Public speaking

I greatly enjoy meeting readers. Probably my favourite way of doing so is by giving public talks and answering questions from the audience, then getting into informal conversation.

Whether speaking or writing, I always strive for a lively, varied and personal style. My talks are based on sound linguistic knowledge, but are short on jargon, long on fun. Besides words, I also use images – and I even sing. I enjoy talking to audiences with different levels of expertise, from general readers unfamiliar with linguistics to polyglots and translators.
I can speak about any of the following subjects:
    • personal and societal benefits of language-learning: an extended version of my TEDx Talk;
    • languages of Europe: a light-hearted series of linguistic portraits, based on LINGO;
    • the world’s 20 largest languages: stories based on BABEL;
    • the Arabic, Indian and Chinese scripts compared to our alphabets; 
    • small languages threatened by extinction – should we care?
    • scholarly crackpots and dilettantes in linguistics through the ages;
    • the linguistic and cultural challenges of translating LINGO into 7 languages; and
    • 10 reasons to learn Vietnamese, and 5 to regret it.
Amerongen detailOther aspects of linguistics may or may not be within my competence. Feel free to inquire.

I have so far spoken at events in Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, England, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. I can address your audience in English, Dutch, German or Limburgish. I can also speak in Spanish or French, but the Q&A may have to take place in one of the other languages.

If you’re interested in inviting me, please send me a message. Kindly include information about 
what (your wishes regarding subject, duration, language etc.)
who (type and approximate size of audience)
where (type of event, venue)
when (date) and
how much (indication of your financial possibilities).

Before a recent talk …

… and during, with co-speaker Phạm Bảo Thanh Huyền.