Polyglot conference

Richard and Luca decided to organize a “polyglot conference” in Budapest which will be held from 18 to 19 May 2013. Anybody interested in language learning is welcome to attend. I think this is a great opportunity to get to know each other on a personal level and simply have fun speaking in various languages. You’ll find more information at www.polyglotconference.com and on Richard’s and Luca’s youtube and twitter accounts. Hope to see many of you there.

It does seem quite cool, but I can’t find where it says that it will be in Budapest.

ad odiernod: They posted it on their facebook page (Redirecting...):

(…) We received many ideas and suggestions for places to hold the first European Polyglot Conference. We wanted to offer a central location, easy to reach for as many as possible, offering a beautiful setting and a link to polyglots. What better place than the birth place of Kató Lomb? Budapest here we come! Will you be there? Polyglot Conference, Budapest 18-19 May 2013 (…)

Ah, fantastic, have they selected a place and dates for the North America conference yet?

ad odiernod: I talked to Richard yesterday, and it seemed that New York is the most likely venue for the conference in November 2013. No exact dates yet though.

In that case the Europe one is probably the one I will most likely to be able to attend.

Hope to see you there!

ad odiernod: I’ll be there for sure. Would be great to finally meet in person.

Interesting idea. I wonder what kind of programme they will offer and whether the approach will be academic.

If my work schedule has me in Europe in May then I will be there as well!

I am obviously not one of the organizers of the event, but my guess is that they would have some of the more outgoing polyglots speak on whatever they would feel like speaking about, followed by ample socialization time. The socialization time with other polyglots is the part I would be most excited about.

I don’t think the approach will be very academic - at least, personally I hope it won’t be ;-). I’d rather listen to people talking about their practical experiences (which may include some theoretical background).

I know that they also plan something like a “polyglot bar”, so there will be ample time and opportunities for people to meet in a casual environment and simply chat in various languages. There will be speeches given and as far as I know they also plan to organize some workshops. Details will still have to be worked on, I guess, and I’m sure Luca and Richard will provide you with more information once things got started. First of all, they also need to know how many people intend to attend. Richard told me they will set up a registration site for this purpose.

I know that Richard, Luca and - most likely - Benny will be there as speakers. If I’m not mistaken Steven also said that he would like to be a part of this project. Prof. Arguelles will be invited too and some more people, I guess.

I think the mixture of “presentations”, workshops and casual encounters will create an excellent environment for all types of language learners.

I’m pretty sure that Richard and Luca would also appreciate any input you or anybody else interested can provide them with. They are still at the beginning of the planning phase and there is a lot of work ahead of them and everybody else involved. But I REALLY look forward to this conference.

I await details on this conference, and have indicated that I might attend. A lot will depend on how it is organized, and my schedule at that time.

I’ll most likely be attending the American conference, especially if it’s in NYC. I also could probably host someone else at my place from out of town. Steve, when you say that you might attend, are you talking about the one in Europe, America, or both?

Possibly both or one or the other, or none. It is too early to say. I am interested to see what the themes at the conference will be. I would like to see themes like multilingualism for all, multilingualism in the age of the Internet, Multilingualism versus English only. I am not too fond of the word polyglot which strikes me as more elitist more exclusive, at least in English.

Using the word “linguist” is too disguiding for non-English speakers.

I agree that the word “linguist” may be misleading for non-English speakers, but many foreign words may be misleading if the usage is similar but not quite the same. On the other hand the words bi-lingual and multilingual seem to be fairly universal. Since many English speakers in the general population do not understand the word polyglot, let alone polyglottery, it might be wise to use words like multilingual and multilingualism.

ad Steve: (…) I would like to see themes like multilingualism for all, multilingualism in the age of the Internet, Multilingualism versus English only. (…)

These are great suggestions for interesting discussions. Since Luca and Richard explicitly asked people to come forward with suggestions, it would be great if you told them about your thoughts (if you have not done so already).

(…) I am not too fond of the word polyglot which strikes me as more elitist more exclusive, at least in English. (…)

To be honest, personally I prefer words such as “multilingual” and “multilingualism” too. I first heard about the term “polyglot” when I watched Richard’s 16-language video. At that time I thought it was a well-established technical term which I simply had not come across before. So, I used it in the title of one of my youtube videos as well. If anybody asked me now I’d call myself a multilingual person rather than a polyglot.

The term “polylgot” may indeed sound a bit elitist, but whatever the name of the conference I think anybody who watches Lucas’ and Richard’s videos will quickly understand that there is nothing elitist neither about them personally nor about their approach to language learning. They also clearly said in their introductory video for the conference that anybody interested in languages is welcome to participate. I’m sure they’ll make that clear in their upcoming announcements as well.

It does seem though as if the usage of the term “polyglot” helped to raise awareness about multilingualism (judging by the attention recently given to “polyglots” in the media). And if that is what the term can do for people interested in learning languages, then I certainly don’t mind it being used for that purpose.

Robert, I am in touch with Richard and Luca via Facebook. As to the use of polyglot and polyglottery in the mainstream, I think the words are not widely known, although they are well established amongst those of us who are in the language learning community. My wish is to extend our reach to ordinary people for whom language learning is considered something difficult and amazing, at least amongst native English speakers!

Lovelanguages - It would be great if you would be one of the presenters at this conference. You are very modest and comes across very well.

ad Marianne10: Thank you very much for your kind words :slight_smile: As a matter of fact I have been asked to speak at the conference and I have accepted the invitation to do so.

Look forward to seeing you if I manage to make it for that conference. I am wondering what the format is going to be, ie fees plus also whether the programme is just exclusively going to focus on youtubers (which I probably would not be so keen on).