I'm a Ruby guy who lives in, Edinburgh. These days I pass my time freelancing though my company and solving problems for other people - but in a past life I was a teacher of english as a second language, and I'm currently trilingual.
The Ruby community and its conferences are great because it lets me get in touch with the community that's nurtured and supported me for the years I've been in the industry and gives me a great chance to give back by sharing the things I'm most passionate about - programming, linguistics, learning and how you can be better at all of these.
You know what? Learning how to speak another language shouldn't be hard. So lets put it in a context that we know and love - programming in Ruby. This is a talk about abstraction, counting, syntax and grammar. It's nerdy, but its fun.
What you won't see is your typical "language talk" - I won't be banging on about language theory (except to relate to Ruby), or any particular natural language.
I think this is better, because it's about applying what you already know to the task at hand. There might even be a lesson or two snuck in there - wouldn't that be nice?
Learning another language shouldn't be an insurmountable challenge, learning to speak another language even less so. I fully believe, and will explain that by our very nature as programmers, we do this all the time - I'll talk about how these same skills that let us switch from Java to Ruby to Go can be used to help us switch from English to Sweedish to Japanese.
Hell, it might even help you switch from programming in Ruby to painting landscapes!
Just pure spherical syntax in vacuum? Meh. How about change the topic a little, and provide Ruby-language specific solutions for most common software architecture design patters used in networked software such as Rails and REST APIs ?