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The World in Words

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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 i...Show More

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A family divided by English

21:26 | Oct 10th

When American Lynne Murphy says 'sure' to her British husband, he thinks she means 'not really.' After 18 years together, they still disagree-- and not just on 'sure.'

Poetry thieves

36:13 | Sep 5th

Some people see British poet Ira Lightman as a champion of poets whose verses he valiantly defends. Others view him as a blowhard who delights in ruining other people's reputations. Either way, the story of his poetry sleuthing might make you think d...Show More

The holes between the dots

26:06 | Aug 8th

Some people believe technology will render Braille obsolete, that blind people will choose talking apps and audiobooks over embossed dots. Maybe, but Braille has been written off many times before. Each time, it has come back stronger. We trace Brail...Show More

How soccer became multilingual

15:42 | Jun 19th

Professional soccer used to export its English-language terminology, giving other languages words like 'penalty' and 'goal.' But now, the roles are reversed. English-speakers use expressions loaned from other languages to describe skill moves: 'rabon...Show More

How has Basque survived?

34:51 | May 31st

Basque is a language isolate. Spoken in a region that spans northern Spain across the border into southern France, it is not part of the Indo-European language family. It’s not related to Spanish or French or German or Greek or any known language. Th...Show More

Your brain on improv

22:39 | May 24th

Ever wondered about people who can improvise on stage? How the words seem to come so easily? Neuroscientist Charles Limb and comedian Anthony Veneziale did. First came the bromance, then Veneziale found himself improvising inside an fMRI machine.

My language is my home

21:45 | May 17th

Lea is a teenager born and raised in Japan. Her mother is Chinese, her father American. She speaks English, Mandarin and Japanese but isn’t sure which of them is her mother tongue. Karolina lives in Boston but grew up in several countries and speaks ...Show More

Abandoning your mother tongue

18:04 | May 9th

Alina Simone was born in the Soviet Union to Russian-speaking parents and now lives in New York. She initially raised her daughter to speak both English and Russian. So why did she give up on Russian and send her daughter to a Chinese immersion schoo...Show More

If you could talk to the animals

28:51 | Apr 25th

Do you talk to your dog? Does your dog talk back to you? Dr. Doolittle’s dream of talking to the animals is one many of us can share. But what do all of those howls and growls mean and is it really language? This week on the podcast NOVA’s Ari Danie...Show More

The Story of 'X'

26:10 | Apr 3rd

From X-rated to Gen X to Latinx, the meaning of 'X' has shifted while retaining an edgy, transgressive quality. We trace the meandering semantic route of 'X' through the 20th and 21st centuries, with help from Afro-Latinx writer Jack Qu'emi, retired ...Show More

The three-letter-word that rocked a nation

29:21 | Mar 27th

In 2012, a little known Swedish press published a children’s book that sparked a nationwide debate. The debate wasn’t about the plot of the book, nor the pictures, but concerned a three-letter word used by the main character of the story. That word ...Show More

A British Mx Tape

27:12 | Mar 19th

The UK is obsessed with honorifics. Remember, this is the land of Barons and Earls and Ladies and Sirs and the ultimate HRH, "Her Royal Highness." But even if you can't claim HRH, selecting "Mr." or "Mrs." or "Miss" is a standard part of filling out...Show More

The secretive language of pro wrestling

32:40 | Mar 9th

In 1984, the professional wrestler “Dr. D" David Schultz smacked the TV journalist John Stoessel to the ground backstage at Madison Square Garden. Why? One word, kayfabe. If you’ve never heard of the word “kayfabe,” don’t worry. This week on podca...Show More

Could Neanderthals talk?

23:04 | Feb 21st

Humans are the only creatures on Earth that can choke on their own food. Yes, that’s right. Because we have funky plumbing. There’s a crucial split in our throats – one path that leads to the esophagus and the stomach, and another that leads to our ...Show More

The rules of bilingual love

23:13 | Feb 13th

He wrote to her mainly in Swedish, and she replied in Finnish. The correspondence of "Finlandia" composer Jean Sibelius and his wife Aino is funny and touching. And their letters are a goldmine for the study of code-switching.

Ivanka, meet Stalin

28:25 | Jan 30th

In which we hear from another Ivanka, another Stalin and another Lenin. Ivanka's brush with fame came thanks to Donald Trump's carelessness on Twitter. But Stalin and Lenin were purposely given their names, by parents in the Indian state of Kerala. D...Show More

Losing your accent

18:30 | Jan 12th

English is spoken with countless accents by both native and non-native speakers. But a hierarchy persists: there are 'good accents and 'bad' ones. So whether you're from Thailand or Tennessee, you may want to get rid of your accent. We hear from a fe...Show More

The words of 2017

0:00 | Dec 20th, 2017

What are the words and images that best describe this past year? And why do some people think "whom" is obsolete? We talk with Buzzfeed's copy chief Emmy Favilla and Cartoon Queen Carol Hills who monitors political cartoons from around the world.

My voice is my passport – verify me

0:00 | Dec 13th, 2017

Remember the 1990’s flick Sneakers with Robert Redford? Robert Redford’s character leads a group of hackers on a mission to steal a decoder from the NSA. And there’s a part in the film when Redford needs to bypass security to sneak into a building....Show More

Welcome to the American family

0:00 | Nov 29th, 2017

US politicians have been using the word, 'assimilation' for more than a century. How has it evolved? What does it mean in Trump's America? And how is 'assimilation' understood differently in other countries like France? Nina enlists Rupa Shenoy, host...Show More

Speaking Yiddish to the dead

0:00 | Nov 8th, 2017

In 2000, American poet Jennifer Kronovet began taking Yiddish classes for just one reason: to translate Yiddish poetry into English.

Bash the Fash

0:00 | Oct 25th, 2017

"Antifa." The buzzword of the summer, especially after Charlottesville. Reporter Lidia Jean Kott explores how "antifa" came into being in 1930s Germany-- and how it was resurrected in 21st century America. WARNING: this episode has explicit language ...Show More

Dubbing with benefits

0:00 | Oct 11th, 2017

Dubbed TV and movies suck, right? Those odd-sounding voices and that lamely-synchronized dialogue? In Germany, it's not like that. Dubbing it a highly evolved craft, with actors who specialize in voiceover and writers who genuinely improve the dialog...Show More

How to speak like an aliebn

0:00 | Sep 27th, 2017

When Twitter comedian Jonny Sun began to write his book, "everyone's a aliebn when ur a aliebn too," he had to write down the rules of the cutesy grammar of the language he invented.

Who are the People?

0:00 | Sep 18th, 2017

Germans do not agree what the word 'Volk' means. Does it denote ethnic Germans or people who live in Germany? The Nazis racialized 'Volk' and its derivatives. Now Germany's New Right are reviving some of these terms.

Deciphering the Lingo of Pro-Trump Trolls

0:00 | Aug 23rd, 2017

In the run up to the presidential election Cristina López kept coming across language on the internet that she didn’t quite understand; words and phrases like “meme magic,” and “red-pilled” and “nimble navigator.” These expressions kept popping up in...Show More

Zappa for Germans

0:00 | Aug 9th, 2017

Who was Frank Zappa? Virtuoso guitarist? Modernist composer? Smutty lyricist? Anti-censorship activist? All of the above....and in much more the former East Germany. There his banned records fetched small fortunes among rebellious young men who drea...Show More

To Catch a Fortune Cookie Thief

0:00 | Jul 24th, 2017

This week on the podcast producer Lidia Jean Kott cracks open a case of fortune cookie theft. "Some men dream of fortunes. Others dream of cookies." This is a real fortune cookie fortune. A prescient fortune it would turn out for Yong Sik Lee. Le...Show More

Grandmothers have the best curse words

0:00 | Jul 12th, 2017

This week on The World in Words we talk about swear words from around the world and the bad words our grandmothers teach us. We hear from swearologist Stephen Dodson and author Marilyn Chin. Plus, Nina Porzucki interviews her grandmother about the me...Show More

'Dialect' versus 'language,' what's the big deal?!

0:00 | Jun 27th, 2017

This week on the podcast we step gingerly into scalding waters to explore the question: What is the difference between a language and dialect? Linguists hate to define it. “As a linguist I will not engage in trying to define language and trying to d...Show More

Vladimir Trump

0:00 | Jun 13th, 2017

Many Russians perceive Donald Trump as an American version of Vladimir Putin. It's partly based on Trump's bombastic rhetoric, but also on how his speeches and tweets are translated into Russian.

Straight Outta Siberia

0:00 | May 24th, 2017

Linguist Edward Vajda went to Siberia with a hunch. He returned with evidence linking a remote Siberian language with Navajo.

In Moldova, speaking the wrong language once had serious consequences

0:00 | May 9th, 2017

This week, The World in Words podcast visits the Moldova Authentic Restaurant in Newton, Massachusetts. Patrick Cox and Nina Porzucki talk with restaurant owners Artur and Sandra Andronic about their mother tongue. Also, what happens if you put a gro...Show More

The words that divide Indian-Americans

0:00 | Apr 27th, 2017

Sonia Paul grew up California, the child of immigrants from India and the Philippines. No wonder she's fascinated by the heated debates among Indian-Americans over how school textbooks characterize Hinduism and caste.

Elena Ferrante & Italy's Linguistic Past

0:00 | Apr 11th, 2017

Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels have become a global hit. Their plot is rife with love and sex and the mob AND language. This week on the podcast we explore Italy's linguistic history and the tensions between Italian dialects like Neapolitan and t...Show More

How Christianese became a thing

0:00 | Mar 29th, 2017

Have you attended any “Matthew parties” lately? Or ever felt “too blessed to be stressed, too anointed to be disappointed”? If the answer is yes, you speak Christianese, a "religiolect" that linguists have recently started tracking.

Arabic's Jewish dialect

0:00 | Mar 16th, 2017

The Arab world used to be home to hundreds of thousands of Jews who spoke their own variants of Arabic. Today, Judeo-Arabic survives only in exile. We hear stories of language and exodus from three Judeo-Arabic speakers now living in Montreal. Plus, ...Show More

'Black' is a French word too

0:00 | Feb 28th, 2017

Many French people favor the English word 'black' over the local equivalent 'noir.' Why? There's a history behind it that dates back decades— in fact, two histories: the French version seeks to be colorblind while the American one recognizes race at ...Show More

An Iraqi writer in America

0:00 | Feb 14th, 2017

Mosul-born Anoud first came to the US when Obama was president. Now she doesn’t dare leave the country. Written in English, her satirical fiction targets ISIS, the international community and even refugees.

A Kenyan language rises again

0:00 | Jan 26th, 2017

Ekegusii is spoken by about two million Kenyans but has been losing ground to Swahili and English. Now it is taught in some schools, thanks to local language activists assisted by American linguists.

Translating Trump

0:00 | Jan 19th, 2017

Trump hotels, Trump wine, Trump golf courses, Trump steaks – we've heard a LOT about how Trump has made millions from his name. In English the word "trump" connotes a certain grandiosity but how does his name translate into other languages? And more ...Show More

The first cousin of English

0:00 | Dec 23rd, 2016

Are the 300,000+ Dutch people who speak Frisian stubborn? Maybe...and maybe that's not a bad thing. We head to the Netherlands to hear from artists, writers, politicians and kids at a trilingual school.

What the Cuck?

0:00 | Dec 14th, 2016

WARNING: This podcast has explicit language and sexual content. This has been an election season of words: “bigly” or is it “big league,” “basket of deplorables” and you can’t forget “nasty.” But one word has recently caught a lot of people's atte...Show More

The global rise of Swahili

0:00 | Nov 22nd, 2016

Hakuna Matata. You may recognize this phrase. You may even find yourself humming the earworm-provoking song of the same title from Disney's the Lion King. "It means no worries" goes the lyric. But Disney fails to mention that "Hakuna matata" means "...Show More

The Standing Rock Sioux's other fight

0:00 | Nov 18th, 2016

Standing Rock is more than a social movement for clean water rights. It's also where the Lakota language is re-inventing itself.

'I'm Arab but I don't speak Arabic'

0:00 | Nov 14th, 2016

The language you would expect to hear in the United Arab Emirates is Arabic. Yet in a place like Dubai, English is the language on the streets, cafés and malls. Many Emiratis struggle in their own mother tongue. When oil was discovered in this mainl...Show More

How do you say 'cancer' in Mixtec?

0:00 | Nov 9th, 2016

Folks from Salinas, California like to remind you that their valley is the “Salad Bowl of the World.” Not that you can forget. When you drive around town, everywhere you look there’s fields growing lettuce, strawberries, and broccoli. A growing numb...Show More

Should we learn in two languages?

0:00 | Nov 3rd, 2016

We know much more about bilingualism than we did 18 years ago when Californians voted to ban bilingual education. What does the research tell us? And will it effect Californians' upcoming re-vote on the issue?

Speak perfectly or don't speak at all

0:00 | Nov 1st, 2016

The Keres language, spoken by the Laguna Pueblo of New Mexico, is dying. When younger tribal members tried to revive it, they were blocked by elders fearful that spiritual essence of the language would be lost.

A language preserved in song

0:00 | Oct 28th, 2016

A group of anarchist Christians known as the Doukhobors emigrated to Canada in the early 1900s after becoming outcasts in Russian society. Their descendants don't use the old Doukhobor-Russian dialect, except for when they sing.

What US city is fully bilingual? Not Miami!

0:00 | Oct 26th, 2016

Miami, the Magic City is bilingual in practice, but not in theory, says one linguist. During the 1960's Miami was an example of bilingual education; the place where educators around the world went to see how bilingual ed was done. Somehow that got l...Show More

Maisam learns Dutch

0:00 | Oct 20th, 2016

What is it like to learn a second language when you can't read and write in your first one? That's the challenge for this Afghan teenage refugee now going to school in Belgium.

How the Miami Tribe got its language back

0:00 | Oct 14th, 2016

What happens when the last native speaker of a language has died? Is that language 'dead' or just 'sleeping'? And can it be woken up again?

Toppling the Tower of Babel

0:00 | Sep 26th, 2016

When Netflix launched their talk show "Chelsea" this past May, they promised to deliver it three times a week in more than 20 languages. To do that, they had to invent a whole new translation process. We're in this interesting moment in media. The in...Show More

Sing to me in Vietnamese

0:00 | Sep 12th, 2016

A Vietnamese-American stays in touch with her cultural roots through language and song. But which language besides English will she pass on to her own children? Vietnamese or...Spanish?

Sorry we killed off your language

0:00 | Aug 18th, 2016

The Canadian government eliminated many indigenous languages by sending children to church-run boarding schools. But the government has apologized and pledged to help bring back those languages. In British Columbia, the Ktunaxa language is making a m...Show More

So, what are your pronouns?

0:00 | Aug 8th, 2016

What pronouns do you use? Have you ever been asked? Do you ask others their pronouns? This week on the podcast, we hand over the reins to our talented summer intern Paulus van Horne to share a very personal story about pronouns. In the spring of 20...Show More

The Last Native Speakers of Hawaiian

0:00 | Jul 28th, 2016

Hawaiian is often offered up as a language revitalization success story, a model for other endangered languages to follow. But language revitalization isn’t so simple. While activists are reviving the Hawaiian language, opening up pre-schools, teach...Show More

Arabic as Americans hear it

0:00 | Jul 14th, 2016

This just in: Arabic is not a violent ideology. It is a language that a handful of Americans are learning and loving.

Live show: From Ainu to Zaza

0:00 | Jun 29th, 2016

Nina, Patrick and friends record this episode in front of a live audience at the New York Public Library. They discuss the rewards and challenges of language revitalization, complete with singalongs and a few dodgy jokes.

Deciphering the world's strangest encyclopedia

0:00 | Jun 8th, 2016

In the late 1970s the writer Alberto Manguel was working in Milan for an Italian publisher that had taken to publishing hidden or little-known manuscripts found in secret libraries. One day the publishing house received a package that contained a str...Show More

Who in Japan speaks Ainu?

0:00 | May 26th, 2016

Japan's indigenous Ainu language is a mystery. Russian-born Anna Bugaeva is one of several non-Ainu linguists who have become semi-fluent in the language. They are on a mission to document Ainu, and figure out where it came from, before it disappears...Show More

Languages real and unreal

0:00 | May 5th, 2016

Dutch-born writer Gaston Dorren grew up speaking two languages, fell in love in a third, and added a fourth and fifth along the way. OK, he's obsessed with languages but in much of Europe multilingualism is common. Also, who owns Klingon?

Vikings, Yankees, and funny pronunciation

0:00 | Apr 27th, 2016

New England is full of names that have odd and unexpected pronunciations. Woburn is more like WOOOOburn; Billerica gets transformed into Bill-Ricka. One of the more unexpected variations comes from a small town in New Hampshire with a familiar name —...Show More

Etruscan: a mystery

0:00 | Apr 18th, 2016

The Etruscans lived in central Italy more than 2500 years ago. They were "the teachers of our teachers," the Romans. Yet we still can't be sure where they came from. The key to unlocking the Etruscan enigma may lie in genetics and linguistics.

J'ai backé mon car dans la driveway

0:00 | Apr 5th, 2016

If you want to upset French language purists, learn to speak Chiac. It's a dialect of Acadian French spoken in New Brunswick that borrows liberally from English. Even as other North American dialects and languages are vanishing, Chiac seems to be sti...Show More

389: The French Socialist Roots of Dallas, Texas

0:00 | Mar 24th, 2016

What’s in a name? Turns out more than you might think. What’s the deal with Tightsqueeze, Virgina? Where did the name for Dallas’ famous Reunion Tower come from? This week on the podcast we’re going to dive into some of these Nametag stories. Nameta...Show More

Speak Irish to me

0:00 | Mar 17th, 2016

For centuries, colonialists, church leaders and educators discouraged Irish people from using their native tongue. When Ireland won its independence, its leaders had no idea just how difficult it would be to bring the language back. Despite that, the...Show More

So many Moscows

0:00 | Mar 10th, 2016

Have you ever wondered about the name of a place? Why that name? Who named it? Why is it pronounced the way that it is? Well, The World in Words is going to dig into the stories behind place names in the United States and abroad. This will be part ...Show More

Is bilingual better?

0:00 | Mar 3rd, 2016

English speakers may not realize it, but the world is full of people who speak more than one language. A couple of recent studies show that we begin to develop our ear for language-- or languages-- long before we learn to speak.

Languages of love

0:00 | Feb 17th, 2016

New to The World in Words? Well, first off, thanks for listening. And if you liked the Eddie Izzard episode last week, you might enjoy our episode with French comic Gad Elmaleh or our episode about the Pop Punk Accent. For all that and more head...Show More

Eddie Izzard will make you laugh in four languages

0:00 | Feb 8th, 2016

This week on the World in Words: Comedian Eddie Izzard. Eddie Izzard has often joked about language from the silliness of Latin to why English speakers are so stubbornly monolingual. However, in late ‘90’s, Eddie decided that it wasn’t enough to jok...Show More

A death in the family

0:00 | Jan 28th, 2016

Bradley Campbell goes home to Dallas, Oregon, to find out why his Honduran-born father decided to "kill" Spanish a couple of years before Bradley was born.

Moroccan-French Comic Gad Elmaleh Leaves Fame and French Behind

0:00 | Jan 19th, 2016

Two years ago the Moroccan-French Comedian Gad Elmaleh had a dream to do 10-minutes of stand-up in English for an American audience. Elmaleh is a pretty big name in France. He can fill enormous arenas. But he left notoriety behind in France and came ...Show More

Raising the Dead

0:00 | Jan 14th, 2016

Among the mansions and golf clubs of the Hamptons, Shinnecock Indians are trying to re-learn their language which died out more than a century ago. Plus, David Bowie and the word, "They".

The quest to create the first dumpling emoji

0:00 | Jan 8th, 2016

Emoji is a Japanese term for the cute little symbols you can text and tweet from your phone and PC. There are emojis for pizza and taco and apple but recently writer Jennifer 8 Lee discovered that there is no official dumpling emoji. Dumplings are on...Show More

Laughing in Multiple Languages

0:00 | Dec 28th, 2015

To close out 2015 the World in Words wanted to leave you smiling. Here's one of our favorite interviews with Canadian comedian Sugar Sammy.

Koreans love American English

0:00 | Dec 21st, 2015

In South Korea, mastery of American English is a status symbol. Families send their kids to academies chosen for their American instructors. We hear from an English teacher from Ireland who was told by a Korean recruiter, "You don't speak English."

Mysteries

0:00 | Dec 10th, 2015

There are mysteries aplenty in David Bowie's song lyrics, Jennifer Tseng's story of love and Noam Chomsky's theory about language. But do we really need to solve these mysteries?

Signing with a Philly accent

0:00 | Dec 3rd, 2015

Cheesesteaks, Peanut Chews, Tasty Cakes, oh yeah, the Liberty Bell – there’s so much to love about Philadelphia but one of the best things about the city of Brotherly Love is the accent. This week on the podcast we learn about the Philadelphia accent...Show More

A tale of two linguists

0:00 | Nov 25th, 2015

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.

ISIS, ISIL or Daesh?

0:00 | Nov 17th, 2015

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 t...Show More

Three mother tongues in one

0:00 | Nov 16th, 2015

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 underst...Show More

Faking the Funk

0:00 | Nov 10th, 2015

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...Show More

What the deal with the pop punk accent?

0:00 | Nov 3rd, 2015

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 hi...Show More

Talking Texas in Iran

0:00 | Oct 29th, 2015

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.

When in Rome...

0:00 | Oct 23rd, 2015

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 translati...Show More

Learning English on the Fly

0:00 | Oct 15th, 2015

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?

Dementia stole my grandma's memory and our common language

0:00 | Oct 9th, 2015

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 t...Show More

Speaking to grandma and grandpa

0:00 | Sep 30th, 2015

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 ...Show More

A million lost words

0:00 | Sep 25th, 2015

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?

How the Hawaiian word 'hapa' came to be used by people of mixed heritage

0:00 | Sep 15th, 2015

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 “hap...Show More

Japan's harassment words

0:00 | Sep 9th, 2015

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...Show More

New Orleans or NOLA?

0:00 | Aug 24th, 2015

Part acronym, part abbreviation, NOLA is an increasingly popular nickname for New Orleans. But does it reflect the city's cultural and linguistic heritage?

Learning your enemy's language

0:00 | Aug 20th, 2015

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.

The language of Hiroshima

0:00 | Jul 31st, 2015

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.

Scrabble and the Scottish Accent

0:00 | Jul 22nd, 2015

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 rese...Show More

The accent quiz that tested the world

0:00 | Jul 21st, 2015

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...Show More

Do I Sound Gay?

0:00 | Jul 9th, 2015

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 wri...Show More

Louisiana 'en Franglais'

0:00 | Jun 30th, 2015

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 Fr...Show More

ARRR and other words

0:00 | Jun 30th, 2015

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...Show More

Will Welsh survive?

0:00 | Jun 24th, 2015

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 la...Show More

Can you hear me now?

0:00 | Jun 22nd, 2015

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...Show More

Kibun and Cowardice

0:00 | Jun 17th, 2015

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 tha...Show More

Magna Carta changed the law as we know it, but what else did it say?

0:00 | Jun 10th, 2015

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. S...Show More

Land, nation and tongue

0:00 | Jun 3rd, 2015

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?

Retro Icelandic

0:00 | Jun 1st, 2015

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.

China's English language contest

0:00 | May 25th, 2015

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 li...Show More

Re-learning your mother tongue in Korea

0:00 | May 19th, 2015

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 ...Show More

Washington's Persian-language guy

0:00 | May 8th, 2015

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.

Where 'thug' came from

0:00 | Apr 29th, 2015

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.

Minnesota's Umlautgate

0:00 | Apr 16th, 2015

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.

The play Lincoln was watching

0:00 | Apr 10th, 2015

"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.

The father of German

0:00 | Apr 2nd, 2015

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.

The golden age of Chinese poetry is...now

0:00 | Mar 24th, 2015

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...Show More

Utah's language gamble

0:00 | Mar 18th, 2015

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 21s...Show More

Studying Sanskrit

0:00 | Feb 26th, 2015

This ancient religious language is championed by India's Hindu nationalists. The new Hindu nationalist government is promoting Sanskrit over the objections those who favor a secular, pluralist India. All of which may put off some people from learning...Show More

Spanglish is older than we may think

0:00 | Feb 12th, 2015

In the early 1800s, native English speakers like Scotsman Hugo Reid and New Englander Abel Stearns settled in Mexican California, married Spanish speakers and took Spanish names. In letters to other local Anglophones, they peppered their English with...Show More

A spoken word archive with benefits

0:00 | Feb 11th, 2015

Pop Up Archive is making spoken word audio searchable. It joins a similar effort by the BBC to tag and transcribe words spoken into microphones but until now not written down. Plus, Argentina’s President posts a dumb tweet about the Chinese pronounci...Show More

'Uh' beats 'um' in several languages

0:00 | Feb 5th, 2015

We humans have been dropping 'um,' 'uh' and other expressions of hesitation into our speech for a long time— maybe for as long as we've had language. More recently, linguists are noting a shift in usage across a number of Germanic languages from 'um'...Show More

The Siberians of Hawaii

0:00 | Jan 28th, 2015

An online photo album is casting new light on a forgotten episode in Hawaii's history, when U.S. authorities imported 1,500 Russian Siberians to work on sugar plantations. Most of the migrants never made it past the language and cultural barrier, but...Show More

Translators Without Borders

0:00 | Jan 21st, 2015

"Africans are incredible linguists," says Lori Thicke, founder of Translators Without Borders, which enlists Africans to translate everything from medication instructions to election materials into some of Africa's 1,000+ languages.

Secret languages

0:00 | Jan 14th, 2015

People on the fringes of society—criminals, discriminated-against minorities, rebellious teenagers—often need to speak in code. So they create argots, or secret languages. In Turkey, the LGBT community keep their words to themselves with the help of ...Show More

Haiti's new Creole schools

0:00 | Dec 22nd, 2014

Most Haitian kids do not speak fluent French, but that is the language of instruction in the vast majority of Haiti's schools. Recently, some schools have dropped French in favor of Creole, which is universally spoken but often disparaged.

Ottoman Turkish nostalgia

0:00 | Dec 19th, 2014

Turkey's president is demanding that students study the Ottoman language in schools. Is this a genuine effort to get Turks to better understand their history? Or a veiled attempt to undermine secularism and democracy?

An indigenous language school in LA fights to stay open

0:00 | Dec 12th, 2014

Students learn in English, Spanish and Nahuatl. But this charter school has had to fight off an effort by officials to close it down.

A bilingual seal of approval for high school graduates

0:00 | Dec 10th, 2014

If you live in California or eight other US states and you're fluent in more than one language, you can now get a bilingual seal on your high school diploma.

A Soviet-era storytelling game trains you to bluff, lie and sometimes tell the truth

0:00 | Dec 4th, 2014

"Mafia" pits a well-connected minority against a civilian majority. It was invented as sort of spoof of KGB thinking, but it has gone global: the Russian government uses it to train spies, and would-be entrepreneurs around the world play it to practi...Show More

How to eat your words

0:00 | Nov 26th, 2014

We like to know where our food comes from. We tend to know less about where the words for our favorite foods come from.

Do we still need professional translators to subtitle foreign language movies?

0:00 | Nov 24th, 2014

It's cheaper to crowd-source subtitles for TV shows and movies. But are these translations accurate and concise enough for viewers?

Misheard song lyrics in the age of the Internet

0:00 | Nov 20th, 2014

The web is supposed to be killing off mondegreens. But misheard lyrics are alive and well, even on the sites that try to end the confusion.

Remembrance of the Man who Translated Proust

0:00 | Nov 17th, 2014

If you've ever struggled through Marcel Proust's "Remembrance of Things Past," you have C.K. Scott Moncrieff to thank. Moncrieff's translation introduced the French novelist to the English-speaking world. What's more, Moncrieff's own life was a verit...Show More

Military slang post-Iraq and Afghanistan

0:00 | Oct 29th, 2014

As the British Army departs from Afghanistan, it's taking a whole new vocabulary with it, to add to an already rich tradition of adopting foreign words and jargon. The Americans too, are adding to their lexicon of military slang.

Telling real stories in translation

0:00 | Oct 27th, 2014

Reporter Aaron Schachter met Iraqi interpreter Ayub Nuri in Baghdad in 2003. Since then, they have forged a relationship based on a shared desire to bear witness.

How dialects from Trinidad to Hawaii are expanding the limits of English

0:00 | Oct 22nd, 2014

We may be in the midst of a golden age of vernacular English literature. Writers like Junot Diaz and M. NourbeSe Philip are introducing readers-- and the the English language-- to thoughts and expressions from their cultural backyards.

Is there such thing as an untranslatable word?

0:00 | Oct 14th, 2014

A conversation with Michael Wood, one of the editors of the "Dictionary of Untranslatables."

Russian curses are inventive, widely-used—and banned

0:00 | Oct 8th, 2014

Russian filmmakers must either avoid using profane dialogue or seek alternative ways to show their films, now that Russian 'mat' is no longer permitted in public performances

How did English become the language of science?

0:00 | Oct 6th, 2014

Don't be fooled by all those Latin, French and German words, says Princeton science historian Michael Gordin. English has long since won science's language war. How that happened has more to do with history than science.

Cajuns are as divided as ever over the word, 'coonass'

0:00 | Oct 1st, 2014

Because the word's origins are murky, it's difficult to know just how insulting calling someone a 'coonass' used to be. For some Cajuns today, it's a badge of honor.

A brief history of simultaneous interpretation

0:00 | Sep 29th, 2014

Conceived at the Nuremberg trials, simultaneous interpretation is widely used at global meetings. The interpreters at the UN, EU and elsewhere are humans, not bots. And they're all about getting the nuances right in real time. Take that, Google Trans...Show More

The grammar of cuisine

0:00 | Sep 23rd, 2014

Every cuisine has its own rules about what you eat, when you eat it and how you eat it, says Dan Jurafsky, author of "The Language of Food."

Time to re-translate the Brothers' Grimm: practice makes perfect!

0:00 | Sep 16th, 2014

In his retelling of Grimms' fairy tales Adam Gidwitz returns to the blood and gore of the original, while adding his own comments that have a distinctly contemporary flavor.

Who'd be a translator? Everyone has a reason.

0:00 | Sep 5th, 2014

The Big Show's Marco Werman chats with his mom, Marjolijn de Jager, about her translations of West African French literature, and to David Bellos, author of a history of translation.

Parliamentary-style debates are becoming popular in China

0:00 | Sep 5th, 2014

Some topics are off limits, but debate contests are part of an effort to instill independent thinking in young Chinese.

A University of Kansas linguist is risking the ire of Russia in helping Kazakhstan change its writing system

0:00 | Sep 3rd, 2014

The Kazakh language uses the Cyrillic script, but Dutch-born linguist Allard Jongman is helping this oil-rich former Soviet state switch to the Latin Alphabet.

The linguistic curiosities of dating online

0:00 | Aug 19th, 2014

Despite her better judgment, New York-based Russian writer Anya Ulinich uses the web to seek out potential mates. She finds it all but impossible to interpret the profiles of American men, and they don't understand her any better.

Language tensions in Modi's India

0:00 | Aug 1st, 2014

Hindi and Urdu are similar when spoken, but they use different scripts. Over time, they have become cultural and religious symbols. Plus, the People's Linguistic Survey of India.

John Smith, Pocahontas, and the beginnings of American English

0:00 | Jul 25th, 2014

How long does it take for a new variety of a language to evolve once somebody lands in a particular part of the world?

How English nearly got a language academy

0:00 | Jul 24th, 2014

Back in the 17th century there was a big move to create rules for English, based on Latin. The man behind it, poet John Dryden, thought that Shakespeare and others had turned English into an unruly mess. Had Dryden succeeded, would his academy have f...Show More

Shakespeare's word coinages are just the start of his contribution to the English language

0:00 | Jul 23rd, 2014

Shakespeare may not have invented as many words as once thought, but he turned the English language on its head. Perhaps that's the reason that both he and English have such global appeal.

From its beginnings to the present day, English has been a hodgepodge

0:00 | Jul 23rd, 2014

Despite what grammar sticklers think, there was never a golden age of pure English: the language always been an unruly mishmash of other languages. Just consult the Venerable Bede, a 7th century monk who documented the beginnings of English.

What's the point of learning Russian?

0:00 | Jul 15th, 2014

During the Cold War, you could get a job at the Pentagon or State Department job if you spoke Russian. Today you're guaranteed nothing more than the agony of grappling with Russian grammar. Still, there are signs that a few Americans are taking the p...Show More

A "lexicon" of chimp gestures may tell us things about our own language

0:00 | Jul 7th, 2014

Researchers at the University of St. Andrews have compiled a list of 66 gestures that that they say chimpanzees use to communicate with each other.

How to sound simultaneously English and Spanish at the World Cup

0:00 | Jul 4th, 2014

Native Spanish speaker Fernando Palomo does English language TV commentary for ESPN. He offers US viewers instant analysis that draws on his soccer-obsessed Latin American background.

Comedian and former mayor of Reykjavik Jón Gnarr on language, satire and Icelandic naming conventions

0:00 | Jul 2nd, 2014

The man Lady Gaga called the "mayor of Iceland" is obsessed by language: the language of professional politicians, the Icelandic language and the restrictive rules in Iceland that prevent him from officially changing his name.

How FIFA overcame soccer's language barrier

0:00 | Jun 24th, 2014

In a World Cup match in 1966, a German referee sent off an Argentine player. The player, who spoke only Spanish, says he didn't understand and refused to leave the field. Plus, Canada has its own racism controversy over the name of a sports team.

A history of Hebrew, told one word at a time

0:00 | Jun 19th, 2014

Before it became the predominant language of Israel, Hebrew hadn't been spoken for 1,700 years. That's presenting a challenge for the editors of the Historical Dictionary of the Hebrew Language. Also, Azerbaijan's war on Russian names.

Words and phrases that only make sense at the World Cup

0:00 | Jun 12th, 2014

What do 'handbags,' 'ringlets' and 'drogbacité' mean in a soccer context?

What happens when the doctor says 'hospice' and you understand 'poorhouse'?

0:00 | May 29th, 2014

Many words sound similar in English and Spanish: car, carro; fruit, fruta. But watch out: 'hospice' and 'hospicio' do not mean the same thing.

Russian leaders have tinkered with their alphabet for centuries, but with the letter ё, they have a fight on their hands

0:00 | May 20th, 2014

From Peter the Great to Stalin, Russian leaders have issued edicts to reform the Russian language. But top-down language reform rarely works. And it may fail again now.

In Ukraine, the insults in both languages draw on sensitive historical moments

0:00 | May 17th, 2014

Listen closely to the slurs being slung back and forth between pro-Russian separatists and pro-government Ukrainians, and you can hear the echoes of history.

At cocktail hour, would you prefer 'The Bitter Taste of Calm' or 'Seven Days in the Grave'?

0:00 | May 8th, 2014

Multilingual mixologist Joaquin Simo is steeped in cocktail culture. For his concoctions, the names are borrowed from foreign languages, overheard phrases and racehorses.

In Scotland's independence referendum, Lady Alba is voting 'Naw!'

0:00 | May 5th, 2014

What's the best way to campaign for Scottish independence? Create a fictional opponent who expresses souped-up, pro-British slogans to the tune of a Lady Gaga song.

"Dear Sir, I like words..." and other letters of note

0:00 | May 1st, 2014

British blogger Shaun Usher collects letters from and ancient and recent history. The best of the letters are now reproduced in his book, "Letters of Note."

Words written in secret: a history of invisible ink

0:00 | Apr 29th, 2014

Author Kristie Macrakis got interested in invisible ink a few years ago while researching the Stasi, East Germany's secret police. Now she's written a history of steganography, or "hidden writing."

A Canadian journalist escapes detention in Ukraine by speaking French

0:00 | Apr 29th, 2014

When Toronto Star reporter Mitch Potter was approached by a group of angry Pro-Russian separatists in the Eastern Ukraine town of Slovyansk, he thought he was going to be detained. Then he spoke French.

I have been given three Chinese names. Which one should I use?

0:00 | Apr 23rd, 2014

Language editor Patrick Cox can't decide between three Chinese names given to him by Chinese friends and colleagues. The first uses clever wordplay, the second adheres to fortune telling conventions, and the third looks and sounds majestic.

‘Hello, my name is Yes,’ and other English names in China

0:00 | Apr 22nd, 2014

China may be experiencing a golden age of memorable English names. Millions of young Chinese are giving themselves English names of all shapes and sizes. But there’s also evidence that the trend may be peaking.

The language of pregnancy seems pregnant with meaning. Is it?

0:00 | Apr 14th, 2014

In Russian, the word for “pregnant” can mean “burdensome.” In Chinese, “pregnant” appears to imply “happiness.” But be careful reading too much meaning into these words.

To be an autograph-hunter of top world leaders, you need commitment, courage and chutzpah

0:00 | Apr 10th, 2014

Between them, Randy Kaplan and Zoltan Marian have collected more than two thousand autographs of heads of states, royals and popes. They share a kind of ethical code, but differ when it comes to who will they include in their collections.

How to apologize for the Cultural Revolution without blaming the Chinese Communist Party

0:00 | Apr 7th, 2014

The rhetoric of apology in China today is nuanced and coded. Though some people seem genuinely contrite for their actions during the vigilante violence of the Cultural Revolution, they are careful not to blame the government.

In search of the perfect email sign-off

0:00 | Apr 1st, 2014

Are you too mildly dissatisfied with your choice of sign-off? Don't like "Best"? Find "Cheers" to British? And "XO" creepy? Help is on the way.

A modest French revival in Maine, USA

0:00 | Mar 13th, 2014

Fifty years ago, kids caught speaking French in Maine schools might be punished. Today, the state is proud of its French heritage and is trying to keep Maine French alive.

Do you answer 'How are you?' the American or the Russian way?

0:00 | Mar 5th, 2014

Alina Simone's Russian family and American friends aren't on the same page — not even close — when it comes to responding to this simple question.

In Colombia, if you're a political candidate, forget about using your name

0:00 | Feb 25th, 2014

Colombian ballots contain only numbers, not names. So candidates have to get noticed in other ways. The favorite method: a memorable jingle.

In Canada, Olympic patriotism defeats pronunciation pettiness

0:00 | Feb 15th, 2014

When a TV host criticized others for their "pretentious" pronunciations of French names, Canadians of all stripes rounded on him-- and he was forced to apologize.

Carl Reiner and Moshe Waldoks recall the brilliance of Sid Caesar's polyglot gibberish

0:00 | Feb 14th, 2014

Sid Caesar, who died this week, was a master of what comedians call double talk: gibberish masquerading as a foreign language. Carl Reiner pays tribute to Caesar's mastery of double talk, while Moshe Waldoks traces it back to Caesar's multilingual up...Show More

Russian Pronunciation tips for the Sochi Olympics, and the language of undiplomacy

0:00 | Feb 8th, 2014

Sochi, the venue for the Winter Olympics, is usually anglicised as SOTCH-i (-o as in not, -tch as in catch, -i as the "y" in happy)

At Sochi, never mind the languages, just follow the pictograms

0:00 | Feb 6th, 2014

German designer Otl Aicher created the pictograms for the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich. His designs influenced not only future Olympic pictograms but many signs we see every day.

Fleeting language: history told through ephemera

0:00 | Feb 5th, 2014

Handbills, political tracts and posters are created for instant, fleeting consumption. But collecting ephemera is big business-- and in the age of the internet, it's only getting bigger.

Carinna Chamberlain's beautiful Cantonese singing, and Coca-Cola's beautiful multilingual America

0:00 | Feb 4th, 2014

You'd never guess that this blonde singer performs in completely fluent Cantonese. Carinna Chamberlain, aka Chan Ming Yan, has become something of a Cantopop sensation in Hong Kong.

Gary Shteyngart's immigrant life in four languages

0:00 | Jan 27th, 2014

Gary Shteyngart writes in English, but his memoir draws on the Russian and Yiddish of his Leningrad childhood, and the Hebrew of his schooling in New York.

No room for African languages in multilingual Disney song

0:00 | Jan 24th, 2014

Disney has released a version of the Oscar-nominated song from "Frozen" that includes lyrics sung in 25 languages. It sounds global and inclusive but most of languages are European.

Mexico's domination of dubbing movies and TV into Spanish is under threat

0:00 | Jan 20th, 2014

Bruce Willis, Jim Carrey and the Simpsons are all voiced for the Latin American Spanish market by Mexican actors. But low wages and outsourcing to other countries are chipping away at Mexico's monopoly.

The language of sports motivation depends on what the part of the world you're from

0:00 | Jan 18th, 2014

The words that athletes from India, Germany and Costa Rica draw on to prepare for big games.

Babies, apologies, and 'huh?' with Cartoon Queen Carol

0:00 | Jan 16th, 2014

Patrick and Carol talk language stories in the news, including: two new studies on infant language acquisition; why some cultures love to say sorry; and the mysterious presence across many languages of the expression, 'huh?'

For French entrepreneurs, there's no place like home — in Silicon Valley

0:00 | Jan 6th, 2014

It's hard to be an entrepreneur in France these days, what with government regulation and a French attitude that failure is just bad form. So some French entrepreneurs are settling in Silicon Valley and bringing their French style with them.

How do you say 'selfie' in Danish, or French or Arabic?

0:00 | Dec 23rd, 2013

'Selfie' is topping some word of the year lists. Its rise to fame has been so rapid that it doesn't exist in most other languages. Speakers of those languages just use the English word, and they don't have much choice about it if they want to be part...Show More

This Spanish teacher in Guatemala doesn't need to move to the US for a better job, he's got Skype

0:00 | Dec 12th, 2013

Marco Antonio Tabin Garcia has never left Guatemala. When he was younger, he considered moving to the United States. But he decided against it and instead taught Spanish at a local school in Antigua for over 20 years. But in the past few years, he's ...Show More

How do you translate the language of dementia?

0:00 | Dec 12th, 2013

Linguist Alison Wray talks about how different cultural attitudes around the world about dementia may be key to helping us cope better with the disease at home.

From Afrikaans to Zulu, South Africa's languages have stories to tell

0:00 | Dec 10th, 2013

Two decades after the end of apartheid, South Africa's eleven official languages don't always sit well together. And their relationships are changing.

We tried saying this tongue twister — and we dare you to do better

0:00 | Dec 6th, 2013

Why is saying something like "The Sheik's Sixth Sheep's Sick" so darn hard to say? A psycho-linguist wants to know, so she can help people with speaking disorders.

The Manchus ruled China into the 20th century, but their language is nearly extinct

0:00 | Dec 5th, 2013

The last emperors of China, the Qing Dynasty, were Manchus. Their language is close to dying out in modern China, so now there's a last-ditch effort to save it, and the link it provides to China's history and traditional medicine.

Hundreds of millions of Chinese stubbornly resist speaking the 'common tongue'

0:00 | Dec 4th, 2013

Beijing wants all Chinese citizens to speak Mandarin, but that's easier said than done.

China's linguistic landscape is changing as rapidly as its cities and lifestyles

0:00 | Dec 3rd, 2013

Beijing has long wanted the world’s most populous country to be unified under a single language. Now, it may actually happen, thanks to increased mobility and migration.

Straight outta ESL class: learning English by learning slang

0:00 | Nov 27th, 2013

If you want to learn English as it's spoken, you have to practice phrases like "the guy's a total flake." That's how students learn at UCLA Extension's American Language Center, where the slang is snappy and up-to-date.

When Alina Simone (not her real name) met Alina Simone (not her real name either...)

0:00 | Nov 21st, 2013

Writer and musician Alina Simone loved the comforting anonymity of her adopted name — until she met another woman with the same name.

Germans on Twitter say 'ja!' to Nein Quarterly

0:00 | Nov 7th, 2013

A University of Pennsylvania professor tweeting as “Nein Quarterly" has attracted more than 40,000 followers with his wry observations on everything from US politics to the sexiness of the German umlaut.

Which Jane Austen do you think should go on the British £10 note?

0:00 | Nov 2nd, 2013

Fans of 19th century novelist are split over the Bank of England’s choice of image for the new £10 note.

Silicon Valley gets linguistic enlightenment from India

0:00 | Oct 28th, 2013

The language of tech start-ups, innovation and business deals are deeply influenced by the many Indians who live and work in Silicon Valley.

On the ball field there's only one language that matters — baseball

0:00 | Oct 25th, 2013

Japanese baseball player Koji Uehara is pitching for the Red Sox this World Series. And while Uehara may not be fluent in English, he has no problem communicating on the field without an interpreter by his side. So how does he speak with his teammate...Show More

Ride New York City's N train, with a Spanish twist

0:00 | Oct 24th, 2013

Anonymous street artists are putting accent marks on a New York City subway line to draw attention to the growing number of Spanish speakers in the city.

A crowdsourced crowd is cool, but nothing beats real sports spectators

0:00 | Oct 19th, 2013

Many athletes crave noisy crowds. So do sports TV viewers. Some people go to great, sometimes even artificial, lengths to connect crowds with athletes and viewers.

How do you say 'shutdown' in Spanish or Chinese? Crisis leaves translation contracts in limbo

0:00 | Oct 15th, 2013

We visit language services company Cetra, whose contract to provide interpreters at an international defense chiefs conference has been canceled.

When New Yorker Rose Monintja speaks her native tongue, the memories flood back

0:00 | Oct 10th, 2013

If you want to revive vanishing languages, don't just document them. Get people to speak them on stage-- and then videotape it.

Turkey is set to end a ban on several letters of the alphabet

0:00 | Oct 4th, 2013

Governments go to extremes to keep minorities in their place. In Turkey, leaders banned several letters of the alphabet. Now that is set to change.

Sometimes it's not what you say or how you say it... it's the language you pick

0:00 | Sep 26th, 2013

You might think world leaders care a lot about the words they choose and how powerfully they deliver them. Guess again. Sometimes all that matters much less than deciding whether to speak English or not.

Iran and the US learn how to flirt, diplomatically

0:00 | Sep 25th, 2013

Relations between the US and Iran have been so bad for so long that there may be an understandable urge to make up for lost time, and get right down to business. But that may not be best in the long run

Having an Accent in America: An Actor Speaks

0:00 | Sep 18th, 2013

When Spanish-speaking actresses come to this country, they often spend a bundle on trying to lose their accents. But these days,a Latino accent can be an asset. Sara Loscos of Feet in Two Worlds has the story.

Tintin's Adventures on "The Black Island" Now in Scots

0:00 | Sep 17th, 2013

Belgium's favorite comic book son, Tintin, gets to speak Scots in a new translation by Susan Rennie. Listen as she speaks some of the dialogue, and explains why this particular Tintin adventure got the Scots treatment.

Google Translate This!

0:00 | Sep 6th, 2013

After a multi-lingual Google Translate test of a Winston Churchill speech, we visit Google headquarters to hear about improvements to instant web translation. Then we hear of the contrasting approach of SRI International, which developed Apple's Siri...Show More

Why What's Funny in China Might Surprise You

0:00 | Sep 4th, 2013

Nothing translates as badly as humor and the more different the foreign language the less funny the joke it seems. So how can we in the US understand Chinese humor? The World's Nina Porzucki recently went to China to figure it out.

Easter Island's Rapa Nui Language Attempts a Comeback

0:00 | Sep 2nd, 2013

Chile claimed Easter Island over a century ago. Since then, Spanish has chipped away at its Polynesian-based language called Rapa Nui. Now its fate rests in the playground as the island tries to raise a new generation of speakers.

Remembering Seamus Heaney, an Irish Poet 'Bigger than Rock Stars'

0:00 | Aug 30th, 2013

Irish poet Seamus Heaney passed away today. He was 74-years-old. The poet won numerous writing awards including the Nobel Prize. But another Irish poet, Paul Muldoon, says few in US understand what an extraordinary role the poet had in Irish life.

Did William Shakespeare really invent all those words?

0:00 | Aug 19th, 2013

Scholars and the OED have cited Shakespeare as the originator of more than 1600 words. While he was the first to write down many words, new research fueled by computer analysis indicates he didn't invent as many words as once thought.

Bucharest NOT Budapest: One Romanian Chocolatier Starts a Campaign to Combat the Confusion

0:00 | Aug 14th, 2013

The capitals of Hungary and Romania are confused so often one Romanian candy company has taken it upon itself to educate the world about the difference. It has Romania's capital stamped into each bar.

What Drones, Bees and Marilyn Monroe Have in Common

0:00 | Aug 8th, 2013

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 ...Show More

A Push to Keep the Zapotec Language Alive in Los Angeles

0:00 | Aug 8th, 2013

From a distance, in Los Angeles, Mexicans with indigenous roots are keeping their traditions and languages alive.

A Crash Course in Portuguese With Angelique Kidjo and Fado Novato

0:00 | Aug 1st, 2013

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 ...Show More

Pedro Gomez's ESPN Interview in Spanish Sparks Anger and Ugly Reaction

0:00 | Jul 19th, 2013

After winning Major League Baseball's home run contest this week, Cuban-born Yoenis Cespedes was interviewed by ESPN's Pedro Gomez. Gomez was blasted by many on Twitter for speaking Spanish. Host Marco Werman speaks with Gomez about the angry reactio...Show More

The Language of New Orleans in One Word: Gumbo

0:00 | Jul 18th, 2013

Gumbo, that quintessential New Orleans dish, reveals much about the city's heritage: a little bit of Bantu, a little bit of French, and a whole lot more thrown in. Marco Werman takes us on a linguistic tour of New Orleans' food.

Bigmouth: A One-Man Mashup of the Words of History

0:00 | Jul 17th, 2013

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 ...Show More

The Language of Corruption, from Cash for Soup to Nokia Box

0:00 | Jul 12th, 2013

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 ...Show More

The Globalization of Yiddish

0:00 | Jul 11th, 2013

Yiddish may be a language in decline, but some Yiddish words are more popular than ever. Reporter Julia Simon takes us on a tour that includes Kenya, Egypt and the Netherlands.

Twanging and Twickling with the World's Best Worm Charmers

0:00 | Jun 27th, 2013

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 ...Show More

To Change or Not to Change Script: Turkish vs Persian

0:00 | Jun 24th, 2013

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 ...Show More

Cold War Linguists: The NSA's Spies of Teufelsberg

0:00 | Jun 18th, 2013

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 ...Show More

Gezi Park's Linguistic Legacy: Words, Chants and Song Lyrics

0:00 | Jun 14th, 2013

Istanbul's Gezi Park protests have produced a new word, funny chants and songs with daringly rewritten lyrics. Even though they are being pushed out of public places, the protesters want to maintain the spirit of inventiveness and irony.

Elite Italian University Meets Resistance As It Tries To Go All-English

0:00 | Jun 11th, 2013

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 ...Show More

Silicon Valley's Immigrant Janitors Learning English at Work

0:00 | Jun 6th, 2013

If an immigration bill in the Senate becomes law, millions of people will need to learn English to become permanent US residents. That can be hard, but in California there's a program that gives immigrant janitors an opportunity to learn English at ...Show More

The Compounding Magic of German

0:00 | Jun 5th, 2013

Germany has done away with what is arguably the longest word in the German language, a barely pronounceable word relating to a former law on the origin of beef.

'Burgers': The New Power Brokers in Pakistan?

0:00 | Jun 5th, 2013

There's a newly emboldened group in Pakistan. They're westernized, relatively elite members of society who are often referred to as "burgers." Reporter Fahad Desmukh explains from Karachi.

Observing the Tiananmen Anniversary with 'Big Yellow Duck'

0:00 | Jun 4th, 2013

Tuesday is the 24th anniversary of the brutal crackdown on protesters at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Chinese censors have banned all online mentions of the incident. And? "Big Yellow Duck." Rachel Lu of Tea Leaf Nation, explains to host Marco Werman...Show More

How Ancient Graffiti Might Be More Familiar Than You Realize

0:00 | May 31st, 2013

Chinese teen Ding Jinhao etched onto a 3500 relic in Egypt and caused a global uproar but 3500 years ago he might've been applauded. Anchor, Marco Werman speaks with Egyptologist, Chloe Ragazzoli about the significance of graffiti in ancient times.

Indians, Indian-Americans and Spelling

0:00 | May 30th, 2013

English spelling is getting worse in India. But India is not the United States, where Indian-Americans clean up year after year at the National Spelling Bee

UK English Blown to US Shores, 'Like Some Exotic Seed'

0:00 | May 23rd, 2013

For decades, Brits have complained about American contamination of British English. More recently, the reverse has been taking place: British expressions are elbowing their way into American speech. So far, Americans don't seem to mind.

A Call for English Only at the European Union

0:00 | May 21st, 2013

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 ...Show More

How Language and Culture Play into Phishing Scams

0:00 | May 9th, 2013

The Pentagon is accusing the Chinese military of cyber-spying on US businesses and government sites. Chinese hackers appear to have upgraded their skills. They are like many hackers around the world using better English.

A New Protestant Beginning for the Irish Language in Belfast

0:00 | Apr 10th, 2013

The Irish language used to be a symbol of Catholic nationalism. But it's gradually becoming de-politicized, morphing into just another minority language in need of saving. You can see evidence of that change in community halls in Belfast.

'Amnesty': Sensitive Word in the Immigration Debate

0:00 | Mar 25th, 2013

A key sticking point to passing an immigration reform package in Congress will be how to handle the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the US.

Five Foreign Language Films You Might've Missed

0:00 | Feb 22nd, 2013

Aaron Schachter talks with KCRW film critic Matt Holzman about some of his favorite foreign language films that didn't make the cut to the Oscars this year.

Obama's Simple Rhetoric, and Rubio's Spanish Reply

0:00 | Feb 14th, 2013

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 ...Show More

The Pope's Big News Came in … Latin

0:00 | Feb 12th, 2013

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 ...Show More

Lost in a Sea of People and Languages

0:00 | Feb 9th, 2013

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 ...Show More

Is It Racist When a White Guy Mimics Jamaican Patois?

0:00 | Feb 1st, 2013

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 ...Show More

Translating the Untranslatable: 'Finnegans Wake' in Chinese

0:00 | Jan 31st, 2013

The World's Leo Hornak reports on a new Chinese translation of James Joyce's notoriously difficult novel "Finnegans Wake." The book has become a sensation in Chinese literary circles, the first print run selling out in weeks.

Quebec's Separatists on Charm Offensive with Bilingual Song

0:00 | Jan 24th, 2013

Quebec's new government wants to require French exams in English schools and to ban bilingual newsletters in some municipalities. That's enraging many English speakers. So the government is supporting a province-wide tour by a pro-English musician.

Comic Book Snacks that Talk Back in Two Languages

0:00 | Jan 22nd, 2013

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 ...Show More

Language Life and Death in New York City

0:00 | Jan 16th, 2013

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 ...Show More

New Roles for Old Languages in South Africa

0:00 | Jan 11th, 2013

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 ...Show More

Mexican Teachers Adapt to Their American-Raised Students

0:00 | Jan 8th, 2013

Many Mexican migrants are leaving the US and returning to Mexico. Their children often speak better English than Spanish. So back in Mexican schools, many struggle. In order to help these kids, some teachers in Mexico are now learning English.

Bringing Back Nepal's Minority Languages

0:00 | Jan 7th, 2013

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 ...Show More

Chinese Wedding Rush on "Love You Forever" Day

0:00 | Jan 4th, 2013

Couples are lining up to tie the knot in China today. That's because "January 4, 2013" sounds similar to "I will love you all my life" in Mandarin.

Holly, Tea, and 'Grey's Anatomy' Top Wikipedia in 2012

0:00 | Dec 28th, 2012

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 ...Show More

Boy Sopranos and Early Onset of Puberty

0:00 | Dec 24th, 2012

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 ...Show More

What's in a Name in Ethiopia?

0:00 | Dec 19th, 2012

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 ...Show More

Join the Army, Speak a Language and Become a Citizen

0:00 | Dec 17th, 2012

The US Army is reviving a program that offers immigrants with certain language skills a fast track to US citizenship. Many of the slots, including all those for Korean speakers, have already been filled.

Why I Like Catalan and Don't Speak it

0:00 | Dec 7th, 2012

The World's Gerry Hadden has lived in Catalonia for eight years. He speaks English, Spanish, French and German. But not Catalan. His kids speak it, his neighbors speak it, FC Barcelona speak it. Gerry doesn't speak Catalan because he doesn't need to.

The Sweet Revenge of Recycling a Book Title

0:00 | Nov 27th, 2012

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 ...Show More

The Many Meanings of Chips Funga

0:00 | Nov 20th, 2012

'Chips Funga' is one of the most popular phrases in Kenya today. It means 'french fries to go'...and a whole lot more.

Damon Albarn's Soundscape Gives the BBC Something to Celebrate

0:00 | Nov 14th, 2012

No-one at the Beeb feels like celebrating a birthday. But the BBC is 90 years old. And, awkward or not, it's marking the day–November 14, 1922–when it made its first broadcast.

The BBC and the Language of Responsibility

0:00 | Nov 12th, 2012

Is the BBC's huge well of public trust in danger of drying up? A veteran news anchor says its managers must stop speaking the 'gobbledygook' of bureaucratic jargon and start properly overseeing its output.

Aramaic Revival in the Holy Land

0:00 | Nov 8th, 2012

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 ...Show More

America's Woes From the Outside In

0:00 | Nov 5th, 2012

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 ...Show More

Is Language Holding Back New York's Bengali Voters?

0:00 | Nov 2nd, 2012

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 ...Show More

Gangnam Wordplay and Tiananmen Poetry

0:00 | Oct 30th, 2012

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 ...Show More

What's in a Street Name? In Jerusalem, Plenty

0:00 | Oct 26th, 2012

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 ...Show More

Translating Birth, Love and Death

0:00 | Oct 18th, 2012

Translator and author Nataly Kelly talks about interpreting 911 calls and "cupid calls," as well as translating poetry from a hybrid of Spanish and Shuar, a mainly Ecuadorian tribal language. Kelly has co-written a book on the translation industry ca...Show More

An Australian Dictionary Redefines Misogyny

0:00 | Oct 17th, 2012

After Australia's prime minister accuses the opposition leader of misogyny, Australia's leading dictionary says the word has changed its meaning.

Hinglish: A Case of Reverse Colonization?

0:00 | Oct 4th, 2012

English is something of an open-source language: the people who speak it shape it, and add to it. No one has the authority to exclude words. That affects how English is spoken by its hundreds of millions of native speakers; also, how it's spoken by t...Show More

In Cairo, Cars Speak

0:00 | Sep 21st, 2012

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 ...Show More

The Perils of Campaigning in Spanish

0:00 | Sep 18th, 2012

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 ...Show More

The Language of Disability Around the World

0:00 | Sep 6th, 2012

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 ...Show More

Where Chinese and Arabic Calligraphy Meet

0:00 | Sep 5th, 2012

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 ...Show More

13-Year-Old Teaches Kurdish in Turkey

0:00 | Aug 24th, 2012

Turkey had a ban on Kurdish in public places. So Kurdish children didn't learn their language in school and their parents often didn't speak it at home, but one young teacher is changing that.

Jewish American Students Reimagine Yiddish Europe

0:00 | Aug 23rd, 2012

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 ...Show More

Turbanology Unwraps Sikh Culture

0:00 | Aug 22nd, 2012

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 ...Show More

Invented Languages from Hollywood to Bollywood

0:00 | Aug 14th, 2012

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 ...Show More

Podcast: Africa's Translation Gap

0:00 | Aug 8th, 2012

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 ...Show More

Olympic Terminology: Fletchings at the Ready

0:00 | Jul 27th, 2012

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 ...Show More

Podcast: The Bimusical Brain

0:00 | Jul 18th, 2012

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 ...Show More

How Technology is Changing Chinese, One Pun at a Time

0:00 | Jul 11th, 2012

Technology is rapidly accelerating the creation of new punning slang, to the point of fundamentally changing the Chinese language.

Podcast: Are Norwegians Literally Born on Skis?

0:00 | Jul 5th, 2012

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 ...Show More

A Push to Support Language Diversity in India

0:00 | Jul 5th, 2012

The World's Hadley Robinson reports on the state of language in India, where a recent survey documented hundreds of native languages.

Podcast: Are Europeans Still Tribal?

0:00 | Jun 27th, 2012

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 ...Show More

Podcast: Linguistic Rectification, and Tori's Spelling

0:00 | Jun 22nd, 2012

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 ...Show More

Podcast: Nairobi's Smart Graffiti and Sheng Hip Hop

0:00 | Jun 13th, 2012

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 ...Show More

Podcast: Speaking Freely in the New Burma

0:00 | Jun 6th, 2012

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 ...Show More

Tourette's Hero: Changing the World One Tic at a Time

0:00 | Apr 25th, 2012

A British woman with Tourette's Syndrome celebrates the humor of her verbal tics.

Nevada Court Interpreters Protest Wage Cuts

0:00 | Apr 24th, 2012

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 ...Show More

Podcast: In Vietnam, a Nation Learns English

0:00 | Apr 11th, 2012

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 ...Show More

Podcast: The Chinese Yuan and the Currency of Language

0:00 | Apr 3rd, 2012

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 ...Show More

Podcast: Mistaking Welsh For Hebrew

0:00 | Mar 26th, 2012

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 ...Show More

Podcast: A trip around America's languages

0:00 | Mar 9th, 2012

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 ...Show More

A Rush to Learn English in Myanmar

0:00 | Mar 8th, 2012

As Myanmar opens up after decades of autocratic military rule, there is a huge push there to learn English and to restore the country's reputation as an education hub.

Why Some Parents are Worried About the Decline of English in Malaysia

0:00 | Mar 5th, 2012

Malaysia is moving away from English as a language of learning. That has some parents worried that their children won't be able to compete in a global environment. Some parents have taken to sending their kids to school over the border in Singapore.

Podcast: Mademoiselle in Song, and Translating Jargon

0:00 | Mar 1st, 2012

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 ...Show More

Podcast: Ben Lewis' History of Communism Told Through Jokes

0:00 | Feb 29th, 2012

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 ...Show More

Podcast: Chinese Orphans Catch a Break

0:00 | Feb 22nd, 2012

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 ...Show More

Podcast: The Perfect Love Song

0:00 | Feb 13th, 2012

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 ...Show More

The Voice of Iran in Spanish

0:00 | Feb 7th, 2012

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 ...Show More

Podcast: Inventing a Word for a Facebook Relationship

0:00 | Feb 1st, 2012

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 ...Show More

Fear of the Foreign, Hospital English, and Garifuna Music

0:00 | Jan 25th, 2012

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 ...Show More

Up Close With Language Super Learners

0:00 | Jan 16th, 2012

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 ...Show More

The Road to Hyperpolyglottery with Michael Erard

0:00 | Jan 9th, 2012

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 ...Show More

Podcast: Bolt, Crook and Payne: What's in A Name?

0:00 | Jan 2nd, 2012

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 ...Show More

Killing Off a Metaphor With a Fresh Coat of Paint [Podcast]

0:00 | Dec 27th, 2011

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 ...Show More

Will Pakistan's Urdu Script Be Lost in Texting Translation?

0:00 | Dec 21st, 2011

The young generation in Pakistan, that has grown up using SMS as the predominant means of written communication, is using Latin script to write Urdu.

Retweeting Bad Grammar

0:00 | Dec 14th, 2011

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 ...Show More

A Right Brain Religion Translated into a Left Brain Language

0:00 | Dec 8th, 2011

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 ...Show More

A Dubious Award For The Squeezed Middle

0:00 | Nov 29th, 2011

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 ...Show More

He sings to save Garifuna, the language of his ancestors and community

0:00 | Nov 18th, 2011

James Lovell grew up in Belize and heard Garifuna spoken by his parents and grandparents. He didn't really want to speak the language until he heard music of a local musician. Now, James Lovell wants to spread the language of Garifuna through song.

Podcast: Australia Through its Languages

0:00 | Nov 16th, 2011

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 ...Show More

Podcast: Oh My Lady Gaga, and Other Linguistic Exchanges

0:00 | Nov 15th, 2011

Hengeilivable! Nonsensical English words and phrases are all the rage among young Chinese.

Podcast: Translators Past, Present and Future

0:00 | Nov 7th, 2011

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 ...Show More

Podcast: Corporate Spelling Experiments

0:00 | Oct 29th, 2011

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 ...Show More

Does the Language You Speak Determine How Much Money You Save?

0:00 | Oct 24th, 2011

A controversial new study out of Yale concludes that people who speak languages without future verb tenses like Chinese are better at preparing for the future than people who use a future tense like in English, French, and Spanish for example.

Podcast: Are Chinese Kids Losing Their Language?

0:00 | Oct 17th, 2011

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 ...Show More

Fry's Planet Word, and the Rise of Belizean Creole

0:00 | Oct 13th, 2011

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 ...Show More

Podcast: An Inuit Dialect and Zappa's Lyrics

0:00 | Oct 3rd, 2011

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 ...Show More

Slipping in out of foreign tongues with Sherard Cowper-Coles and Yang Ying

0:00 | Sep 22nd, 2011

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 ...Show More

Does Banning Bilingual Education Change Anything?

0:00 | Sep 13th, 2011

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 ...Show More

Pakistan Province Makes Learning Chinese Mandatory

0:00 | Sep 5th, 2011

The Geo Quiz is looking for a Pakistani province which has announced plans to make learning Chinese mandatory in schools.

Twanging with Lynne Murphy aka Lynneguist

0:00 | Aug 14th, 2011

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 ...Show More

Podcast: Memorizing the Koran and a New 'Speak English' Test

0:00 | Aug 10th, 2011

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 ...Show More

The Words that Armed Anders Breivik

0:00 | Aug 4th, 2011

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 ...Show More

Tamil Language Trying to Keep Up With the Times

0:00 | Aug 4th, 2011

The language is having trouble keeping up with the times without the help of English.

A Challenge to Britain's new "Speak English" rule

0:00 | Aug 1st, 2011

A British citizen is suing the UK government over a new requirement that her husband must speak English to qualify for a residential visa.

Punjabi immersion, Nigerian pidgin radio, and Annoying "Americanisms"

0:00 | Jul 28th, 2011

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 ...Show More

Podcast: No Metaphors — China Miéville's Imagined Language

0:00 | Jul 20th, 2011

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 ...Show More

Podcast: Finally, Proof that Fiction is Good for You

0:00 | Jul 13th, 2011

In this week's World in Words podcast, researchers test the supposed link between reading fiction and empathy.

The Legacy of the Bible in Translation

0:00 | Jun 27th, 2011

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 ...Show More

Podcast: What's Assyrian for Canuck?

0:00 | Jun 16th, 2011

One of the world's first written languages gets a new 21-volume dictionary.

Podcast: The US Government's Metaphor Program

0:00 | Jun 7th, 2011

In this week's World in Words podcast, new Scrabble words and spying on foreign metaphors.

Re-learning Spanish, and Super-Injunctions

0:00 | Jun 1st, 2011

In this week's World in Words podcast, kids raised in the US are enrolling in Mexican schools, often after their parents have been deported-- and they're struggling to re-learn Spanish. Also, the politics behind the language of terms like illegal ali...Show More

Linguistic surrealism from China to Belgium

0:00 | May 18th, 2011

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 ...Show More

The battle to own Bin Laden's story

0:00 | May 12th, 2011

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 ...Show More

The butcher, the baker, and the cabbage gelder

0:00 | May 4th, 2011

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 ...Show More

English-only in the US, translating tweets in Japan and satire in Egypt

0:00 | Apr 20th, 2011

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 ...Show More

From Cicero to Lynne Truss with Robert Lane Greene

0:00 | Apr 15th, 2011

Robert Lane Greene's new book "You Are What You Speak" examines how language we speak is bound up in our identity. How does our native language define us? How much does it set our ways of thinking? Can we think a different way in a different language...Show More

Dictators with dialects, finger spelling and universal Inuit

0:00 | Mar 31st, 2011

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 ...Show More

At the BBC, fewer languages and less influence?

0:00 | Mar 25th, 2011

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 ...Show More

Explaining Japan's disaster to kids and Russian beer to Americans

0:00 | Mar 23rd, 2011

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 ...Show More

Hiroshima, Nagasaki and self-censorship

0:00 | Mar 17th, 2011

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 ...Show More

The vocoder, the linguistic robot and the Dead Rabbit

0:00 | Mar 16th, 2011

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 ...Show More

Consciousness, Poetry, and Bilingual Babies

0:00 | Mar 9th, 2011

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 ...Show More

Language-learning in Europe, and free speech in Tunisia

0:00 | Mar 1st, 2011

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 ...Show More

French learning English, Irish learning Irish, and suddenly: free speech in Tunisia

0:00 | Feb 18th, 2011

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 ...Show More

Pharaohs, Cantonese and the Gang of Four

0:00 | Feb 17th, 2011

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 ...Show More

The past and future of pharaohs, Cantonese and the Gang of Four

0:00 | Feb 16th, 2011

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 ...Show More

The staying power of English, and Shakespeare in Shona

0:00 | Feb 11th, 2011

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 ...Show More

French not happy about English language proposal

0:00 | Feb 11th, 2011

France's education minister says everyone in France should learn English, starting at age 3. But as Anita Elash reports from Paris, the idea is provoking resentment.

Eliminating an unwanted language, and Shakespeare in Shona

0:00 | Feb 9th, 2011

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 ...Show More

Cantonese: a Dialect in Peril?

0:00 | Feb 8th, 2011

In official China, Mandarin is favored over all other dialects. That has had a knock-on effect here in the US, where Cantonese used to be the dominant Chinese language. Reporter Nina Porzucki reports from New York on how Cantonese is faring.

At the BBC, fewer languages and perhaps less global influence

0:00 | Jan 28th, 2011

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 ...Show More

Beautiful code, ugly fonts, and the architecture of diplomacy

0:00 | Jan 21st, 2011

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 ...Show More

Political language before and after Tucson

0:00 | Jan 14th, 2011

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 ...Show More

Teach yourself Babylonian, and teach the Ashes to the Ashes

0:00 | Jan 7th, 2011

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 ...Show More

Tuareg Storytelling, the Most Literary Bible, and the R word

0:00 | Dec 17th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 111: Studying Italian, rebelling in Spanish, word-searching in English

0:00 | Dec 9th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 110: How events shaped English, the future of Tibetan, and Spanish alphabet discrimination

0:00 | Nov 30th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 109: Supermarket French, Chanson French, and Arabic in repose

0:00 | Nov 16th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 108: Voting in a foreign language, Islamic calligraphy, and Chicago in Japanese

0:00 | Nov 5th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 107: The English-only movement in America

0:00 | Oct 28th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 106: Indian English, Aussie English, and one guy's idea of proper English

0:00 | Oct 22nd, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 105: Genders, geniuses, and Tamil onomatopoeia

0:00 | Oct 8th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 104: Ajami, Liberian proverbs and learning to interrupt at the UN

0:00 | Sep 28th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 103: Speaking in Tongues and Dreaming in Chinese

0:00 | Sep 17th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 102: Learning in two languages, and Zulu

0:00 | Sep 10th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 101: A grammar hotline, rapid textspeak, and magic in a second language

0:00 | Sep 3rd, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 100: A Persian insult, the planet's northernmost tongue, and an Urdu sense of direction

0:00 | Aug 20th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 99: Self-censorship over Hiroshima and Nagasaki

0:00 | Aug 10th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 98: Deciphering, refudiating, and Kevin

0:00 | Jul 30th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 97: Colombian Spanish, U.S. Spanish, and Dora the Explorer Spanish

0:00 | Jul 23rd, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 96: Russian spy accents, Manute Bol and sign language

0:00 | Jul 16th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 95: Globish, health care, and a Facebook misunderstanding

0:00 | Jul 9th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 94: Talking Turkish, saluting Stalin, and forgoing French

0:00 | Jul 1st, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 93: Belgian adoption, Montenegrin invention, and the future of spelling

0:00 | Jun 23rd, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 92: The language of the beautiful game

0:00 | Jun 11th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 91: In every word, a microhistory...English spelling with David Wolman

0:00 | Jun 7th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 90: Bilingual tots in the Middle East, reading in Arabic, and the language of smell

0:00 | May 31st, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words news: Icelandic's new words, teachers with accents, and baaaad translations

0:00 | May 24th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 89: Translators working overtime, renaming Asian carp, and counting in Chinese

0:00 | May 14th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 88: A language speed-dater gets serious, and from Ukraine, a cross-dressing, cross-linguistic singer

0:00 | May 7th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 87: Census-taking, volcano-pronouncing, and why Thais win at Scrabble

0:00 | Apr 27th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 86: An American family, an Indonesian tribe, an oral language and its first book

0:00 | Apr 19th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words news: Google's humanoid translator, accent phobia, and misleading job titles

0:00 | Apr 12th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 85: Middle East Street names, Bible translators and locavore language

0:00 | Apr 1st, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 84: Swearing in Irish, storytelling in Scots, and rapping in Khmer

0:00 | Mar 19th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 83: Arabic grafitti in Moorish Spain and the fall and rise of Yiddish Part 2

0:00 | Mar 12th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 82: The BBC broadcasts in Haitian Creole, and the fall and rise of Yiddish

0:00 | Mar 5th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words news: Packing flashcards, Pandas and Polyglotty Olympics

0:00 | Feb 19th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 81: A Chinese Valentine's pod

0:00 | Feb 12th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 80: Obama's new words, Avatar in the Amazon, and a Chinese satirical extravaganza

0:00 | Feb 2nd, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words news: New York's polyglot cops, Arabic online, and the planet's most difficult language

0:00 | Jan 25th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 79: The wonder of weird words like whiffling, and the elusive meaning of peace

0:00 | Jan 15th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 78: Hebrew's revival, Turkey's banned letters, Malaysia's Allah crisis, and Q

0:00 | Jan 8th, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 77: Praying in Spanish, new Hebrew names for planets, and a Danish hangover

0:00 | Jan 1st, 2010

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 76: Esperanto's past, present and future, and what not to say in Ireland's parliament

0:00 | Dec 17th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 75: British English as it is, was, and could have been

0:00 | Dec 11th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words news: Windows 7 in African languages, unfortunate name translations, and the new Klingon

0:00 | Dec 4th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 74: Words your grandmother taught you in Chinese, Dutch and Yiddish

0:00 | Nov 25th, 2009

Many people learned their first foreign words from their grandmothers. Marco Werman learned a Dutch curse. Nina Porzucki learned a Yiddish word that speaks to a certain Jewish mindset. Poet Marilyn Chin learned insults, puns and tongue twisters.

The World in Words 73: Spelling Obama in Chinese, oratory from Beijing to Washington, and chop suey love

0:00 | Nov 20th, 2009

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 ...Show More

Which is Ukraine's native language, Ukrainian or Russian?

0:00 | Nov 12th, 2009

One of the many tensions in Ukraine has been over language. Ukrainian used to be considered the language of peasants, while Russian was the language of the educated. This story from our archives shows how the push-pull between Russia and Ukraine has ...Show More

The World in Words news: Glaswegians, birds, urls and Chinese script

0:00 | Nov 2nd, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 71: Twitter and free speech, a Chinese word inspires new art, and a new Lakota immersion school

0:00 | Oct 26th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 70: Bilingual metaphors, the passion of place name changes, and interpreting for the LA Dodgers

0:00 | Oct 15th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words news: Gaddafi's translator, Swedish fury at UNESCO, and Nazi slogans in English

0:00 | Oct 9th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 69: Free speech in the Netherlands, South Africa and Denmark

0:00 | Sep 29th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 68: Russia's national lyricist, Canada's language laws, and the rehabilitation of a code-breaker

0:00 | Sep 15th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 67: Israel's street sign vigilantes, learning Hindi, and your brain on language

0:00 | Sep 7th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 66: Rosetta Stone: the method behind the hype, a spelling bee with a twist, and Hillary's Congo adventure

0:00 | Aug 14th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 65: New rhetoric on Israeli settlements, an international libary of children's books, and faux French in France

0:00 | Aug 7th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 64: Diplomatic insults, click languages, Harry Potter in France, and cucumber season

0:00 | Jul 31st, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words July 2009 news: Banning Hungarian, swearing for pain relief, and dog barks translated

0:00 | Jul 29th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 63: David Crystal's life in language, Nowheristan and Moomin mania

0:00 | Jul 22nd, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 62: Esperanto, Klingon, Blissymbolics and 900 others: why we invent languages

0:00 | Jul 14th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 61: More linguist soldiers, a North Korean TV ad, foreign thank yous, and what to call a beach in Ghana

0:00 | Jul 9th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 60: Pentagon still kicking out linguists, Ukraine's Soviet names, and "I'm Not Hanging Noodles on Your Ears"

0:00 | Jul 1st, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words June 2009 news: Iran and translation, a search engine is sick in Chinese, and a drug ring's Arabic dialects

0:00 | Jun 25th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 59: Bilingual romance in Paris, "whatever" in Mexico, and the fog of Pentagon acronyms in Afghanistan

0:00 | Jun 19th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 58: Linguists trash English word count, speaking Uighur in Bermuda, and steady lah! The delights of Singlish

0:00 | Jun 12th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 57: Obama in Arabic, microblogging in China, bilingual politics in Belgium, and Bangla hip hop in NYC

0:00 | Jun 5th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 56: The language of Guadeloupe and Martinique, Spanish unity and disunity, and teaching English in France part 2

0:00 | May 29th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words May 2009 news: Facebook's new Indian languages, bilingual politics in Belgium, and a new development in lip-reading

0:00 | May 28th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 55: Teaching English in France, Sri Lanka's language gap and what constitutes potato-ness

0:00 | May 22nd, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 54: Two Americans who loved French, Star Trek dubs, and Germans misquote Churchill

0:00 | May 14th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 53: The language of food: a food greeting in China, a food fight in Cyprus, and Slovak dumplings

0:00 | May 8th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 52: A dingo ate my language, a Latin mystery solved, and Comrade Fatso

0:00 | Apr 30th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 51: The CIA's foreign language deficit, a linguistic fantasy island, and learning Hawaiian in song

0:00 | Apr 24th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 50: Obama's pirate talk, why you shoudn't criticize Thailand's king, and silly British pub names

0:00 | Apr 17th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 49: A verbless North Korean song, the DMZ linguistic divide, and Obama learns a little Hungarian

0:00 | Apr 10th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 48: Le Petit Nicolas, how to start a foreign language Wikipedia, and the many meanings of yoga

0:00 | Apr 2nd, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 47: Americans learn Spanish in Mexico, Obama speaks Spanish on Univision, Sarkozy's trashy French, and foreign Wikipedias

0:00 | Mar 27th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 46: Words of comfort in discomforting times, a ban on jargon, and Yiyun Li's exquisite English

0:00 | Mar 20th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 45: Hillary's Russian lesson, the decline of Pakistan's national language and Canadian English spelling

0:00 | Mar 12th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 44: Haruki Murakami's fans, a kanji-holic and kwassa kwassa

0:00 | Mar 4th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 43: Slumdogging in Hindi, Hillary grapples with Indonesian and Arabic America

0:00 | Feb 26th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 42: UNESCO's language push, Welsh in the workplace, and the inside story of Jamaica's unofficial anthem

0:00 | Feb 19th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 41: Speed-dating 37 languages, a woman's voice during ovulation and a chant from Cameroon

0:00 | Feb 13th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 40: Washington's new tone, Updike's French Africa, and Benicio del Toro's many Spanishes

0:00 | Feb 4th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 39: Persian news, Persian jokes and Persian spies

0:00 | Jan 28th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 38: Obama's inaugural rhetoric, the end of the "war on terror" and a French-Arabic mashup

0:00 | Jan 20th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 37: George Bush's Greeneland doppelganger, Bushisms Bollywood-style, and Ghanaian anthems

0:00 | Jan 15th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 36: Braille, the Hebrew word for realignment, France's new language test and a Franglais band

0:00 | Jan 7th, 2009

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 35: A loaded word, an overused word and the words that defined 2008

0:00 | Dec 30th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 34: Learning Japanese for the manga and anime

0:00 | Dec 18th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 33: Does being bilingual give you a split personality? And skirt-and-blouse politics in Ghana

0:00 | Dec 10th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 32: The Bible in Jamaican patois and Rotten English

0:00 | Nov 28th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 31: Shakespeare's appeal, Milton's linguistic inventions and a Japanese naming ceremony

0:00 | Nov 20th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 30: One Bolivian language goes digital, another works in road rage situations, and Zulu hip hop

0:00 | Nov 13th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 29: Misleading war metaphors, Rwanda rejects French, and the crimes of Franglais

0:00 | Nov 7th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 28: Pinata politics, the Chinese-American generation gap and the bilingualism industry

0:00 | Oct 31st, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 27: A-Z of the U.S. Presidential election, part dos

0:00 | Oct 28th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 26: A-Z of the U.S. Presidential election, part one

0:00 | Oct 21st, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 25: Negotiating in Arabic, Arab-American writers and the Arabization of The Simpsons

0:00 | Oct 15th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 24: The Joy of Spanglish, and a Swedish-American spat on insularity

0:00 | Oct 7th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 23: Endanger this! Losing and saving languages, plus Tingo

0:00 | Sep 26th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 22: Teaching your kid to read in Urdu and teaching yourself to sing in Spanish

0:00 | Sep 23rd, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 21: Translating the untranslatable, and Mel Brooks and the Odessa connection

0:00 | Sep 16th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 20: Scottish Gaelic, Scots and the Arabic for hockey mom

0:00 | Sep 9th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 19: English-only golf, Orwell's blog and writing in a foreign language

0:00 | Sep 2nd, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 18: French in the past, present and future, immigrant slang and Rachid Taha

0:00 | Aug 26th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 17: global swearology, Georgian polyphony and a nonsense song

0:00 | Aug 19th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 16: naming your child, Senegalese scrabble and "um"

0:00 | Aug 12th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 15: China's mad about English and everyone's mad about Chinglish

0:00 | Aug 5th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 14: Chinese script, dialects and patriotic names

0:00 | Jul 30th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 13: chants, applause and faux Esperanto

0:00 | Jul 21st, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 12: official English, unofficial Spanish, campaign songs and the French word for podcast

0:00 | Jul 15th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 11: living dictionaries and a singing ambassador

0:00 | Jul 8th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 10: free speech special from Singapore, China and the U.S.

0:00 | Jun 30th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 9: English and Textperanto go global

0:00 | Jun 23rd, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 8: words about Iraq, terror and basketball

0:00 | Jun 17th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 7: jokes from near and far, and how one Finnish word sparked a global movement

0:00 | Jun 9th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 6: cluster bombs, bomblets and Arizona's language wars

0:00 | Jun 2nd, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 5: Americans' language-learning adventures abroad and the linguistic sensitives of a Eurotrashy song contest

0:00 | May 26th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 4: a teenager, two linguists and the US Congress revive dying languages

0:00 | May 19th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 3: creating linguistic history on a desert island, and Israel's Seinfeld connection

0:00 | May 12th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 2: Russian names, Putinisms and a diplomatic mistranslation

0:00 | May 5th, 2008

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 ...Show More

The World in Words 1: two national anthems and IKEA-speak

0:00 | Apr 28th, 2008

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 ...Show More