Program booklet

You can download the program booklet that includes information about all the talks and events you can attend during the Polyglot Gathering.

Lectures and workshops

You can look forward to almost 100 talks by participants in four simultaneous streams. Many of them are well-known speakers from previous Polyglot Gatherings, other polyglot events, or from their YouTube channels or blogs, and many are first-time speakers who also have a lot of interesting things to share.

The talks are scheduled in the following way:

  • Thursday 1 June: 9am-1pm; 3pm-6pm
  • Friday 2 June: 9am-1pm; 3pm-6pm
  • Saturday 3 June: 10am-1pm; 3pm-6pm
  • Sunday 4 June: 10am-1pm; 3pm-5pm

(Yes, we know how much you love going out at night and we have considered your need for a good sleep in the schedule! You’re welcome 😉 )

Check out the preliminary program below:

Thursday, June 1

Assimil RoomAmikumu RoomLanguage Mentoring Room (theme: language policy)E@I Room
Talk 1:
What experimental polyglottery tells us about
Grigory Kazakov
The Slavic languages
Matthieu Desplantes
Diversity and Unity: For effective multilingualism in Europe
Ján Figeľ
Learn a language by building a dictionary
Jan Berkel
Talk 2:
Chinese Languages: Comparison and Acquisition Tactics
Michael Campbell
The Joy of Mistakes & The Beauty of Imperfection
Lindsay Williams (formerly Dow)
“Springboard to Languages” — Introducing foreign languages via Esperanto
Tim Morley
Introduction to the Norwegian language
Dimitris Polychronopoulos
Talk 3:
Netflix and chill like a boss – How to learn languages the lazy way
Aleksandra Stepien
Yugoslavian languages – do small differences matter or not ?
Aleksandar Medjedovic
The power of language in politics (in German)
Radoslav Štefančík
The Indonesian Language 101
Fiel Sahir
Talk 4:
The challenges of translating over 140 different languages
Nat Dinham
“Turkish for Europeans”: Introduction to what is the ‘unofficial second language’ of Germany and a few other EU countries
Aleksandar Medjedovic
Brexit and languages in Europe
Seán Ó Riain
Situation linguistique du Québec et du Canada
Nicolas Viau
Talk 5:
Understanding Asian Culture and Origins
Fiel Sahir
Simultandolmetschen ist nur ein Handwerk
Elisabeth Dörrer
The need for a radical change in traditional EU language policy
Jozef Reinvart
Slovak language lesson
Miriam Pavlovičová, Juraj Cigáň
Talk 6:
Amikumu Q&A
Chuck Smith
Which language is the most beneficial to learn?
Aleš Galus
How to expand linguistic justice in the cities?
Xavi Alcalde
Using TV, Anki, and subtitles to learn a language.
Rick Dearman
Talk 7:
De skandinaviska språken
Karl-Erik Wångstedt, Irena Dahl, Kristoffer Broholm
Different language, different personality?
Cécile Plecenik
European identity – does it need a common language?
Peter Baláž
Hiragana: flash memorization
Gonzalo Rojas Oberreuter

Friday, June 2

Assimil RoomAmikumu RoomLanguage Mentoring RoomE@I Room
Talk 1:
Using Deep Learning (a.k.a. Deliberate Practice) To Accelerate Grammar Acquisition
Bartosz Czekała
Etytree: a graphical multilingual etymology dictionary using data extracted from the English Wiktionary
Ester Pantaleo
Consciously becoming aware of words – Oxford Debates
Mikołaj Bać
Ukrainian for Beginners
Marta Melnyk
Talk 2:
Aneignung der Zweisprachigkeit im jungen Alter am eigenen Beispiel
Małgorzata Długosz
Ten things polyglots do differently
Lýdia Machová
Slovak language lesson
Miriam Pavlovičová, Juraj Cigáň
Talk 3:
How to get the most out of your online language classes
Jan van der Aa & Lucas Bighetti
“But That’s So Hard!” – Various Cultures’ Takes on Language Difficulty
Angelo DeLeo
Assimil – a century dedicated to language learning
Improvisation as a tool to boost confidence in language learning (workshop)
Marion Viau
Talk 4:
Language Learning with Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality
Zsolt Balai
Yes, You Can Be The Person Who Talks to Anyone!
Kerstin Cable
How to Love out Loud Through Language
Fiel Sahir
Talk 5:
Can Knowing Some K’iche’ Save Your Life and Make You Rich? (Probably Not, But Why Take Chances?)
Dave Prine
Languages, not dialects: the diversity of Chinese
Timothy McKeon
AI and the Polyglot: Perfect Together
Jennifer Geacone-Cruz
Apprendre à lire le seselwa, le créole français des Seychelles, en trois quarts d’heure
Christian Koch
Talk 6:
How to learn other languages through Esperanto: Russian and French [lecture in easy Esperanto]
Charlotte Scherping Larsson, Alexey G.
Gender Pronouns in Language: A Guide for LGBTI Polyglots And Their Allies
Joanna van Schaïk
How many words do we need to know?
Steve Kaufmann
Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis. Initiation au ch’ti, patois du Nord de la France
Clémentine Duriez
Talk 7:
Learning some fun Slovak folk songs [workshop]
Elisabeth Dörrer
Lightning talksDaredevil language learning: How to turn your weaknesses into strengths
Benny Lewis
Une introduction à l’arabe libanais !
Ralph Hurley O’Dwyer

Saturday, June 3

Assimil RoomAmikumu RoomLanguage Mentoring RoomE@I Room
Talk 1:
Learning by Eye vs. Learning by Ear: Which is better?
Idahosa Ness
Had I known Esperanto would be this easy…
Tim Owen
Language challenges – final evaluation (Slovak for non-Slavic participants)An Introduction to Irish
Ralph Hurley O’Dwyer
Talk 2:
“Fluent in three decades?” The joys of life-long language learning for beginners….and old hands
Gareth Popkins
Time Management for Language-Learners: More Focus, More Time, More Energy
Fabien Snauwaert
Language challenges – final evaluation (Slovak for Slavic participants)Introduction to Japanese
Eriko Tamura
Talk 3:
The Making of a Hyperglot
Tim Keeley (Timothy Dean Keeley)
The Magic of Getting the Most out of One’s Time: Learn to Better Learn Languages!
Florian Heller
Mit Sprachzertifikaten auf zum nächsten Level – Motivation für das nächste Sprachprojekt
Daniela Maizner
Introduction to Catalan language and culture
Xavi Alcalde
Talk 4:
“Don’t say ‘quite’!” and “The Joy of Phrasal Verbs”
Tim Morley
Language learning for the lazy, minimize effort, maximize impact
Gabriel Gelman
Norwegian – a comprehensive guide on how to learn the language in 5 months
Kamil Klemsa
Free mobile apps for learning languages
Miriam Sirotňáková
Talk 5:
Naples: a lively journey through Neapolitan culture, dance and dialect
Daniel Krasa & Elisa Polese
The Quantified Polyglot: How Scarcity and Other Numerical Constraints Affect Language Learning [in Russian]
Richard DeLong
Introducción a la pragmática
Santiago Diossa Muñoz
Singing in Swedish (dialects edition)
Charlotte Scherping Larsson
Talk 6:
Start-up presentations
Yozzi, FlipWord, FlashSticks
The Power of State – The Most Underrated Element in Modern Language Learning
Michael Mischkot
The Kaiser’s most talented polyglot – The extraordinary life of interpreter, diplomat and language nerd Emil Krebs who mastered 68 languages
Daniel R.
Introduction to Klingon
Kelvin Jackson, Philip Newton

Sunday, June 4

Assimil RoomAmikumu RoomLanguage Mentoring RoomE@I Room
Talk 1:
How is politeness expressed in different languages?
Santiago Diossa Muñoz
The Future Role of the International Polyglot Society in Promoting Multilingualism
Conor Clyne
Being Funny in a Foreign Language
Dimitris Polychronopoulos
Way of the Peaceful Bookworm (How to read and read and read – and learn some languages)
Ivan Kupka
Talk 2:
L’espéranto : une langue vivante
Matthieu Desplantes
Slovak as a foreign language – theory and practice go “hand in hand”
Katarína Nevrlová
Trust the Process: The only way to be fluent in any language
Benson Hoi
Trees and waves and the Germanic mess
Niels J. L. Iversen
Talk 3:
Life in multiple languages
Richard Simcott
Language challenges – final evaluation (Esperanto)How to use LingQ
Steve Kaufmann
Hungarian and Finnish: two “unique” languages, with huge distance and with common history
Szabolcs Szilva
Talk 4:
Strange and fascinating things from the zoo of languages
Cesco Reale, Dimitris Polychronopoulos
An Introduction to Nootka, a Highly-Endangered Canadian Language
Brian Loo Soon Hua
Das mehrsprachige Bratislava oder Warum macht es keinen Sinn, die Sprachen zu zählen
Jozef Tancer
Talk 5:
The languages slipping away. What can we do to stop it?
Audrius Sabūnas
Lightning talksHow to recognize and take benefits from patterns – learning languages per analogiam
Bartłomiej Janiczak
Using Language Skills for Good: Interpreting for Survivors of Torture and Trauma
Madeline Vadkerty

Social program

It’s not going to be just about the lectures and workshops! The whole point of the Polyglot Gathering is for like-minded people to hang out together and get to know each other, and therefore, we’ve prepared nice activities for you to do just that. Make sure you use all of this to get to know other language enthusiasts:

  • Wednesday: Registration + Polyglot games
    • 1pm – 10 pm: Registration
    • 1pm – 6 pm: Polyglot games run by Cesco and Miro: ice-breaking games to get to know other participants: feel free to join in whenever you arrive and mingle with other participants
    • 6pm – 7:30pm: Dinner
    • 7:30pm – 8:30pm: Opening ceremony
    • 8:30pm – 10pm: More polyglot games
  • Thursday: Culinary festival + concert
    • 2pm – 6pm: Trip to the Devín castle, meeting point at 1:50pm in front of the main university entrance
    • 7:30pm – 9pm: Culinary festival: share food and drinks from your country and taste specialties from other countries
    • 9pm – 10pm: Multilingual concert by jOmO
  • Friday: Cultural program
    • 2pm – 6pm: Trip to the Devín castle, meeting point at 1:50pm in front of the main university entrance
    • 7:30pm – 8:30pm: Mentalist Florian Heller’s multilingual show
    • 8:30pm – 9:30pm: Multilingual concert of Jessie Ann De Angelo
  • Saturday: Multicultural evening
    • 2pm – 7pm: Trip “Wine in Bratislava”, meeting point at 1:50pm in front of the main university entrance
    • 6:15pm – 7:45 pm: Speakers’ dinner: all speakers, organizers and volunteers of this year’s Gathering are invited for a special dinner in the university canteen
    • 8pm – 10pm: Multicultural evening: come onto the stage and perform whatever you like (sing, dance, read a text of your creation, play a song etc.) in whatever language (if interested, please sign up at the information table in advance)

    FYI: 2pm – 6pm: There will be a parallel event in the university Aula meant for people not attending the Gathering with five well-known polyglots (Benny Lewis, Judith Meyer, Luca Lampariello, Richard Simcott and Steve Kaufmann) sharing their best tips for people learning their first or second foreign language. Gathering participants do not have access to this event as tickets for it are sold separately. This is just to let you know why you’ll see dozens of new people going into the aula on Saturday afternoon.

  • Sunday: Closing ceremony of the Gathering, Slovak record
    • 5pm – 6pm: Closing ceremony + setting of a new Slovak record in the number of languages being spoken under one roof: everyone is welcome to participate! Please register for this at the information table.
  • Monday: trips
    • 8:30am – 6:30pm: Trip to Bojnice and Trenčín

Language challenge

How well can you learn a language in just 50 days? Have you ever wondered? Now you have a chance to find out: Join our Challenge to learn Slovak and/or Esperanto in just 50 days before the Polyglot Gathering 2017! Why learn these languages? Slovak might come useful as you will be spending five days in Slovakia during the Gathering, while Esperanto is one of the most popular languages among the Gathering participants (plus it was constructed with the aim of being easy to learn, so you are likely to come quite far in those 50 days). Are you ready for the Challenge? Here’s how it works:

  1. Apply to participate in the challenge
    • the challenge starts on 10 April 2017
    • you apply simply by filling in the application form
    • who can take part: anyone who is a complete beginner in Slovak/Esperanto
  2. Learn Slovak/Esperanto from scratch in 50 days
    • it’s up to you how you want to learn, but we can recommend some free online resources to get you started:
      • – the ultimate online resource for learning Slovak, with grammar, vocab, readings, videos, exercises and much more
      • – if you want a gamified learning experience, this platform might be something to try out (unfortunately, there is no Slovak course yet, but the Esperanto one is highly recommended)
      • – a truly multilingual platform offering a rich selection of Esperanto materials and courses, as well as a great grammar overview and dictionary
      • – this 12 lesson course promises to teach you Esperanto in not 50, but just 12 days
    • join the Challenge Facebook group (for Slovak; for Esperanto) to get updates, share tips, and practice the language
  3. Prove that you’re the best and win awesome prizes
    • the challenge ends during the Polyglot Gathering in Bratislava, where all contestants will have a chance to prove their skill in an oral exam (don’t worry, it’s more like an informal conversation!)
    • the oral exam consists of a short presentation (1-2 minutes) and a conversation with our jury
    • the criteria you will be tested on are: fluency, interaction, grammatical accuracy, and vocabulary
    • we have some great polyglot prizes ready for you!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact

Good luck!/Veľa šťastia!/Bonŝancon!

Other activities

  • Opportunities to practise any language you like with fellow participants: just look at their huge nametag and try addressing them in one of the languages you share
  • A unique opportunity to test the cool new app “Amikumu” to find language partners for any language wherever you are
  • Opportunities to browse language books at bookstalls
  • Chill out in the comfy bean bags in the corridor
  • Play board games with other polyglots in the “red zone” in the entrance hall
  • Try out some delicious Slovak wine and mead (a sweet alcoholic drink made of honey) or have a good cup of coffee with special Bratislava cakes.
  • Lightning talks: come to one of the lightning talk sessions and speak for up to five minutes without slides on whatever topic you find interesting. Feel free to share some language learning tips, introduce your favourite resources, give us your opinion on methods you use, or tell us about how speaking a foreign language saved your life.