Joining a meet-up is usually not something you do as a tourist, though there are many interesting ones (especially in the U.S.). Today’s LanguageCast meet-up in Seoul was my first meet-up outside Tokyo.
LanguageCast is held twice a week: On Monday they record talk shows (usually in Chinese, English and Japanese) and on Friday it’s time for speeches. Note that there is no obligation to take part in the talk shows or hold a speech. Everyone who joins learns one or more languages. I joined the Friday one.
My Korean doesn’t go much beyond introductions and ordering meals in the restaurant, so I held my speech in Japanese. Most Koreans seemed to learn Japanese too which is a natural choice considering the similarity of these two language (grammar is similar). So I understood most speeches held by Koreans but I didn’t understand the one held by a Japanese (in Italian). Still, it was very enjoyable.
There’s no critique of each others speech and up to three languages were used by the speakers. Since I graduated from Japanese school, I sometimes lack the motivation to write a speech so this was a great opportunity. All recorded speeches are published on the LanguageCast website. The talk shows are also available as a podcast feed (iTunes link).
LanguageCast Seoul is held in the Atreon TOZ on the 14th floor. TOZ is a place where people can rent booths to hold meetings. The Sinchon area (not to be confused with the city Sinchon) is where Sogang and Yonsei University are located. It’s not surprising that the place is packed with bars and restaurants and there is also a cinema in the Atreon. The area can be reached with subway line 2 stopping at Sinchon Station.
Meet up fee is 4000 Won (for room rental) which includes unlimited free drinks. Usually everyone goes to grab a beer and socialize afterwards.
If you RSVP via meetup.com, don’t be shocked by the seemingly low number of people. Meetup.com is not the only way they use to organize their meet-ups (Twtmt.com is another) and the regulars probably come without RSVPing at all.