In this week’s World in Words podcast, we explore when it’s helpful to understand a foreign language, and when it’s essential. Also, an Islamic calligraphy master offers classes in his Arlington, Virginia home. And Broadway star Amra-Faye Wright talks about learning Japanese so she could perform “Chicago” in Tokyo.
In this week’s World in Words podcast, a conversation about making English the only official language in the United States. Tim Schultz, lobbyist of US English makes the case for this, ahead of an English-only vote in Oklahoma. Also, an election ad in Chinese, aimed at Americans who don’t speak Chinese.
In this week’s World in Words podcast, author Simon Heffer visits a school in his quest to have people speak good English. Also, poet Les Murray describes some delightfully improper expressions used by Australians. And we check in on a language school in India where the teachers have a strong sense of what constitutes proper English. Download MP3
In the latest World in Words podcast: a new line of Tamil pulp fiction translated into English keeps the magnificent onomatopoeia of the original. Also, new research shows that no matter you much some Germans try, they can’t make their language gender-neutral; and Carol Hill’s adventures with Swedish. Download MP3
In this week’s World in Words podcast, a PBS documentary follows four students and their families at dual immersion schools in San Francisco. Also, a conversation with Deborah Fallows on living in China and learning Chinese. In Chinese, she says, rude is polite, brusque is intimate. And then there’s the lousy Chinese name she was given. Download MP3
In this week’s World in Words podcast, a back-to-school edition about learning in a second language. We have stories about English language learning, Arabic language immersion, and the challenges of one Creole-speaking highschooler in New York City. Plus, the first Zulu-English dictionary in 40 years has just been published in South Africa. Download MP3
In this week’s World in Words podcast: forget their laidback image, Brazilians care about grammar. One city has a long-established grammar hotline staffed by Portuguese language experts. Now the state of Rio de Janeiro is following suit. Also, an interview with the newly-crowned world record holder in speed-texting. And the art of performing magic in a language that’s not your own. Download MP3
In this week’s World in Words podcast, Iran’s leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is known for his fruity prose, and this month he outdid himself with a new anti-American insult. Also, we hear from a linguist who’s spending a year in Northwest Greenland. And getting from Point A to Point B in Urdu, a language that has the same word for “go straight” and “turn right” Download MP3
In this week’s World in Words podcast: an Israeli-British study shows bilinguals respond differently depending on the language of the questions; Sarah Palin compares her coinage of new English words to Shakespeare’s; and Clark Boyd’s adventures in linguistically confused Belgium. Download MP3
In the latest World in Words podcast: a translator recalls the Nuremberg Trials; sign languages that don’t have signs for some Islamic words; the phrase that Manute Bol didn’t invent; a controversial move in Southern India to make Tamil more official; and those alleged spies from Russia and their faux Euro/Canadian accents. Download MP3
In this week’s World in Words podcast: you can hear Latin America’s clearest, crispest Spanish in Colombia. So, Bogota is now home to everything from call centers to telenovela production houses. Also, what the spread of Spanish in the United States is doing to both the language and the country. Finally, Dora the Explorer and Kai-Lan: two fictional TV characters who introduce American kids to their first words of Spanish and Chinese.
In this week’s World in Words podcast, the case for and against Globish. A group of writers and artists debate the proposition that a simplified version of English is uniquely equipped to take over the world. Also, health care access for non-English speakers in the United States. Plus, a conversation with Gregory Levey, whose book “Shut Up I’m Talking” has more Facebook fans than Bill Clinton. Download MP3
In this week’s World in Words podcast, the newest star of Germany’s national soccer team is an ethnic Turk. His popularity is one of the reasons why Turkish has become just a little more accepted in Germany today. Also, the Georgian government pulls down a statue of Joseph Stalin in his hometown, but people there use the language of extreme denial to describe the town’s most famous son. And a British politician calls French a “useless” language to learn. Download MP3
In this week’s World in Words podcast, an attempt to get Belgians to adopt families online from across that country’s language divide. Also, in Montenegro, the government is promoting what it calls the Montenegrin language, formerly considered a dialect of Serbo-Croatian. Plus, a discussion on what happens to spelling in the age of Spell Check and Google.