Polyglot Gathering 2024 in Prague, Czech Republic

Already for the 9th time, the Polyglot Gathering took place this year in Prague, Czech Republic, at the University of Economics and Business (VŠE).

From May 15th to 19th, the participants could enjoy a lot of talks, workshops, and other activities in terms of languages and cultures.

But now, let the numbers speak:

  • 811 people registered
  • from 83 different countries
  • more than 30 organizers and volunteers


☝️-Wow, what a big event! Can you tell me more about it?

On the 15th, the first participants arrived and started to get to know each other or meet some friends until evening. Then the event started officially with the opening ceremony presented by Petro, in front of hundreds of amazed and happy eyes. Speeches are important, so parties are. After those welcoming words, most of our throats needed to drink something (especially Petro’s, we just like drinking), and that’s why we all went to a bar and kept talking and meeting until go to sleep and were ready for the next day. 

The first programs began at 9:00 am and every hour the participants could choose between at least 3 different programs according to their preferences. They also could take a walk, rest, visit the language practice tables to improve their levels, or meet new people. Between programs, we could enjoy the coffee break area to charge batteries and fight tiredness with tea or coffee.


☝️But, what did you do exactly?

Good question! There were several types of programs, but they all have language as a common point.

During talks, the speakers (who also were participants) could generally present a 45-minute talk about whatever they wanted. For example, it could be a presentation of language, about self-improvement, or personal experiences… Via the app Slido, the audience could ask some questions that the speaker could answer at the end of the talk.

During crash courses, you can quickly learn the basics of a language, have some advice for learning in the right way, and find some people with whom you can learn together.

During workshops, it was more interactive. Everyone could participate and put into practice what they were learning. It was also a great opportunity to show their skills, talents and knowledge:

During the Talent show, every person who registered before the event had a few minutes to present what they’re good at.  And I certify: speaking more than 10 languages isn’t the only talent of polyglots! Most of them can sing, dance, juggle, play instrument(s),… (but also forget their name tags and stuff…)

During the Lightning talks, they could do a 5-minute presentation about whatever they wanted, about trips, works, connection with languages, or just any subject that they were interested in. Trust me, they have some interesting stories.

A language challenge was organized 50 days before the event, and the purpose was to start learning a new language. This year you could choose Czech or Esperanto (or both) and show your progress during a non-official exam.

As this article, most of the talks were in English, because even if we all know that Esperanto must be THE language, to have an international understanding, we chose English as the common language (but who knows, maybe in 2-3 years, everybody will speak Esperanto there).


☝️-And what about the food?

Of course, the participants had the right to eat. Every noon and evening, the canteen was open for those who ordered meals. Meat, vegetarian, and vegan – 3 diets were offered to suit everyone. After empty plates and full stomachs, they quietly returned to their activities, ready to feed their brains.


☝️– But did you do nothing in the evenings?

Guys.. polyglots are close to esperantists, so of course we did something. And what things! We’ll not talk about the Disco party, which happened.. without music, but this wasn’t enough to stop people who still enjoyed and had fun. Furthermore, we all could attend two multilingual concerts at the university. Olga and Kaŝi gave us two beautiful and rousing moments! We also traveled through many countries during the Culinary festival and the Musical language quiz. The Polyglot expo was the occasion for participants to present their arts, companies, apps,… And you certainly guessed that there were also a lot of non-official programs, most of the time in bars.


☝️What if I missed the event? Do I ever know this incredible feeling of friendship, the joy of learning from awesome people, the taste of being a part of this big family, is it worth continuing to live now?

Don’t panic! Soon the same event (even much better) will happen again. First online for all those who will not participate physically or just want to enjoy it double time, and then on-site, we will let you know when and where as soon as possible. While waiting, you can find many of the talks that were recorded and watch them on our Youtube channel @PolyglotGathering.

For more interactive times, you can already join our telegram groups if you want to speak to other participants and/or find someone to do language tandem and then be prepared for next year!


 ☝️-Haven’t you forgotten anything?

I have, you’re right! Without our sponsors and partners, nothing would have been possible, so thanks a lot to Glossika (official sponsor), UEA (executive sponsor), Italki, uTalk, Vincent Pol University and Phrasing (bronze sponsors), Language Coaching Academy, Skapago and Polygloss (start-up sponsors), Vortoj, Slovake.eu, Deutsch.info, Prague convention bureau, Tandem and Slido (partners), and finally Costa Coffee, which offered us the possibility of drinking as much coffee as we needed.


☝️-And the final word?

Thanks to all of you who participated and helped, we’re already happy to see you again or welcome you if it will be your first time. Year after year, the event becomes more and more perfect thanks to you, and in this way, you show everyone that with understanding, learning, and respect, diversity is the biggest force! Thanks a lot and see you soon!


Here you can find the photos of the event👇: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1J3th2ABnoG_Up2CxM612s6UauUZluw_U?usp=sharing


Léa Gavoille, volunteer in E@I .

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