Greetings from Australia

Good Morning All
My name is Nicki. I was born in England, but I moved to South Australia back in 2007.
This is my very first time at the Polyglot Conference, having only discovered it existed earlier this year. However, I have been learning languages for quite a few years now.
I started French and German in high school (adding in a one-year GCSE in Italian while doing my A-Levels), and those three remain my more advanced foreign languages.
In later years I picked up Czech (upper beginner), Danish (lower intermediate) and Icelandic (Beginner – on-again-off-again due to scarce resources), all three fully self-taught.
More recently, I started to teach myself Japanese about two years ago (upper beginner) and then also picked up Korean about 18 months ago (initially fully self-taught, although I am now also taking some classes through the Korean Cultural Centre here in Australia) (upper beginner).
Since moving from the UK to Australia, I’ve been worrying that lack of use is leaving some of my languages rusty, so this year I have made an effort to work on all of them more again, and I am enjoying spending time on them so far and plan to continue this into 2022.
As I kind of expected when I registered for this conference, a good 80% of the events are taking place late at night/overnight for me, so I cannot participate to any great extent in most of the live stuff, though I will try to watch some of the recorded sessions once they are available.
I am always keen to chat to fellow language learners, though, and to make new friends around the world, so please do feel free to say ‘hi’.
Best wishes to all and I hope everyone has a great time during the conference.

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Hi Nicki.
My name’s Michelle. It’s nice to see there’s someone else here in the Australian time zones! I’m in Sydney, and I’ve been trying to go to some of the late night (for me) activities, but mostly been sticking to watching the recorded talks (which are great!).
I speak German and have recently starting learning Italian and European Portuguese. I would love to practice some German here at the conference, but the scheduled sessions all seem to be in the middle of the night or very very early morning for me. I’m hoping there may be some others to be scheduled at different times, but I’m not sure exactly how it works.
Enjoy the conference - maybe we will come across one another somewhere!

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Hi Nicki,

A pleasure to meet you here. My name is Ivan Yong, a Malaysian based in Hong Kong.
I am currently learning French and Korean.
Did you watch Squid Game?

I was thinking we can hold a session for say Squid Game, just to chat about it and possibly get a Korean to explain some of their traditional games to the audience.

It could be interesting ? What do you say?


Hi Michelle.
Nice to meet someone else in my time zone!
I hope you will be able to find a session suitable for practicing your German. As you say, the European languages all seem to be on European time, which makes sense in a way but is a bit restrictive. I found the same with the Korean sessions, which are all too late for me. It made me wonder if things couldn’t be arranged so sessions were on different times on different days, to try to give everyone a shot at participating, but I guess it all comes down to finding native speakers in the different time zones who are happy to host a session. I imagine it is hard to plan something that will suit everyone.
Have you looked at finding a German language exchange partner on italki? I’ve not used the site myself yet, but I hear great things about it and I have been intending to give it a closer look in the new year.
Do you sing at all? I love musicals, and I often sing along to German/Austrian musicals. :slight_smile:
Best Wishes

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Hi Ivan

Nice to meet you.

Yes, I have watched Squid Game. Although, I have to say that, while it has become this huge thing, for me it was just okay. I liked it, but there are other K-dramas I’ve loved way more. :slight_smile:

I am sure there would be people interested in your suggested session. Perhaps you could ask around in the Korean threads. I see a ton of stuff about the series on YouTube at present, including recipes for making Dalgona (used in the game where they cut out the shapes). In fact, the King Sejong Institute have posted a video on YouTube about some of the games. The video has English subs and you can find it HERE if you are interested. It just goes for 3-4 mins.

Are you learning Korean by yourself or taking classes?

Best Wishes


Hi Nicki,

Thank you for the link to the King Sejong Institute. I do agree that there are better K-Dramas as compared to Squid Game. I have been watching K-drama for a few years now started with the Secret Garden by Ha Ji won in 2010. I can see how Koreans have continued to improve in story telling, acting and creativity.

Currently I am learning Korean on my own. I am using the Talk To Me in Korean resources which in my opinion is the best so far to learn spoken Korean. My purpose is really to be able to watch k-drama without the subtitles.

Hi, also from Australia.
I’m a native English speaker but also speak French, Portuguese, not bad Spanish, some Japanese and Indonesian.


Hi Nicki.
I use italki a lot for German, spending way too much money in the process, but I learn best by speaking, so I think it’s worth it! I would definitely recommend italki as a way to find fantastic language teachers/tutors, but it’s not really set up for finding free conversation partners. I have tried Tandem for finding conversation partners, but haven’t been successful so far - it seems like some people treat it more like a dating site, and I’ve found it hard to find people serious about language learning who want to just practice without other motives.
No singing for me, but I usually enjoy watching musicals. Is there any in particular you would recommend?

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So, you don’t have to be a native speaker to host… just prepared to set up a session. Feel free to set something up at a time that suits you (but maybe is evening for EU, or do it over the weekend) … you will find people happily come. If you want beginner, just put that in the name.

I’ve done this for French and Spanish, becs all the sessions were mid-night for me too … Melbourne, AU.

Richard would love you to organise your own sessions, and particularly for asian languages, you will find those in local time zones join… there are a few people in the Asian region.

Hi Ivan

I started off by myself too. I did some free MOOCs for beginners, then I bought some books and started working through some websites like How to Study Korean, along with watching videos from various YouTubers such as Korean Unnie. Talk to Me in Korean is a resource I am planning to look into more shortly.

Like you, I started learning Korean because I got into watching K-dramas.


Hi Dominic.
Lovely to meet you.

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Hi Cate

Many thanks for this information; that’s good to know. I might have to keep it in mind for next time, though, as today is the last day I will have free time before the conference ends, so it’s a bit to late for me to organise something now. But perhaps we can try to arrange something between a few of us post-conference.

Best Wishes (and Greetings from Adelaide to Melbourne)


Hi Michelle

Ah, thanks for the feedback re italki.

I had heard that about Tandem, which is why I’ve not tried using it yet. Another one I see mentioned is HelloTalk, but I’ve heard some similar things relating to that one, with people saying that as soon as they join they get swamped with requests but many of them not people seriously looking for friendship and language exchange, which is why I’ve been hesitant to try it so far.

I do use the Slowly app. If you don’t know it, it’s a penpal app which mimics snail mail in that messages are not delivered instantly but after hours/days depending on how far away you are from the person you are messaging. You collect stamps too, which is quite cute. My experience there has been okay so far. I don’t allow random requests though (as when I did I got swamped); I just search to see if there’s anyone I wish to engage with. It’s allowed me to meet some nice people; however, my experience has been that not everyone is in it for the long term like me, so I’ve sometimes started corresponding with people only for them to then just drop off replying, not even, it seems, logging into the app anymore.

As for original German-language musicals, my favourites are: Elisabeth, Tanz der Vampire, Rebecca, Mozart! and Rudolf: Affaire Mayerling. A quick YouTube search will find you some music and footage from most of them if you want to check any of them out.


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Hi Nicki,

I have tried several different books for Korean, I find TTMIK is the most suitable if you want to learn the spoken Korean in a structured way.

Highly recommend it. They have actually made some of their resources free online. I have however bought their series of Book 1 to 10. These books are designed for easy learning that last typically more more than 30 minutes, allowing you to do it on a daily basis.

For K-drama, what are your favourites so far?

Thanks for the recommendation, Ivan. I will definitely check out TTMIK soon then.
As for K-dramas, a few faves so far that spring immediately to mind are: Flower of Evil, Are You Human?, Deep-Rooted Tree, Scholar Who Walks the Night, Black, Mr Sunshine, Bad Guys… I could keep going; there are so many great ones.
What are some of your faves?

Wow. We have some common ones. My top 10 so far

  1. Flower of Evil (Lee Joon gi)
  2. Mr. Sunshine (Kim Tae Ri)
  3. Secret Garden (Ha Ji Won)
  4. The King & I (Ha Ji Won)
  5. Scarlett Ryeo (IU)
  6. My Mister (IU)
  7. Hotel Del Luna (IU)
  8. Chocolate (Ha Ji Won)
  9. Kingdom (Joo Ji Hun)
  10. Squid Game
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