The World in Words
By PRI's The World
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The World in Words is a podcast about languages and the people who speak them. What happens to the brain on bilingualism? Does it matter that so many languages are dying out? Should we fear the rise of global English? Is the United States losing its linguistic cohesion? Why are Chinese tech words so inventive? Why does Icelandic have so many cool swearwords? Patrick Cox and Nina Porzucki bring you stories from the world’s linguistic frontlines. Also at pri.org/language
||A tale of two linguists||Israeli linguist Arik Sadan is an authority on the Arabic language. Palestinian Sobhi Bahloul is Gaza's best-known Hebrew teacher. The two have never met.||11/25/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||ISIS, ISIL or Daesh?||In the wake of the Paris Attack French President François Hollande was quick to denounce the alleged attackers, 'Daesh.' Many people call this same jihadist group ISIS. Alternatively they've been called ISIL and even the Islamic State. But many in the Ar||11/17/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Three mother tongues in one||Many Lebanese speak a full-on mix of Arabic, French and English. Calling this linguistic melange a "mother tongue" started out as a joke, but now it's become a part of Lebanon's national identity — even if it means that sometimes people don't understand||11/16/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Faking the Funk||Adele, the Rolling Stones, Cliff Richard, Iggy Azalea, Nicki Minaj, The Killers, Snow – what do these artists all have in common? Their accent. That is, the fact that they sometimes put on an accent other than their own when they sing. This week’s edi||11/10/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||What the deal with the pop punk accent?||On a recent road trip reporter Dan Nosowitz and his girlfriend found themselves belting out the lyrics to a Blink-182 song in the highly affected style of lead singer Tom DeLonge. Singing in DeLonge’s nasal, Southern California surfer twang, is a hilari||11/3/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Talking Texas in Iran||What is it about Texas that sparks the global imagination? Persian and Turkish both have an expression that means, "This is not Texas." The Norwegian adjective, 'Texas' means out of control.||10/29/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||When in Rome...||Pope Francis has switched the official language of Vatican doctrine from Latin to Italian. He's also democratized his meetings with bishops. So why do some conservative bishops believe that contentious reforms are being deliberately lost in translation?||10/22/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Learning English on the Fly||Donald Trump is hardly the only political candidate to complain about immigrants not learning English. But has he ever tried to find a convenient, affordable English class?||10/15/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Dementia stole my grandma's memory and our common language||Memory is a mysterious thing. A few years ago my grandmother had a series of strokes and dementia set in. She's a polyglot, she speaks seven languages. But suddenly, post stroke she started speaking a mixture of Polish and Russian -- two languages that my||10/9/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Speaking to grandma and grandpa||Yowei Shaw was born in the United States and speaks virtually no Mandarin. Her grandparents are from Taiwan and speak virtually no English. Kid talk was fine when Yowei was a kid. But now she's grown up, she's determined to have proper conversations with||9/30/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||A million lost words||Online dictionary Wordnik wants to give a home to a million "lost" words that aren't in traditional dictionaries. But do words like "lookupable" and "budthrill" really belong in a dictionary?||9/25/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||How the Hawaiian word 'hapa' came to be used by people of mixed heritage||Recently, an old friend of mine had a language question she wanted me to investigate: Where does the word “hapa” come from? My friend Julie considers herself hapa. Her father is from Chile, her mom is Japanese American. And she calls herself “hapa||9/15/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Japan's harassment words||A lawsuit has drawn the Japanese public's attention to 'matahara,' a word coined from the English 'maternity harassment.' It refers to the practice of demoting or even laying off women when they become pregnant. It joins 'sekuhara' (sexual harassment), 'p||9/9/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||New Orleans or NOLA?||Part acronym, part abbreviation, NOLA is an increasingly popular nickname for New Orleans. But does it reflect the city's cultural and linguistic heritage?||8/24/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||Learning your enemy's language||In the early 1940s, virtually no one in the UK spoke Japanese. The British War Office tried to change that after Japan invaded British-held Malaya and Singapore. The results were mixed.||8/20/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||The language of Hiroshima||A chance encounter in Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park gives an 87-year-old survivor hope that his memory will live on after he dies. Plus, a lexicon of atomic bomb-related words.||7/31/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||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|
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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