The Polyglot Gathering, Bratislava 2017

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Iversen
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Re: The Polyglot Gathering, Bratislava 2017

Postby Iversen » Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:28 am

I returned home to my flat Sunday around 22.30 because I had incorporated the gathering into a roundtrip from Bosnia to Bavaria. During the whole trip I didn't once have access to a computer so I couldn't update my log and didn't know about the group photo of the forum members - but haha, I do know a thing or two about image manipulation so in the version below I'm standing discretely at the upper left You can see that it's a hoax because the sun was shining from the left on my face the day the picture was taken on the Ton Le Sap lake in Myanmar. And speaking about photos: I spent the whole day yesterday reducing around 500 photos to just 202, most of which ahve been edited in some way, and those 202 photos will enter my permanent collection together with 18 postcards. I have still not had time to write my travelogue, but I'll write a few things about the trip in my log.

As for languages: I came (even) less prepared for the multilingual speaking orgy than usual because I spent most of the spring revising and copying (and uploading) my old sheet music. And when I finally realized that time was running out (about one week into May) I had to prioritize my lecture on the Germanic languages instead of listening to/thinking in other languages. The point is of course that I don't speak most of my languages actively at home. Even speaking English is a rare occurrence, and since I retired I actually speak less in general so coming to the gathering is always something of a baptism of fire for me, but this time more than ever. So against my will I unfortunately became one those of the event spoilers who mostly spoke in English. I did however manage to get whole conversations in Danish, English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, (Scandi)Swedish and Esperanto, I deliberately used Esperanto for check-in and apart from that I uttered a few sentences in Romanian, Dutch, Catalan and .. lo and behold Russian (but only to inform someone that I didn't dare try to speak it in public because I only have listened to Russian speech for maybe 10 minutes this year - mostly Putin - and not spoken it at all. In retrospect I probably should have given my lecture in German, but when the thought occurred to me I had already informed the staff that I would be speaking in English - one golden opportunity wasted! No Latin, no Afrikaans, no Icelandic, no Greek - and I didn't feel that I was ready to attempt Serbian or Polish.

At one of the earlier meetings I botched a Romanian conversation opportunity because somebody near me spoke in Italian and I tended to slip along with the stronger language. This time the situation was the inverse: I have recently been to Romania so my Romanian was fairly fluently and it actually kept creeping into a conversation that otherwise would have been in Catalan. I know from experiecne that a few minutes reading or listening to a language (and not having somebody speaking something better known beside me) would cure the problem, but alas, such a situation didn't occur. And finally: at the record attempt Danish was taken, but I did contribute by saying a few sentences in Low German. The new Slovakian languages-spoken-under-one-roof-at-one-event record is from now on 125 languages. It'll be hard to beat!

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Re: The Polyglot Gathering, Bratislava 2017

Postby Vedun » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:39 am

How does the conference compare to the gathering in your opinion? It's not nearly as long, has only lectures and the lectures currently put on the website don't seem quite as interesting as those in the gathering.
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Re: The Polyglot Gathering, Bratislava 2017

Postby daveprine » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:15 pm

Vedun wrote:How does the conference compare to the gathering in your opinion? It's not nearly as long, has only lectures and the lectures currently put on the website don't seem quite as interesting as those in the gathering.



I've never been to a Conference (although I'm dying to go one of these years) and I've been to the first LangFest last year in Montreal (formerly NAPS), but I would say that if I had to choose one event, it'd be the Gathering. 4 days of talks, as well as additional events and opportunities to mingle, make it a very full event. LangFest was wonderful, but it seemed like it barely got started before it was over. Id imagine the Conference is similar. I can't say I didn't feel a little fried after the Gathering ended (both times I went), but I prefer that to not getting enough. Plus, while I'm compelled to go to as many talks as possible, there were times I chose not to sit in on any, and made better use of my time. And the Gathering seems less formal or "official" (for lack of a better term), and that just makes it a very fun and casual event. Don't get me wrong. I'd love to go to all the events, and will do my darndest to try. But if I had to choose, it'd be Gathering all the way.

I attended the ICLDC (Int'l Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation) in Hawai'i a few times and they had a similar format--four days of talks, and as many as SEVEN talks to choose from per time slot. You can't walk away from there without getting burned out. That's what I live for.
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Re: The Polyglot Gathering, Bratislava 2017

Postby tarvos » Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:22 pm

Vedun wrote:How does the conference compare to the gathering in your opinion? It's not nearly as long, has only lectures and the lectures currently put on the website don't seem quite as interesting as those in the gathering.


The Polyglot Conference is very good and well-organized, but the Gathering is substantially more fun because of its structure. I attended the Gatherings of 2014 and 2017 and the Conference in 2016 in Thessaloniki.

Attending either would be a very good use of your time. I can't speak for LangFest as I have never attended that (though I should do so one of these years when I manage to cough up the finances... Canada is expensive.)

And put it this way - I know people who hadn't been to any of these events before Thessaloniki in 2016 and are basically set on going to ALL of these events. Just because of how good they are.
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Re: The Polyglot Gathering, Bratislava 2017

Postby tommus » Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:23 pm

tarvos wrote:
Vedun wrote:when I manage to cough up the finances... Canada is expensive..

Canada is expensive to get to from Europe. However, Canada is a lot less expensive (once you get here) than Netherlands, France, Germany, UK, etc. A lot less.
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Re: The Polyglot Gathering, Bratislava 2017

Postby tarvos » Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:27 pm

Depends where you are. But still I need to cough up more money than I do for a gathering here.
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Re: The Polyglot Gathering, Bratislava 2017

Postby Iversen » Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:18 pm

Concerning gatherings versus conferences: At this point in time the gatherings have undeniably overtaken the conferences when measured on objective criteria like the number of participants, the number of days and the number of simultaneous lectures.

You could have expected 'conferences' to be more academic than 'gatherings', but I have been to three conferences (Budapest, Нови Сад and Θεσσαλονίκη) and there the proportion of 'feel-good' lectures versus more nerdy lectures wasn't very different from that of the gatherings (3 x Berlin, Bratislava). And your chances of attending those of your preferred flavour are are of course greater the more simultaneous tracks there are - and with four the gathering at Bratislava set a new record. And four days is undeniably more than two.

As for locations for the next gathering I would be happy to see it at Bratislava again. We had severe space problems at A&O in Berlin, not least in the smallest lecture room and in the 'antechambre' with the information desks.I do admit that it was practical to be staying in the building where you also find all the lecture halls, and the gufujejo was more cozy in Berlin, but you would have to impose strict limits on both the number of participants and lectures to continue to have the event there - at least if we speak A&O.

But ultimately the problem may be to continue to be able to find persons who are willing and able to organize such events.
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Re: The Polyglot Gathering, Bratislava 2017

Postby daveprine » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:04 pm

Iversen wrote:And four days is undeniably more than two.


True. Although I bet someone will still dispute that. (Probably me.)



Iversen wrote:As for locations for the next gathering I would be happy to see it at Bratislava again. We had severe space problems at A&O in Berlin, not least in the smallest lecture room and in the 'antechambre' with the information desks.I do admit that it was practical to be staying in the building where you also find all the lecture halls, and the gufujejo was more cozy in Berlin, but you would have to impose strict limits on both the number of participants and lectures to continue to have the event there - at least if we speak A&O.


Agreed! I'm torn between the two places. I think the best option would be a larger version of A&O, in either city, or even somewhere new. Russia was suggested, but I can't see that being practical. Although Georgia was also suggested. Apparently it's the conference capital of the world (?) since it doesn't have visa requirements. That would be an amazing experience, although I suspect travel would be costly for many.


daveprine wrote:This quote comes from a future post.


This quote comes from a future post. Wait, that's this one. How am I pulling a quote from a post I'm only writing now?

Magic!

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Re: The Polyglot Gathering, Bratislava 2017

Postby DaveBee » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:25 pm

tommus wrote:
tarvos wrote:
Vedun wrote:when I manage to cough up the finances... Canada is expensive..

Canada is expensive to get to from Europe. However, Canada is a lot less expensive (once you get here) than Netherlands, France, Germany, UK, etc. A lot less.
Central / Eastern Europe is cheaper than western europe too.

How were the prices in Slovakia?
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Re: The Polyglot Gathering, Bratislava 2017

Postby zenmonkey » Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:00 pm

DaveBee wrote:
tommus wrote:
tarvos wrote:
Vedun wrote:when I manage to cough up the finances... Canada is expensive..

Canada is expensive to get to from Europe. However, Canada is a lot less expensive (once you get here) than Netherlands, France, Germany, UK, etc. A lot less.
Central / Eastern Europe is cheaper than western europe too.

How were the prices in Slovakia?


Just great. Noticeably lower.
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