Tommi and I have just returned from the Sociolinguistics Symposium 19 in Berlin. It was a very successful conference and has grown to over 1000 delegates this year. However, despite being larger than ever before it is still a very friendly conference with a lot of familiar faces and it’s always nice to meet up with our authors and editors. This year we had so many titles on display that we could barely fit them all in despite having 3 tables!
The organisers from the Freie Universität Berlin were incredibly helpful and friendly and made it a very enjoyable conference. We took a lot of pleasure in sampling the local cuisine in Berlin and we particularly enjoyed tucking into the delicious German cakes in the coffee breaks at the conference.
We stayed at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Berlin which is situated right on the river Spree and we ate our breakfast every morning with a beautiful view of the Berliner Dom across the river. The other main attraction of our hotel was the incredible AquaDom which is the world’s largest cylindrical aquarium and contains one million litres of saltwater. The aquarium is 25 metres tall and rises up from the foyer of the hotel to the sixth floor. We spent a lot of time gazing at the fish and watching people in scuba gear cleaning the inside of the aquarium!
Tommi celebrated his birthday while we were in Berlin and after the conference had finished for the day we headed to the Tiergarten for food and drinks in a beer garden with our fellow publishers from Mouton DeGruyter and John Benjamins. Unfortunately as soon as we sat down with our pizza and beer it started to pour with rain so we had to run under cover to stay dry! However, we then headed to a cocktail bar to keep dry so it wasn’t a complete disaster!
We were lucky to have the opportunity to have dinner with two of our authors while we were in Berlin too. On Thursday evening we went out for dinner with Nancy Hornberger and Terri McCarty. It is really nice to socialise with authors away from the conference when we are not distracted by selling books and can have a proper conversation. We went to a restaurant called Dressler on Unter den Linden and had a lovely evening sitting outside eating, drinking and chatting.
In 2014 the Sociolinguistics Symposium will take place in Jyväskylä, Finland and we are already looking forward to it and planning our trip!