

Alexander Arguelles was reared and has roots in New York City, Chicago, and Berkeley, California.  He studied French and German literature as an undergraduate at Columbia and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago with a dissertation on Old Norse literature and the comparative history of religions.  He then did postdoctoral research in Germany on a fellowship from the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies.

Alexander has worked as a language specialist for the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization in Singapore and as professor at universities in Korea, Lebanon, and the U.S.  He is currently a professor in the college of education at the American University in the Emirates in Dubai.

Alexander is the author of an English French Spanish German Dictionary and of numerous publications in Korean linguistics such as A Historical, Literary, and Cultural Approach to the Korean Language, A Handbook of Korean Verbal Conjugation, and a North Korean Reader.  Having devoted his life to studying as many languages as possible as systematically as possible, he has been the subject of investigative studies into polyglottery such as Michael Erard’s Babel No More.

Maureen Millward - Language Challenge Co-ordinator

Maureen is a languages enthusiast and polyglot from Scotland.

Brought up in a monolingual household, she started learning languages seriously from age 16, studied languages at university and then worked in the European Finance Departments at two international companies.

As well as regularly using her best 8 languages, she is currently actively learning Greek and Egyptian Arabic.

In addition, she has completed challenges in some lesser-known languages such as Welsh, Scottish Gaelic & Sicilian.

She also loves travelling and has been to over 50 countries, her favourite being Egypt so far.
You can read more on her blog Language Learning Journey.

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