Before the web and social media, polyglots tended to be solitary creatures studying on their own and pursuing what were often viewed as eccentric or inexplicable pursuits. The internet changed that, by making geography irrelevant and uniting language lovers across great distances. Alongside readily available information about other countries and cultures, they now had direct access to native speakers and polyglots representing hundreds of languages.
New language sites and social media brought about the formation of a self-conscious, collaborative online community. In 2007, the first YouTube videos from polyglots began appearing online.
It was in Poznan, Poland, in 2012 that polyglots Richard Simcott and Luca Lampariello first talked about bringing the online community together in real life. From that discussion the Polyglot Conference was born.
The first took place in May 2013 in Budapest, Hungary, where language enthusiasts from around the world came together to meet their intellectual compatriots. Many who had been active in the online language community were now together and able to share stories, discuss methods, practice language skills, exchange ideas and generally put faces to familiar names. Common reactions were excitement, joy and a surge of renewed motivation.
From that first event, the language-learning community of YouTubers, bloggers, teachers, translators, intrepreters, writers and entrepreneurs has continued to grow and flourish. Each year more polyglots come together at our international events to raise the quality of their learning experience and-by extension-the profile of polyglottery worldwide.
The second Polyglot Conference in Serbia in October 2014 was organized by Richard Simcott, Emanuele Marini, and Alex Rawlings, and took place at the Cultural Center of Novi Sad. That too was a huge success and led to the decision to take the Polyglot Conferences out of Europe for the first time.
In 2015, the Polyglot Conference will make its first trip to the United States, landing in New York City, one of the most multilingual cities in the world, and drawing a whole new crop of American polyglots to this flourishing global community.