Wow! I'm amazed! The response to this competition has been really good. Several dozen people registered to participate and 10 of them decided to show their results at the end: 3 locally at the Polyglot Gathering and 7 online.
For the online bracket, I managed to enlist an all-star jury:
Renato Corsetti, vice president of the Akademio de Esperanto, professor of linguistics
Bertilo Wennergren, member of the Akademio de Esperanto, wrote the standard reference grammar of Esperanto
Anna Löwenstein, member of the Akademio de Esperanto, well-known author
Katalin Kovats, member of the Akademio de Esperanto, well-known educator and linguist
Marc Bavant, former member of the Akademio de Esperanto, professor, mathematician and linguist
Valentin Melnikov, well-known poet and journalist, editor of the cultural magazine "La Ondo de Esperanto"
Suso Moinhos, teacher
I asked them to evaluate the candidates based on four criteria: understandability, correct use of language, range of vocabulary and fluency of presentation. For each of these, they used a scale of 1-10, where 1 would mean crappy and 10 would be the kind of Esperanto you'd expect from someone who has used Esperanto for many years. Since there were 7 jury members who could each award 40 points max, a long-term Esperantist could hope to score up to 280 points total.
Taking into account that the candidates were evaluated solely based on the content of their videos, which ranged from 2 to 4 1/2 minutes and which they were presumably able to practise and re-record as much as they wanted, how close to the ideal did they manage to get? Who is the winner?
Martin is the winner, though Terry is not far behind! Both made incredible progress in Esperanto during this time. Actually, all the candidates did. To give a talk in a foreign language after just 6 weeks of study is a feat that few people will attempt and even fewer will succeed in. Sean even composed a poem in Esperanto - though the amount of mistakes unfortunately hurt his score. Let all of the candidates be your inspiration!
Unfortunately, we lost our video recordings of the local bracket of the contest. The winners were: Yi-Kai Lim, Lauren and Ursula. You can watch Lauren's entry from minute 7:28 in her summary video. Yi-Kai Lim's entry was even more amazing, and much longer, so he won the first prize for the local context.
If you want to know how the winners did it, look at their logs: Martin, Terry, James and Lauren. It is clear that learning their speech well was a major part of it, but you cannot convincingly give a speech if you don't understand each word that you're using. Also, both Martin and Terry spent more than 60 hours on Esperanto over the course of these 6 weeks. Terry had peak days of 6+ hours of Esperanto study, as logged through the bot. Because of this amazing commitment and very narrow loss, we're actually awarding him a special prize in addition to the promised one: the chance to participate in an Esperanto immersion weekend. Martin and Yi-Kai Lim both win a free week-long vacation in Esperantujo.
I'd like to thank all the participants and all the jury members and of course the donors that made this competition possible: the Mondo Foundation, the noJEF foundation, the Esperanto Association of Britain and filmmaker Sam Green. Thank you very much!
Considering the Polyglot Gathering takes place in Berlin from June 15-18, just after the 6 Week Challenge ends, we thought it would be fun to have a special 6 Week Challenge for those who want it, including prizes for the winners. This challenge is open both to people who attend the Polyglot Gathering as well as people participating online.
The special challenge: give a presentation (1-5 minutes, live or video recorded) in Esperanto after only 6 weeks of study! And the prizes include a week-long vacation... more details below.
Since this contest is about learning a language from scratch in 6 weeks, obviously it is only open to people who haven't studied Esperanto before. It is okay if you read about it before or glanced at the grammar in an idle hour, so for the sake of this contest, "haven't studied" shall mean that you have spent less than 5 hours learning Esperanto before the challenge.
Your presentation should be:
The judges will be fluent speakers of Esperanto including one native speaker.
There are two brackets for this contest: local at the Polyglot Gathering and online on Youtube.
Assuming that there are at least 5 participants in each bracket, the first prize in each bracket will be a free week-long vacation in Esperantujo sponsored by the Mondo Foundation. This means that winners will be able to choose from the following events:
The scholarship will cover program costs, lodging and food, but not travel costs.
Presentations will be evaluated based on understandability, correct use of language, range of vocabulary and fluency of presentation. We reserve the right to disqualify a participant if we believe that he/she studied Esperanto before. The judges' decision is final.
Contact @Junesun or e-mail her if you have any questions or encounter any issues.
For more inspiration, read about Judith's 6 week challenge to give a presentation in Indonesian at Learnlangs Indonesian competition.
Have fun! Good luck with your language studies!