The Polyglot Gathering 2018 will take place under the auspices of:
- Martina Lubyová, Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic;
- Ivo Nesrovnal, mayor of Bratislava;
- Ferdinand Daňo, rector of the University of Economics in Bratislava;
- Juraj Droba, chairman of the Bratislava self-governing region.
The official organizer of Polyglot Gathering 2018 is E@I, a non-profit organization based in Slovakia, which coordinates various projects supporting language learning (lingvo.info, slovake.eu, lernu.net, deutsch.info, mluvtecesky.net, russky.info among others). The main organizers are the following:
Lýdia Machová: Head organizer
Lýdia is a professional conference interpreter and language mentor from Slovakia. As an autodidact who learns a new language every two years, she believes the secret to language learning is finding the right method (for yourself) and keeping at it long enough in a systematic way. As a language mentor at www.languagementoring.com (www.jazykovymentoring.sk in Slovakia), she advises people to achieve just that. She currently speaks 9 languages (Slovak, Czech, English, German, Spanish, Polish, French, Esperanto, Russian in the order of learning).
Peter Baláž: Head organizer
Peter Baláž, in Esperanto known as Petro, is an Esperantist, publisher and editor; he was selected as the 2012 Esperantist of the Year. Baláž lives in his hometown of Partizánske and speaks, to various degrees, Slovak, Czech, German, Polish, Russian and English, as well as Esperanto. Peter is especially active in the international Esperanto movement and educational projects, and in 2005 he became the coordinator of E@I. He is also known as an organiser of international events (mainly, but not only, Esperanto meetings). He is a former board member of Wikimedia Slovakia and, since September 2012, a member of its Revision Committee. He owns the Slovakia-based publishing firm Espero, founded in 2003, which publishes mainly Esperanto works. For more info see Wikipedia.
Dorota Rodzianko: Administration and finances
Dorota, 29, is from Poland and currently lives in Slovakia. She studied economics. Since 2010, she has been organizing international events in various European cities and countries. Since 2012, she has been mostly in charge of administration of participants and finances. She has experience in organizing events with 50 to 300 participants (she was also involved in the organization of a worldwide event with 1300 participants).
Matthieu Desplantes: Web support
Matthieu is from France but has been living in Slovakia since October 2013. He studied computer engineering for five years in Paris and now works with both computers and languages. He speaks (to various degrees) French, Esperanto, English, Slovak and Russian, and has basic knowledge of a few more languages. He has been involved in the organization of several international events, most of which are related to Esperanto. He also has a blog about languages.
Dimitrios Polychronopoulos: Sponsor relations
Dimitrios has a Master of International Studies and a Global Executive Master of Business Administration. He has lived in countries as diverse as Greece, Taiwan, Norway, France, Spain, the USA and the Philippines. He has travelled to more than 100 countries, all seven continents and speaks 14 languages at different levels. At the Polyglot Gathering 2016, he launched yozzi.com, a platform for people to practice writing and editing in their target languages, which aims to become the lang-8 for advanced learners.
Cesco Reale: Social program
A scientific communicator, Cesco deals with games, languages and maths, creating festivals, exhibitions and conferences. He speaks more than 10 languages, including Latin and Esperanto, and holds the IPA certificate in phonetics. He is also the UN representative for the World Esperanto Association and the creator of Limbas, language seminar in Italy. Visit his YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/user/matematikemulo/playlists.
Miroslav Šedivý: Volunteers coordinator
Miro was born in Bratislava just a few kilometers from the Iron Curtain which allowed him to secretly watch the cartoons on the Austrian TV and believe that the whole world behind the fence was speaking Austrian. Today he still doesn’t speak Austrian.
Michal Grodza: Volunteers coordinator
Michal Grodza was born in the Eastern part of Slovakia and is able to speak French, Polish, English and Turkish. He developed his passion for languages as a child watching Cartooon Network. Even though he graduated as a teacher of English, he fell in love with non-formal education and works as youth couch and coordinator of multicultural youth exchanges and training courses.
Michal Nejeschleba: Trips
Michal is from Bratislava where he is active as a tour guide. His passions include hiking, history and languages, all of which he combines in his project Green Hat Tours. The resulting trips are a combination of hiking, networking and learning about local culture and history in fun & memorable ways.
Georg Jähnig: Videos manager
Georg from Berlin, Germany, was raised bilingual in German and Polish. He studied computational linguistics and spent an exchange year in Prague where he learnt Czech by getting his driver’s license, later enriched by painstakingly studying Slovak rap music.
As a hobby polyglot, he learns by watching good TV shows in foreign languages, and so he got some working understanding also in Spanish, Dutch, Danish, Russian and French. Re-Becoming an esperantist in 2015, he created a short online course to learn the language.
He works as a freelance web developer and blogger and when he heard that 2014’s Berlin Polyglot Gathering had no video recordings planned yet, he volunteered to organize them. And it is in this role he will be again this year.
Edoardo Nannotti: Design
Edoardo was born in 1985 in the Southeast tip of Italy. He is a programmer and a graphic designer. Not religious, but a believer in free knowledge and societies without hierarchy. He likes cooking, capoeira and art that can make you laugh and think at the same time.
Jiti Dias: Project manager, social media marketing
Jiti comes from Prague and her official Czech name is Jitka. She has studied and worked in Prague, Brussels, Vienna, Turku, Munich and Lisbon and now has been living for 3 years in Berlin, working in HR & Marketing and organizing career events at universities. She only found out about the polyglot community in May 2017 after attending the Polyglot Gathering in Bratislava but since then she’s been very passionate about meeting other polyglots and exchanging ideas and made a lot of amazing new friends. She can speak 8 languages at a different level of fluency and is currently studying 3 more at a beginner’s level. Jitka will soon be launching her blog: www.multilingualvegan.com.
Ellen de Visser: social media
Ellen is born in the Netherlands, but is doing a BA in German and French in Berlin. Currently she is studying in Prague and has lived and studied in some other countries as well. She works as a freelance translator with the languages Dutch, German and English, but is interested in learning Slavic and Asian languages too. Ellen enjoys speaking at language events and is part of the marketing team of this year’s Polyglot Gathering.
Elisa Polese: sponsor relations
Elisa is a professional language teacher and language enthusiast. She teaches Italian, German, English, Spanish, Russian, French, Dutch, Catalan, Portuguese, Greek, Hindi, Arabic and Esperanto (at different levels). She is specialised in multilingual teaching (up to 10 languages in one course) and is a certified language examiner for English, Italian, Russian, French, German and Spanish. She has been teaching and living in several countries, holds two BAs in Translating and Interpreting, a MA in International Communication and a MA in Didactics. She often gives presentations about language learning, multilingual teaching and learning, intercultural communication and organises workshops where you can start speaking one or more languages from the very first moment and have your first conversation after a few minutes (www.speakfromdayonewithelisa.com). She is also a language coach and can help you improving quickly in your languages.
Volunteers from E@I
The volunteers from the organization E@I also help organizing the Polyglot Gathering 2018 as part of their European Voluntary Service, co-financed by the European Union.
David Mamsch: Administration
David doesn’t like languages. He does, however, very much like to get in touch with interesting people from all over the world. Speaking German, Esperanto and English, he currently struggles devotedly with the beauty of the Slovak language and its marvelous cases.
Sofia ZaretskaIa: Social Program and invitations
Sofia is a young inspiring lawyer from Moscow, with fiery hair that perfectly represents the personality of this self-driven individual carrying an innate interest and love for sloths, dogs and all those beautiful little “weirdnesses” only life knows how to do.
Ekaterina Lozina: program booklet, on-site help
Miri is an esperantist volunteering in Slovakia. She likes to meet people from different countries and also wants to speak five languages at least but she is too lazy to learn. Hopefully the event will help her to improve her knowledge and to start learning more.
Kryštof Klestil: on-site help
Kryštof was born in Czechia and grew up in the northern part of London. He’s one of the few people in Slovakia to have experience teaching English using the “famed but undiscovered” SpeakYourMind method, five years in total. His interests and skills range from 3D modelling and knitting to eating with chopsticks, travelling but most of all it’s meeting people, seeing what makes them tick, understanding life from their experiential and perceptual set of values as presented by their current state of mind. Being more-or-less bilingual, languages have always been a part of his life.
Polyglot Gathering 2018 in Bratislava is being prepared in cooperation with Judith Meyer and Chuck Smith, the initiators of the Polyglot Gathering event series and head organizers of the first three editions of the Polyglot Gathering in Berlin.