Polyglot Gatherings as a business?

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rdearman
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Polyglot Gatherings as a business?

Postby rdearman » Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:52 pm

I just watched a YouTube video of yet another YouTube polyglot talking about the gathering and trying to decide if he should go to the next one and if it suits his business model. Now I don't personally have anything against people making money, certainly not making money from all the effort they've put in to learn a new language. But one of the lectures I saw last year was a talk which seemed to be to be total directed at new learners and beginners. To be honest if they gatherings are going to become simply places for people to sell and market ebooks, YouTube videos and other dross, then frankly I'm not really interested. A better use of my time would be 5 days alone in some back of the world country villiage in France or Italy using my languages.

I can see the likes of the Assimil guys selling courses, after all where would you find a place where your entire demographic is in the same place for 3 days! But would some of these talks be of any use to people who've already learned 5+ languages to a B2-C2 level? Probably not. I do see the point of giving the sponsors slots, you have to. But as an organiser I would expect those sponsors to put in the effort to make the subject relevant to the people attending.

I'm in hope that this next years lectures would be useful to me as a well-informed language learner, who wants to get more out of the time I spend on the languages. So, even though my own lecture this year was "Nerd, nerd, nerd, anki", I hope it gave some people a useful guide to using anki and subs2srs.

This really isn't a question, more of a little mini-rank which I probably should have put in my log. I would like to see more informative and instructive stuff at the next gathering, although I know the organisers can only use the suggested talks they are given. I did feel that last year there was very little "meat" which I could use for my own learning.

After a little reflection, after writing all this. I'm going to ask if you are considering going to the gathering, you consider giving a lecture on something. It would be a shame if the whole thing was taken over by poorly disguised infomercials.
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Re: Polyglot Gatherings as a business?

Postby lavengro » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:31 pm

rdearman wrote:....
But as an organiser I would expect those sponsors to put in the effort to make the subject relevant to the people attending.
...

I've never been to a polyglot gathering. I would like to go at some point, but I strongly suspect that I would not get past the screening process that I imagine is in place to weed out the monolinguals (technically, I am functionally bilingual - English and Gibberish - but frankly, my English is impoverished enough sometimes that it does not count).

Out of interest, what sort of people do attend? I have followed, and have lived vicariously through, a number of accomplished polyglot posters on this and the old forum who have attended or even presented at previous polyglot conferences, but I assume there are also slobs like me who may also attend out of interest and who may accordingly benefit from some more basic or elementary presentation? I might show up at some point in the future just for the cookies - I understand from your languages profile that cookies may be available at least for Finnish learners!
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Re: Polyglot Gatherings as a business?

Postby rdearman » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:14 pm

Lol. Yeah there might be cookies. Some people who go are monolinguals. I wouldn't worry.
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Re: Polyglot Gatherings as a business?

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:58 pm

lavengro wrote:Out of interest, what sort of people do attend?


All kinds - from introverts to extroverts, from monoglots to hyperpolyglots, from beginners to advanced (and the list of variables goes on). Forum celebrities, Youtube celebrities, bloggers, authors, hobby learners...
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Re: Polyglot Gatherings as a business?

Postby tarvos » Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:21 am

After a little reflection, after writing all this. I'm going to ask if you are considering going to the gathering, you consider giving a lecture on something. It would be a shame if the whole thing was taken over by poorly disguised infomercials.


Imma lecture.

As for the vetting process: there are no exams at the door.
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Re: Polyglot Gatherings as a business?

Postby Brun Ugle » Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:26 am

lavengro wrote:
rdearman wrote:....
But as an organiser I would expect those sponsors to put in the effort to make the subject relevant to the people attending.
...

I've never been to a polyglot gathering. I would like to go at some point, but I strongly suspect that I would not get past the screening process that I imagine is in place to weed out the monolinguals (technically, I am functionally bilingual - English and Gibberish - but frankly, my English is impoverished enough sometimes that it does not count).

Out of interest, what sort of people do attend? I have followed, and have lived vicariously through, a number of accomplished polyglot posters on this and the old forum who have attended or even presented at previous polyglot conferences, but I assume there are also slobs like me who may also attend out of interest and who may accordingly benefit from some more basic or elementary presentation? I might show up at some point in the future just for the cookies - I understand from your languages profile that cookies may be available at least for Finnish learners!

The biggest demographic is weirdos. Don’t worry, you’ll fit right in. :P There are plenty of people that only speak one or two languages. Some people just like to dabble in loads of languages, but don’t really learn more than the basics. Others learn a few languages to a high degree. And then there are a few geniuses that learn a new language in a week.

Come to Bratislava with us! I’d love to meet you. We had some good times on the old forum. We can all go to the Goblin Pub. First round is on Rick. :D
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Re: Polyglot Gatherings as a business?

Postby rdearman » Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:37 am

6 glasses of tap water please. ;)
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Re: Polyglot Gatherings as a business?

Postby tarvos » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:27 am

Hey! I'm not a weir...

wait.
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Re: Polyglot Gatherings as a business?

Postby zenmonkey » Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:39 pm

Language geeks of all sorts go.

Personally, I'd go again, mostly to spend time with the likes of you - the people I met and whose company I enjoyed.
As to the talks and the commercialisation of the presentations - I expected some of it. Whether it is Lingvist or iTalki or some of the better known polyglots (no names ;) ) they are there primarily to promote their products and brands.

I'm fine with that IF the material presented and the content is of quality and not mumbo-jumbo. But it is the same standard of expectations I hold for all the talks. So, if I remember correctly, my eyes rolled around in the back of my head:

1) talk of AI used to develop a language learning or testing algorithm - pure bullshit. I evaluated the same tool with 3 different users and the results on cards displayed, frequency, etc are not particularly individualised for that tool. AI, my butt.

2) talk that focused on differentiating short term vs long term memory - and placed the difference between the two in periods of days or weeks. BS - short term memory is a term for physiological function that is measured in seconds - not days or weeks. Interval learning or repetition scheduling isn't the same thing as "working to assure everything is out of short term memory".

So my issue is going to be with the hokey reasoning (I'm perfectly ok with people saying this works for me, try it!) rather than trying to sell a site, a product or a method. But yeah, I'm not going there to see infomercials and I would love to not wait 6 months to see the videos from the prior conference.

But honestly, I saw some good talks and it wasn't all promotion.

And yes, I plan to give a talk or two in the future.

Some ideas I've tossed around in my head include:

- Laterally learning a target language through a language family
- Opaque language approaches
- Programming - how to write a language app
- Active, method and rote learning
- Intro to Tibetan and Ladakhi
- Intro to Nahuatl
- Intro to Tzotzil
- Cognitive Science Implications and Language Learnings
- Poetry - Handke, Lorca, Blake and Rimbaud used in Language Learning and as Motivation
- Using podcasts - an open discussion
- Dad jokes, word play and subliminal language fun

Or ... just as easily, I won't give any talks because I'll be busy with a different project but still want to attend.

As to who attends?
Really there is a bit of everything.

Esperantoists, language professionals, new learners, the curious, travelers, cynics...
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Re: Polyglot Gatherings as a business?

Postby Brun Ugle » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:46 am

zenmonkey wrote:- Laterally learning a target language through a language family
- Opaque language approaches
- Programming - how to write a language app
- Active, method and rote learning
- Intro to Tibetan and Ladakhi
- Intro to Nahuatl
- Intro to Tzotzil
- Cognitive Science Implications and Language Learnings
- Poetry - Handke, Lorca, Blake and Rimbaud used in Language Learning and as Motivation
- Using podcasts - an open discussion
- Dad jokes, word play and subliminal language fun

I want to hear all those talks.
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