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 February 1st, 2019
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Radio Replay: Watch Your Mouth

  • 7 months ago

If you're bilingual or multilingual, you may have noticed that different languages make you stretch in different ways. In this month's Radio Replay, we ask whether the structure of the languages we speak can change the way we see the world. We'll also look at how languages evolve, and why we're sometimes resistant to those changes.

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5 stars. Covers how language informs thought and gets a little into slang and how language evolves.
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Episode 57: Slanguage

  • about 2 years ago

Young people have always used language in new and different ways, and it has pretty much always driven older people crazy. But the linguist John McWhorter says all the "likes" and LOLs are part of a natural – and inevitable –evolution of language. This week on Hidden Brain, why language can't "sit still."

Lost in Translation

  • about 1 year ago

Learning new languages can help us understand other cultures and countries. Cognitive science professor Lera Boroditsky says the languages we speak can do more than that—they can shape how we see the world in profound ways.

Men, Women and Language

  • about 1 year ago

Beliefs about language and gender are everywhere; we are told that women apologise more, men interrupt more, women talk more, that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. But are any of these things true? Why do so many people believe them? Catherine Carr speaks to leading linguiss Deborah Cameron and Janet Holmes, who have studied thousands of conversations and gathered data to discover the truth. She also interviews one of the most senior women in technology, Nicola Mendelsohn from Facebook, to discover how stereotypes impact women in leadership roles. (Photo: Donald Trump listens behind Hillary Clinton as she answers a question Credit: Reuters)

Why Words Matter

  • almost 2 years ago

The average English-speaker knows about 25,000 words. And yet those 25,000 words can be combined into an infinite number of sentences -not a simple process. Many people believe that, whatever language you speak, the words you know have a profound influence on the way you think. This is a controversial theory among linguists. In this edition of the Why Factor, Lane Greene explains how paying attention to the language we use can give us a greater understanding of our politics, our debates, our cultures and even our own minds. (Image: Top of woman's head with the word "hello" written in different languages floating above. Credit: Aysezgicmeli/Shutterstock)

#14 Spin & speechify: Political language

  • over 1 year ago

In politics, we can always point to the slipperiness of language. In this episode, the dictionary editors remember iconic Australian political slogans, and consider new words like "fake news" and "antifa"; we're on the hunt for favourite words at the Antidote Festival; and John di Domenico, the world's no. 1 Donald Trump impersonator, takes us inside the language of the 45th American president.   Read more about Word for Word at

Klingon and Esperanto Are Important Languages, Too

  • about 1 year ago

Language encapsulates every part of a culture, from its history of ideas to the way its speakers perceive reality itself. And according to linguistics expert Arika Okrent, author of "In the Land of Invented Languages," even "made-up" languages like Klingon and Esperanto serve an important purpose. She joins the Curiosity Podcast to discuss the field of linguistics and why we say what we say. In addition to her first-level certification in Klingon, Arika Okrent's education includes an M.A. in Linguistics from Gallaudet, the world's only university for the deaf, and a joint PhD from the Department of Linguistics and the Department of Psychology's Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience Program at the University of Chicago.  More from Curiosity: ISS Astronauts Speak In A "Space Creole" Called Runglish Esperanto Is the World's Universal Language The Language You Speak Changes Your Perception Of Time—Literally It's Surprisingly Easy To Plant False Memories The Norman Conquest Is Why Steak Is "Beef" and Not "Cow" The Shocking Socioeconomic Word Gap Additional resources discussed: "In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build A Perfect Language" Arika Okrent's website Lingua Francas, Pidgins, and Creoles Development and Use of the Klingon Language "J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography" "The Return of the Shadow: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part One (The History of Middle-Earth, Vol. 6)" "The Treason of Isengard: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part Two (The History of Middle-Earth, Vol. 7)" "The War of the Ring: The History of The Lord of the Rings, Part Three (The History of Middle-Earth, Vol. 8)" The Klingon Language Institute's annual conference, qep'a' The Whorfian time warp: Representing duration through the language hourglass The Whites of Our Eyes (New York Times) Qapla'

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

  • over 9 years ago

The World in Words is a podcast about languages and the people who speak them. What happens to the brain on bilingualism? Does it matter that so many languages are dying out? Should we fear the rise of global English? Is the United States losing its linguistic cohesion? Why are Chinese tech words so inventive? Why does Icelandic have so many cool swearwords? Patrick Cox and Nina Porzucki bring you stories from the world’s linguistic frontlines. Also at

What Would Be the Best Universal Language? (Earth 2.0 Series)

  • over 1 year ago

We explore votes for English, Indonesian, and … Esperanto! The search for a common language goes back millennia, but so much still gets lost in translation. Will technology finally solve that?

Why Learn Esperanto? (Special Feature)

  • over 1 year ago

A language invented in the 19th century, and meant to be universal, it never really caught on. So why does a group of Esperantists from around the world gather once a year to celebrate their bond?

The Shared Sign Language of Martha's Vineyard

  • almost 3 years ago

By the early 18th century, it was not un common for people in Martha’s Vineyard to be deaf from birth. This had a profound effect on the culture of Martha’s Vineyard — and one that went on to influence Deaf culture in the United States as a whole.


  • over 4 years ago

How close can words get you to the truth and feel and force of life? That's the question poking at our ribs this hour, as we wonder how it is that the right words can have the wrong meanings, and why sometimes the best translations lead us to an understanding that's way deeper than language. This episode, 8 stories that play out in the middle space between one reality and another — where poetry, insult comedy, 911 calls, and even our own bodies work to close the gap.   Special thanks for the music of Brian Carpenter's Ghost Train Orchestra

A tale of two linguists

  • about 3 years ago

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.

Toppling the Tower of Babel

  • over 2 years ago

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 internet has made communicating with others across the globe easy and instant. But despite all the chatter about the global rise of English, the Tower of Babel still stands. The world remains multilingual, and not always translated. But more than a century ago, filmmakers thought they had found the key to tumbling the Tower of Babel. Directors like Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith felt that silent film was the perfect medium to bring the world together, unite us all, be our “visual Esperanto.” And then sound came and wrecked everything. This week on the podcast we go back to the silent film era and examine what happened when sound entered the picture. We also get a peek into Netflix’s solution to translating Chelsea at a rapid rate and ensuring that the show is still funny in 20 languages.

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

  • over 1 year ago

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 define dialect and I’m not alone in that,” said linguist Bojan Belić. He’s certainly not alone. We reached out to linguists and language experts and were met with sigh after sigh. There are many rubrics that people cite as indicators of a dialect versus a language. Take mutual intelligibility. Two varieties of speech that are mutually intelligible surely must be dialects. But what happens when they’re not? Then there’s the old cliché, coined apparently by a Yiddish scholar, “A language is a dialect with an army and a navy.” Is language and dialect purely politics? This week we discuss two places where these labels might make you scratch your head: Scandinavia and the Balkans.

If you could talk to the animals

  • 10 months ago

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 Daniel joins us to explore the communication patterns of three different species: Túngara frogs, Humpback whales and Diana monkeys. And if you listen and still want more...continue to nerd out with NOVA. They're going deep this month with a new program, "NOVA Wonders: What Are Animals Saying?"

Losing your accent

  • about 1 year ago

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 few such people, and from someone who has no interest in changing his accent.

My language is my home

  • 9 months ago

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 a bunch of languages. Her English is perfect but she doesn’t feel completely at home in it, or in American culture. Welcome to the world of third culture kids, a fast-growing group of people who fit in everywhere and nowhere.

New Life for Dying Languages

  • over 1 year ago

The Language Conservancy's Wil Meya discusses the effort to revive Native American languages.Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at Twitter: @lexiconvalleyFacebook: lexiconvalley@slate.comLearn more about your ad choices. Visit

Do Languages Simplify Over Time?

  • over 1 year ago

Old English was arguably more complicated than Modern English. Is that true of all languages?Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at Twitter: @lexiconvalleyFacebook: lexiconvalley@slate.comLearn more about your ad choices. Visit

Is Social Media Changing English?

  • 3 months ago

Our speech is becoming more childlike, but not for the reasons you think.Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at Twitter: @lexiconvalleyFacebook: lexiconvalley@slate.comLearn more about your ad choices. Visit

What Was the First Language?

  • 3 months ago

How far back can we trace, with any accuracy, the spoken word?Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at Twitter: @lexiconvalleyFacebook: lexiconvalley@slate.comLearn more about your ad choices. Visit

25. Toki Pona

  • about 3 years ago

There’s a language which is said to be the smallest language in the world. It has around 123 words, five vowels, nine consonants, and apparently you can become fluent in it with around 30 hours’ study. It was invented by linguist Sonja Lang in 2001, and it’s called Toki Pona. And fellow Radiotopian Nate DiMeo, from the Memory Palace, decided we should learn it together. Find the Memory Palace at Read more about this episode at and say hello at and The Allusionist is a proud member of for

The language of Emoji

  • almost 4 years ago

They infuriate some and delight others, but whether you like them or not, Emoji are certainly getting harder to ignore.

Slang, Emojis, and the Evolution of Language with Betsy Rymes

  • over 1 year ago

Betsy Rymes, Professor of Educational Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education, joins host Dan Loney to discuss how children returning to school are utilizing new slang and emojis as language evolves in this exponential age of technology and expression on Knowledge@Wharton.

John McWhorter on the Evolution of Language and Words on the Move

  • over 1 year ago

How did bad come to mean good? Why is Shakespeare so hard to understand? Is there anything good about "like" and "you know?" Author and professor John McWhorter of Columbia University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the unplanned ways that English speakers create English, an example of emergent order. Topics discussed include how words get short (but not too short), the demand for vividness in language, and why Shakespeare is so hard to understand.

British English and American English - What’s the Diff? with Helen Zaltzman

  • 8 months ago

Helen Zaltzman hosts The Allusionist podcast and joins Jonathan to talk about the current and historical differences between the two forms of English. It doesn’t take long for the conversation to spiral out to also cover accents, manners and how language can be used to shape our opinions and understanding of the news.Find Helen’s work at She tweets @HelenZaltzman has an Allusionist group on Facebook.For more music from Quiñ head to is on Instagram @JVN. Also Twitter and Facebook.Catch Jonathan on Queer Eye streaming now on Netflix.This episode is sponsored by Care/Of ( code: CURIOUS) and Casper Mattresses ( code: CURIOUS).

995 Accents (w/ Demi Adejuyigbe)

  • 5 months ago

Comedian and writer Demi Adejuyigbe (The Late Late Show with James Corden, Punch Up The Jam) joins Andrew and Tawny to discuss doing impressions with accents, Tawny’s experience in Japan, and much more. As always, leave us a message about anything you think is racist at (323) 389-RACE.This episode is brought to you by The Hate U Give.

63. Evolution of Accents

  • over 1 year ago

“Accent is identity. It’s a way of encoding and signaling – almost completely at an unconscious level for most people – who they feel like they are, who they want to be seen as, what group they feel like they belong to.” The podcast Twenty Thousand Hertz investigates how accents have evolved in the UK and USA. Hear Twenty Thousand Hertz at and find out more about this episode at Stay in touch at and The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the best podcasts on the interwaves. Find all our podcasts at

#18 | Evolution of Accents

  • over 1 year ago

When you describe yourself to others you might mention your height, hairstyle, or maybe your build. But one of the most telling things about you is something you can’t even see, yet it defines you more than you realize. Your accent tells others where you’re from, who you identify with, and maybe even where you’re going. How did accents evolve and why are American accents so different from British accents? Featuring Hollywood Dialect Coach Erik Singer and Linguistics Professor Dr. Walt Wolfram.Twenty Thousand Hertz is hosted by Dallas Taylor and produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound.Consider supporting the show at donate.20k.orgEpisode transcript, music, and credits can be found here.

588 - Why People Mimic Accents. Why People "Have Your Six."

  • over 1 year ago

This week, I talk about why we mimic accents, about how to pronounce "espresso," about interesting idioms that include the number six. FOLLOW GRAMMAR GIRL Twitter: Facebook: Pinterest: Instagram: LinkedIn: GRAMMAR POP Optimized for iPad: For all iOS Devices: GRAMMAR GIRL BOOKS THE GRAMMAR DAILY 2018 CALENDAR SPONSORS offer code: GRAMMAR Grammar Girl is part of the Quick and Dirty Tips podcast network. Check out all the Quick and Dirty Tips shows:

What's the deal with accents?

  • over 1 year ago

Accents are truly fascinating. Put simply, they are how a person sounds when they talk. From England to America and all over the world, the way people speak in their native tongue can vary drastically. What are the influences? When do accents begin to take hold? Can you lose or gain an accent? Learn about all this and more in today's decidedly interesting episode.