Polyglot Gathering 2016 in Berlin, Germany
From 5 to 8 May, almost 400 language learning gurus and enthusiasts came together for 4 days of multilingual mayhem in Berlin, Germany. The Polyglot Gathering is now established as an annual event, and along with the Polyglot Conference, is one of the two polyglot meet ups that I really look forward to participating in every year.
It’s not just the educative and enlightening presentations that make it such a valuable event for me personally but more about the participants who really inspire me with their energy and ideas for blogging and learning languages.
Moreover, I relish any excuse to go to Berlin for a week. Ich mag Berlin! 😀
Polyglots having fun (photo courtesy of Momo Rabieifar)
This year my presentation was about minority European languages in the south of Brazil, namely: German, Italian, Ukrainian and Polish. The genesis for my topic was an exciting trip to Brazil I made at the beginning of the year (more videos and articles to come on that in the coming months) to the 3 most southern states of Brazil (Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul).
Traditional Polish house in Curitiba, Brazil
There I got to sample authentic German, Italian, Ukrainian and Polish culture, hear Brazilians speak in those languages and record a dialect of Italian that only exists in Rio Grande do Sul (called ‘Talian’). These communities are mainly descended from 19th century immigrants to Brazil and finding their culture so intact was really fascinating.
Me having a beer in an authentic German brewery with a Polish-Brazilian friend in Entre Rios, Brazil
I also included some clips from a series of reportages by Aline Leonhardt from a southern Brazilian TV station called RBA TV, including the fascinating Dança do Korovai – a Ukrainian dance featuring a huge loaf of bread and some skillful footwork. Brazil is not only about sandy beaches, football, samba queens and caipirinha cocktails. In fact, in the very south of Brazil, it’s also about Lederhosen, pasta, Ukrainian Easter and Polish sausages. 😀
Ukrainian architecture in a park in Curitiba, Brazil
My favorite presentations
A presentation I really enjoyed at the Gathering was given by Olly Richards of Iwillteachyoualanguage.com called “The Science of Successful Blogging”. In his presentation, Olly gave an overview of his own blogging success story, which he achieved in just two short years, as well as, the lessons he has learnt with respect to blogging. Two other presentations I also found really engaging were one on interpreting by Lydia Machová and another about the Ukrainian language by Marta Melnyk.
Northern Italian food and wine in Bento Gonçalves, Brazil
Along with the opportunity to catch up with old polyglot friends (and make new some ones), I am also a big fan of Berlin as a city. The Polyglot Gathering afforded me the chance to hang out there for over a week.
Berlin street urinal
Every morning, I could go for a run through the beautiful Tiergarten park, sample the amazing history of the city during the daytime and indulge in its legendary and hedonistic nightlife in the evenings. Berlin is truly an amazing place!
The beautiful Tiergarten Park in central Berlin
The next big polyglot event that I plan to attend is the Polyglot Conference in Thessaloniki, Greece, which will take place in October. The event is back in Europe after a great event in New York City in 2015. I can’t wait for it to roll around … hope to see you there! 😀
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