The World in Words
By PRI's The World
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From PRI's The World, The World in Words with Patrick Cox focuses on language. We decode diplospeak and lay bare nationalist rants. And as English extends its global reach, we track the blowback from the world's 6,000+ other languages, in the form of hybrids like Chinglish, Hinglish, Singlish and Binglish. Binglish? Visit the full archive at pri.org!
||Scrabble and the Scottish Accent||New Zealander Nigel Richards recently rocked the competitive scrabbling playing world when he became the 2015 French Scrabble World Champion. The World in Words digs into the backstory of the Scrabble genius. Also in the podcast we hear from a researcher||7/22/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||The accent quiz that tested the world||When linguist Bert Vaux posted a corpus of words and questions on his Harvard website back in the early 2000’s, little did he know that he would spawn an international meme. The quiz was supposed to test his students’ regional American accents. Did th||7/21/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Do I Sound Gay?||There’s a new documentary out in movie theaters analyzing stereotypes surrounding the “gay voice.” I’ll talk to linguist Ron Smyth featured in the documentary about those stereotypes and how they translate to other languages. Also, linguist and wr||7/9/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Louisiana 'en Franglais'||This podcast we're headed down to the heart of French-speaking Louisiana. First we'll visit the French language radio station KVPI in Ville Platte, Louisiana. Since 1953 this commercial radio station has been broadcasting daily the local news in French. E||6/30/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||ARRR and other words||The year is 1793 and Horatio Lord Nelson is given command of the ship Agamemnon. Wait, “is” given command? Shouldn’t it be “was” given command? 1793 is the past, right? In this podcast, Patrick Cox delves into the historical present. And The Wor||6/30/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Will Welsh survive?||Welsh is thriving. Or maybe it's not. While it is making a comeback in cities like Cardiff, the language is spoken much less in its traditional rural heartlands. All the same, efforts to keep Welsh alive are considered a model for other struggling languag||6/24/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Can you hear me now?||Remember that Verizon commercial where some guy "tests" his cell signal in swamps and deep in the woods and in the middle of rush hour? The "can you hear me now?" guy is based on the real thing. Verizon engineers traverse the country testing signal but th||6/22/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Kibun and Cowardice||So, Hollywood finally took note. Piper, the protagonist from the TV series Orange is the New Black named checked the big show, The World with Marco Werman for teaching her the meaning of the word "kibun." Except, well, we never did a story about that word||6/17/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Magna Carta changed the law as we know it, but what else did it say?||Happy Birthday Magna Carta! The groundbreaking document turns 800-years-old this June. The "Great Charter" changed governance as we know it. But while the charter has long been revered, we really only cite a small part of the 5000 word document. So what d||6/10/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Land, nation and tongue||The holy trinity of Icelandic identity is, according to a popular poem, land, nation and tongue. Remove one, and the others will collapse. So will the Icelandic nation survive if, as some predict, the Icelandic language eventually dies out?||6/3/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Retro Icelandic||For centuries, Icelanders have looked backward to move forward with their language. When they need to come up with words for a new technologies or ideas, they dredge up archaic terms-- and try to talk the public into re-using them.||6/1/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||China's English language contest||Sponsored by state TV, the Star of Outlook English Competition is like a cross between the National Spelling Bee and American Idol. It claims to attract five million school-age entrants, as Chinese families chase the promise of an English-speaking life.||5/25/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Re-learning your mother tongue in Korea||Many North Koreans try to drop their accents when they defect to the south. They must also learn the South Korean version of Korean, which eschews some traditional expressions for English loanwords. Even with a new smartphone app to guide them, it's a tou||5/19/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Washington's Persian-language guy||Alan Eyre has never been to Iran. But this State Department Persian speaker is a huge hit there, with his recitations of poetry, proverbs and policy.||5/8/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Where 'thug' came from||Today, 'thug' is a nasty mess of a word with racial overtones. Its origin is Hindi, and its popularizers include Mark Twain, Margaret Thatcher and Tupac Shakur.||4/29/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Minnesota's Umlautgate||The English language is where diacritics go to die. Except in Minnesota, where the governor has ordered the reinstatement of two dots over the 'o' in Lindström.||4/16/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||The play Lincoln was watching||"Our American Cousin" was a British melodrama that poked fun at uncouth Americans. When it transferred to the United States, a rewritten version turned it into a farce that mocked pompous Brits.||4/10/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||The father of German||Martin Luther is best known as the instigator of the Protestant Reformation, but his Bible translations used a form of conversational language that Germans had never before seen in print. It marked the beginning of modern German.||4/2/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||The golden age of Chinese poetry is...now||Twelve centuries after the golden age of Chinese Tang poetry, China is celebrating a new generation of poets: punk poets, micro-blogging poets and farm girl poets. That's annoying traditionalists who worry that poetry has become a little too popular and a||3/24/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Utah's language gamble||Utah's public schools rank dead last in the nation in per-student state spending. Yet, the state has decided that its economic future lies in foreign language education. In the words of one state official, "Monolingualism is the illiteracy of the 21st cen||3/18/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
Highly, highly recommend to anyone
Love this one. It always leaves me with a sense of awe and a feeling of admiration with humanity and all its little cultural quirks. I have a horrid addiction to listening/reading (no longer watching, thank God) the news, and this podcast is the perfect antidote to the overwhelmed/bitter aftertaste left from that. The podcast's host is perfect and I wish he hosted more podcasts, since most tend to talk in a disinterested and humorless way, as though the subject matter bears no relevence to them. This podcast gives the listener a delight for the knowledge gained, like your favorite high school history teacher. Seriously, give it a listen.
A fascinating and enlightening podcast!
As a polyglot and educator, I enjoy "The World in Words" podcast. It is endlessly fascinating, well produced and, dare I say, educational. I'm glad I ran across this podcast by accident; there have been several stories I've used in my classroom to the benefit of my students. Thank you and keep up the good work.
Bravo, Mr. Cox
Simply incredible. The dazzling array of languages and the evolution of the spoken word discussed is enthralling and captivating. A logophile's dream, "The World in Words" encapsulates the spirit of the nature of language as a whole, delving deep into English, foreign languages, and newly invented languages, to probe and dissect idioms, ultimately showcasing the unity AND diversity of our changing world at large. Bravo!
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- Category: Society & Culture
- Language: English
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