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


25:51 | 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 presci...Show More
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Fun episode investigating the origins of fortune cookies (not from China or America!) and how darn hard it is to write those fortunes withou...Show More

22:56 | Jan 22nd

Susanna Zaraysky, speaker of nine languages, is one of those people who seem able to pick up French or Portuguese almost overnight. In reality, it’s not so effortless—but is she cognitively predispose...Show More
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22:57 | Jan 8th

Stereotypes about Mormon missionaries tend to overshadow their great success in foreign language learning. Why is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints so skilled at teaching languages? We h...Show More

21:53 | Dec 18th, 2019

There’s a new language class on offer at Harvard. Gullah Geechee is a creole language developed by enslaved Africans and still spoken today. As far as anyone knows, it’s the first time it’s been taugh...Show More

15:35 | Dec 4th, 2019

‘Real’ or ’synthetic’? ‘Authentic’ or ‘lab-grown’? ‘Bloodstained’ or ‘green’? The highly-regulated words that describe diamonds define their narrative — and maybe even their value. We take you to New ...Show More
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