So, you may have heard me shouting about how awesome the Polyglot Gathering was. I could give a simple, boring, chronological account but I’m thinking it may be a bit of a snooze fest so….
Welcome to the Lingotastic Polyglot Gathering Awards.
Many of the talks deserve an award so here are mine:
The award for One Who Talks the Most Common Sense goes to…
Gareth Popkins “Fluent in Three Decades”.
Forget your sparkly language “get rich quick schemes”, your languages are more sustainable if you invest for the long haul. There was a very funny section on thinking about relationships with other languages.
“Negotiate that relationship”
True love and a life long commitment?
Monogamy -till death do us part?
Serial monogamy – It’s ok to walk out.
Two – timing?
Polygamy? Don’t confuse it with promiscuity.
I may have wet myself laughing at this point… I know a great number of promiscuous polyglots!
The award for Most Random Talk goes to…
“Introduction to Klingon” by Kelvin Jackson and Philip Newton.
I was inordinately excited at having the chance to learn Klingon. I’m by no stretch of the imagination a Star Trek geek but I love the sound of Klingon, and studying another new language makes me go weak at the knees..
The award for Most Interactive Talk goes to…
”Learning Some Slovak Folk Songs” by Betka Dorrerova.
She has such a passion for Slovak music and life in general. She quickly recruited other attendees to teach songs, too. I was singing the songs for the rest of the week!
The award for Most Baffling Talk goes to…
“Using Deep Learning to Accelerate Grammar Acquisition” Bartosz Czekala.
If I am totally honest, I only went along as I had met Bartosz the night before, and he seemed like a fun bloke. Grammar is usually a real snooze fest for me but what on earth is Deep Learning? Confusing to start with but it did become clearer as the talk went on and it was a really interesting and informative presentation.
The talk with Best Long Term Applications For Me goes to…
“Yes, You Can Be The Person Who Talks To Anyone” by Kirsten Cable.
After all, what is the point of learning a language if you never speak it?
Brilliant applied psychology on getting over yourself, and getting out there and using your languages.
The award for Silliest Talk goes to…
“Don’t Say Quite!” and “The Joy of Phrasal Verbs” Tim Morley.
Obviously the title was not at all funny but the game show format and silly examples made for a very, very silly talk. I even learned some things, too.
The talk I connected most to was…
“Learning by Eye vs Learning by Ear: Which is better?” Idahosa Ness.
The talk totally confirmed the way I teach. Hearing and mimicking and, in time, seeing text. The way we learned our first language.
The talk which surprised me most was…
“How to learn other languages through Esperanto: Russian and French.”
Charlotte Scherping Larsson, Alexey G
I’m a novice Esperanto speaker yet I managed to follow the majority of this talk.
My award for Funniest Talk goes to…
“Being Funny in a Foreign Language” Dimitrios Polychronopoulos.
As he talked about humour in a particular language, he switched to that language, which was awesome to see. It was great how he threw the floor open for us to bring our own jokes, which was a lot of fun.
My award for Most Fun Talk goes to…
Charlotte Scheping Larrson for “Singing in Swedish (dialects edition)”.
We learned two Swedish songs including a silly song about jumping in the river if I can’t have a sausage. Prior to this I only knew 3 words of Swedish, so I was so happy to learn the songs and hear Charlotte’s family stories behind them.
The award for the talk that most tested my language skills goes to
“De skandinaviska/ skandinaviske språkende/ språkene/ sprog” with Kristoffer Broholm, Karl-Eric Wångstedt and Irena Dahl
With my German I understood about a third of the Danish and Norwegian, Swedish remains a mystery. I still only know three words! It was really fun talk, especially laughing as they tried to read in each others languages.
The award for Most Inspiring Talk goes to…
“Life in Multiple Languages” by Richard Simcott.
I loved how he shared about his day-to-day life and that of his family, and how languages are woven through it all.
The award for Most Innovative Talk goes to…
Florian Heller with his five languages talk.
The way he seamlessly switched languages and just continued the talk was awesome.
The internationally culinary event on the first evening was a brilliant way to meet new friends, experience other cultures and sample some lovely regional food and alcohol.
There were so many more amazing, inspirational people there, that there are too many to mention here. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming and I really was sad to leave.
All that remains is to thank the amazing team who organised the conference and created a space for us all to get together.
Hope to see you there next year.