Putting together the very first Polyglot Conference, the first event of its kind, ignited something quite special. Naturally I saw some things come out of it almost immediately. There were language challenges, people getting together to work on projects. But the thing that really stuck in my mind was the starting of so many friendships that grew out of a group of 140 people from an online language community, meeting for the first time offline in a theatre in the centre of Budapest.
The following year the Polyglot Gathering was also born out of the very Polyglot Conference I organised, with my blessing and support. The more Esperanto-style event feel of the gathering appealed to yet more people. With the addition of LangFest, after the Polyglot Conference went to NYC in 2015, it was clear to me that the community was growing stronger and stronger.
Nowadays there are many language learning pages, groups, challenges and smaller events going on around the world. Some are the traditional language pubs and clubs, which preceded all of these bigger events. There is definitely a thirst for being together, talking and discussing how we learn languages.
But what happens? What’s so special about these events?
The presentations are important. The sharing of information and knowledge is crucial to help us learn and grow. Many of the topics raised create debate on and offline too. That’s wonderful to see. The videos we produce for the Polyglot Conference, like its sister events, serve to bring the messages of their speakers to a wider audience free of charge online also.
Honestly though, I have noticed that people simply like getting together and talking to each other. One of the most common things I hear from participants at any of these events (and I have been to all three) is that they go away feeling energised, revitalised and motivated to learn more. There is a real buzz and excitement about the events.
If you can make it to one, I highly recommend it. In fact, I am getting involved in a couple of smaller events now on the back of the chatter I hear, so we can bring smaller groups of people together in new locations.
Here is a nice list of what’s happening when over the coming year:
You can also take advantage of the Polyglot Conference’s Language Learning Challenge to feed of the motivation and support of a wonderful community of language learners online too this summer!
Can’t wait to see you somewhere in the world, whether it’s at one of these events, or whether you’re one of the wonderful people I get to meet on my travels for a coffee and a chat. Always a pleasure to see friendly faces, who share a passion for language!