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PRI's The World: The World in Words Podcast by Patrick Cox

PRI's The World: The World in Words Podcast

by Patrick Cox

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The World in Words with Patrick Cox focuses on language. We decode diplospeak and lay bare nationalist rants. And as English extends its global reach, we track the blowback from the world's more than 6,000 other languages.


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Translating Trump

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Jan 19, 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 importantly what do the translations say about how Trump is viewed in other countries, in other people's minds? This week on the podcast translating Trump. We’ll look at Trump’s name in three different languages: American Sign Language, Mandarin, and Russian. And we enlist the expertise of several Davids and one Jami: Chinese linguist David Moser, The Washington Post's Moscow Bureau Chief David Filipov, Princeton Professor of French language and literature David Bellos, and American Sign Language Coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania, Jami Fisher.

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The first cousin of English

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Fri, Dec 23, 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.

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What the Cuck?

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Dec 14, 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 attention: cuck. It’s a slur being used by white nationalists and white supremacists, the so-called "alt-right,” people like Richard Spencer, the president of the National Policy Institute. The deceptively generic sounding organization espouses white nationalist ideology. During their conference held in Washington DC right after the US election, Spencer made headlines by using the phrase “Hail Trump” in his speech. In the same speech he also used the word “cuck.” But long before white nationalist grabbed hold of cuck, the word, which has roots in the ancient insult “cuckold” took some interesting turns in its modern usage. On the podcast this week we focus on the word "cuck." What does it mean? Who uses it? And how did it become the slur of choice for white nationalists? We'll hear from and linguist Michael Adams, sex columnist Dan Savage, and white nationalist Richard Spencer.

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The global rise of Swahili

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Tue, Nov 22, 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 "no worries" in Swahili. Swahili – known as Kiswahili in East Africa – has its roots in a small tribal Bantu language spoken along one strip of Africa's eastern coastline. But these days, it's spread across the African continent. Today its spoken by more than 100 million people. More people speak Swahili than Korean or Italian.This week reporter Daniel A. Gross investigates how Swahili became a prominent language on the African continent and increasingly around the globe.

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The Standing Rock Sioux's other fight

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Fri, Nov 18, 2016


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

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

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Mon, Nov 14, 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, caf?s and malls. Many Emiratis struggle in their own mother tongue. When oil was discovered in this mainly desert nation in the late 1950s, money and rapid development followed. An outside workforce poured into the country and a lot of them spoke English. So they communicated in English. At the same time, leaders in the UAE started to view English as the language of future. English entered the schools and classrooms. Slowly English became the lingua franca in the UAE. Arabic, meanwhile, slipped. This week on the podcast, reporter Shirin Jaafari heads to the UAE where she investigates what happened to Arabic in this Arab nation.

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How do you say 'cancer' in Mixtec?

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Nov 09, 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 number of the farm workers picking the broccoli and lettuce from those fields speak neither English nor Spanish but several Native Mexican languages like Mixtec, Triqui, Zapotec. How are these farmworkers navigating life in California speaking their languages? Turns out, it's not so easy. This week on the podcast we visit Natividad Hospital in the town of Salinas on California’s Central Coast. This hospital, surrounded by fields, serves many of the farm workers in the valley. Four of the most commonly spoken languages at the hospital are Native Mexican languages. For years doctors and staff at Natividad struggled to communicate with their indigenous language speaking patients. And finding qualified indigenous language interpreters proved to be difficult. Then hospital officials realized finding indigenous language interpreters was as easy as visiting their own waiting rooms. Many bilingual and trilingual farm workers were already informally interpreting for their family members and friends. What if they trained these folks to become qualified medical interpreters? In the podcast we’ll meet some of Natividad’s indigenous language interpreters. We’ll also head 250 miles south of Salinas to Oxnard, California where a new community radio station is broadcasting in some of these Native Mexican languages.

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Should we learn in two languages?

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Nov 03, 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?

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Speak perfectly or don't speak at all

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Tue, Nov 01, 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.

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A language preserved in song

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Fri, Oct 28, 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.

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What US city is fully bilingual? Not Miami!

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Oct 26, 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 lost along the way. Today Miami-Dade County, the sprawling bureaucracy that surrounds the City of Miami, is about 70 percent Latinx, yet, most kids in public schools only get about an hour of Spanish education, not really enough to be proficient in a language. This week on the podcast, guest host Maria Murriel heads down to her hometown to explore how Miamians, including herself, feel about Spanish in Miami.

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Maisam learns Dutch

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Oct 20, 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.

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How the Miami Tribe got its language back

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Fri, Oct 14, 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?

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Toppling the Tower of Babel

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Mon, Sep 26, 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 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.

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Sing to me in Vietnamese

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Mon, Sep 12, 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?

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Sorry we killed off your language

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Aug 18, 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 modest comeback.

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So, what are your pronouns?

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Mon, Aug 08, 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 2016, Paulus came out as non-binary at college, asking friends and teachers to use the gender neutral pronouns they/them their. This summer at The World, Paulus came out for the first time at a workplace. This is their story.

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The Last Native Speakers of Hawaiian

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Jul 28, 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, teaching thousands of second language learners there was and still is a small group of native speakers who have never lost the language, a group of native Hawaiians from the island of Niihau. This week The World in Words takes a trip to the Hawaiian Islands to meet some of Hawaii’s last native speakers. How have they managed to hold onto the language? What struggles do they face going forward? Is the variation of Hawaiian that the Niihau speak different from the language spoken by the activists leading the Hawaiian revitalization movement?

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Arabic as Americans hear it

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Jul 14, 2016


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

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Live show: From Ainu to Zaza

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Jun 29, 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.

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Deciphering the world's strangest encyclopedia

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Jun 08, 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 strange manuscript written in incomprehensible script. There was no note with the manuscript. No sign of who sent it or where it came from. This manuscript was more than strange, it was as if the publishing house had been gifted the encyclopedia of an alien planet with diagrams of everything on that planet from microbes to fantastical beasts to unusual vehicles and houses, the elements of a completely unknown civilization, all described in a strange swirly script. A note soon followed from the author of the text, Luigi Serafini. This week on The World in Words podcast, a mystery of encyclopedic proportions.

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Who in Japan speaks Ainu?

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, May 26, 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.

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Languages real and unreal

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, May 05, 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?

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Vikings, Yankees, and funny pronunciation

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Apr 27, 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 — Berlin — but a pronunciation that isn’t at all like that of the German capital. Instead, it becomes BARlin, with emphasis on the first syllable. This week on the podcast Nina Porzucki sets out to unravel the mystery of how Berlin became “BARlin” as part of our Nametag series on place names. Plus Patrick Cox gets put to the test in pronouncing village names around Norfolk, England, and we speak with a Viking expert who studies place names in Old Norse around England.

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Etruscan: a mystery

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Mon, Apr 18, 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.

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J'ai backé mon car dans la driveway

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Tue, Apr 05, 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 sticking around.

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389: The French Socialist Roots of Dallas, Texas

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Mar 24, 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. Nametag is our occasional series on the stories behind places names. We’ll hear from The World’s intern Kenny Sokan on the stories behind some of the seedier place names in the United States. And producer Julia Barton takes us to her hometown of Dallas, Texas where she’s uncovered a dusty footnote in Dallas history linking a French socialist experiment to the Texas town.

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Speak Irish to me

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Mar 17, 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, there's hope for Irish today.

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So many Moscows

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Mar 10, 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 of an occasional series we’re calling Nametag. Our first Nametag story comes from reporter Alina Simone. She went on a quest to find out why 26 towns around the US are named Moscow. We want questions from you, dear listeners! What names have always tickled your fancy and made you scratch your head why? They can be names of streets or towns or buildings or mountains – anything! Send us your queries via email: language@pri.org or hit us up on The World in Words Facebook page or tweet at us @lingopod.

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Is bilingual better?

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Mar 03, 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.

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Languages of love

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Feb 17, 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 to www.pri.org/language This week the World in Words goes down several internet worm holes to explore the intersection of love and language. Valentine’s Day may have come and gone but love shouldn’t be sequestered to one measly day. So, bring on the love. In this episode Patrick Cox goes on a musical quest to find the most beautiful Danish love song. And Nina Porzucki speaks with linguist and romance novelist, Julie Tetel Andresen about her theory on why love and language at their very heart (pun intended) are driven by the same human need. Finally, writer Virge Randall shares her very personal story of losing love and subsequently language. It’s a heartfelt episode the week after Valentine’s Day. Come spend some quality time with us.

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Eddie Izzard will make you laugh in four languages

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Mon, Feb 08, 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 joke about language; he wanted to joke in other languages. So in 1997 he took the stage and did his first set in France in French. It wasn't funny, he admits, but it was the start of a career goal to do stand-up in as many languages as possible. Eventually he did feel funny (and fluent) in French. Now, nearly two decades after that first French show, he has toured in not only French but German and Spanish. He intends to learn Russian and Arabic next. This week The World in Words sat down with Izzard to find out why he’s decided to take his humor around the globe and how he’s managed to learn all these languages.

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A death in the family

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Jan 28, 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.

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Moroccan-French Comic Gad Elmaleh Leaves Fame and French Behind

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Tue, Jan 19, 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 to the US. And for the last year he's been traveling across the US and performing in small comedy clubs honing his English routine. Elmaleh stopped by the studio on his way through Boston to talk about this English language learning adventure.

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Raising the Dead

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Jan 14, 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".

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The quest to create the first dumpling emoji

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jan 08, 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 one of the world's most ubiquitous foods, why dumpling emoji? Lee decided to change that and she found herself in a boardroom in Silicon Valley meeting with the Unicode Consortium. The World in Words talks Lee about her quest to create the first official dumpling emoji and about the mysterious Unicode Consortium, the entity that encodes emoji and makes them "official."

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Laughing in Multiple Languages

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Dec 28, 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.

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Koreans love American English

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Mon, Dec 21, 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."

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Mysteries

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Dec 10, 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?

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Signing with a Philly accent

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Dec 03, 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 in American Sign Language. What is an accent in ASL? ASL speaker and researcher Jami Fisher explains it all. She is part of the team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania who is working on the study to document this “weird” as she calls it way of signing. Plus, we hear from the actors of the Broadway musical, “Spring Awakening.” This new production features 8 deaf actors. John Hockenberry from our friends at The Takeaway got the chance to interview some of the actors.

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A tale of two linguists

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Nov 25, 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.

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ISIS, ISIL or Daesh?

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Tue, Nov 17, 2015


In the wake of the Paris Attack French President Fran?ois Hollande was quick to denounce the alleged attackers, 'Daesh.' Many people call this same jihadist group ISIS. Alternatively they've been called ISIL and even the Islamic State. But many in the Arab speaking world and increasingly Western leaders have taken to calling the group 'Daesh.' This week in the podcast we explore the meaning of the term 'Daesh.'

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Three mother tongues in one

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Mon, Nov 16, 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 understand what they are saying. Also, to be a Lakota Indian how much of the language do you need to speak?

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Faking the Funk

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Tue, Nov 10, 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 edition of The World in Words podcast we tackle the complicated questions that arise when artists sing in an accent that’s not their own. We’ll hear from linguists Bill Beeman and Jane Setter and ethnomusicologist Langston Wilkins as we explore what it means to fake the funk and “how” and “why” we do it. It’s a wild musical ride from the Rolling Stones to Cliff Richard and the Shadows to Iggy Azalea. Plus, Marco Werman, host of PRI’s The World and the newsroom’s resident music nerd makes a special appearance on the podcast to take a musical accent quiz.

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What the deal with the pop punk accent?

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Tue, Nov 03, 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 hilarious way to pass the long hours on the road says Dan. But that road trip serenade got him thinking, what the heck was going on with DeLonge’s strange pop punk voice? He enlisted a linguist's help to find out. This week’s podcast we explore the strange vocal stylings of the lead singer of Blink-182, Tom DeLonge. We’ll learn about elongated vowels and rhotacism. Plus, we will talk about how the punk accent has evolved from New York City to London and in California. Come listen and sing along!

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Talking Texas in Iran

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Oct 29, 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.

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When in Rome...

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Oct 22, 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 translation?

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Learning English on the Fly

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Oct 15, 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?

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Dementia stole my grandma's memory and our common language

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Fri, Oct 09, 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 that my family doesn't speak. She's stuck in this linguistic fog and nobody in my family can find our way through. And I wondered why does the brain latch on to one language and not another? This week on the World in Words podcast we delve into dementia and bilingualism. I speak with two scientists Ellen Bialystok a psychology professor at York University in Canada and Thomas Bak a neuropsychologist at the University of Edinburgh about their research into dementia and bilingualism. You’ll also get to hear from the expert, my grandmother, and hear a bit of my own crackpot theory as to why she’s chosen to speak Polish and Russian.

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Speaking to grandma and grandpa

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Sep 30, 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 with them— before it's too late.

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A million lost words

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Fri, Sep 25, 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?

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

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Tue, Sep 15, 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 “hapa” that is, half Asian, half something else. Julie had never questioned this definition before until one day, she was at the market, and she met a women who caused her to reconsider how she defined the word. This week, The World in Words takes a deep dive into the meaning(s) of the word hapa. I speak with Joanna Sotomura and Stephen Chang hosts of HalfTime, a YouTube talk show about Hapa issues. I interview professor Wei Ming Dariotis about how she became a hapa evangelist and then lost faith in the word. And we hear from Hawaiian linguist Kaeo NeSmith about the etymology of hapa and the term “hapa haole.”

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Japan's harassment words

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Sep 09, 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), 'pawahara' (power harassment) and several other terms used to describe different types of harassment.

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New Orleans or NOLA?

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Mon, Aug 24, 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?

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Learning your enemy's language

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Aug 20, 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.

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The language of Hiroshima

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Fri, Jul 31, 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.

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Scrabble and the Scottish Accent

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Jul 22, 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 researcher who has been observing a slow change in the Scottish dialect – Scots seem to be swallowing their R’s.

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The accent quiz that tested the world

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Tue, Jul 21, 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 they say soda or coke or pop? Was it a roly-poly or a doodlebug? Do they wear sneakers or gym shoes or tennis shoes? His quiz went viral eventually becoming an international trend on YouTube. In this podcast I speak with writer Debbie Nathan who traced the origins of the meme for the language journal Schwa Fires. And I get to chat with linguist Vaux about what it's like to spark an internet phenomenon.

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Do I Sound Gay?

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Jul 09, 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 writer Arika Okrent explains the etymology of the word “disabled.”

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Louisiana 'en Franglais'

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Tue, Jun 30, 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 French. Even as the number of fluent French speakers dwindles in the area, the station is dedicated to reviving the heritage language. Next we'll head east to visit a public foreign language immersion elementary school in Baton Rouge. Kids spend the majority of their school day speaking either French or Spanish. The school began as a magnet program under East Baton Rouge Parish School System's desegregation order. Finally, we head back to KVPI to hear a little swamp pop. Never heard of swamp pop? Well, you'll just have to listen.

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ARRR and other words

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Tue, Jun 30, 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 World’s history guy, Chris Woolf lets the cat out of the bag on the lingo of the high seas. Plus other bits of fun tape. We won’t leave you high and dry.

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Will Welsh survive?

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Jun 24, 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 languages.

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Can you hear me now?

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Mon, Jun 22, 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 but they aren't using the phrase "Can you hear me now?" They're using a set of special sentences written in a secret basement lab at Harvard during WWII. More about these Harvard Sentences in the podcast and British Justice Minister Michael Gove lays down the grammar laws for his staff. Gove's not-so-secret list of grammar no-nos.

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Kibun and Cowardice

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Jun 17, 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 that word. No worries. Find out what kibun means in the pod. We'll also explore the meaning of the word cowardice. Ever wonder why it's associated with the color yellow? Or the gut? The World's Clark Boyd found the courage to talk with author Chris Walsh about his book, "Cowardice: A Brief History."

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

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Jun 10, 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. So what does the rest of it say? The World's history guy Christopher Woolf explores the lesser known clauses of this great charter. Plus, The World in Words host, Patrick Cox takes a trip to the Salisbury Cathedral to see one of the four remaining copies of the Magna Carta.

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Land, nation and tongue

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Jun 03, 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?

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Retro Icelandic

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Mon, Jun 01, 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.

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China's English language contest

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Mon, May 25, 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 life.

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Re-learning your mother tongue in Korea

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Tue, May 19, 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 a tough and unnerving challenge.

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Washington's Persian-language guy

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Fri, May 08, 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.

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Where 'thug' came from

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Apr 29, 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.

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Minnesota's Umlautgate

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Apr 16, 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 Lindstr?m.

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The play Lincoln was watching

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Fri, Apr 10, 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.

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The father of German

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Apr 02, 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.

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The golden age of Chinese poetry is...now

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Tue, Mar 24, 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 and accessible. American poets may just look on in envy.

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Utah's language gamble

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Mar 18, 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 21st century."

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Studying Sanskrit

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Feb 26, 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 Sanskrit-- but not everyone.

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Spanglish is older than we may think

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Feb 12, 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 Spanish expressions and idioms. Comedian George Lopez might have been thinking of them when he said, "We've always spoken Spanglish."

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A spoken word archive with benefits

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Feb 11, 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 pronouncing rice, ‘lice.’

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'Uh' beats 'um' in several languages

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Feb 05, 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' to 'uh.'

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The Siberians of Hawaii

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Jan 28, 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 the story of how they came to Hawaii says plenty about American attitudes to race and language.

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Translators Without Borders

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Jan 21, 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.

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Secret languages

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Jan 14, 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 an argot called Lubunca.

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Haiti's new Creole schools

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Mon, Dec 22, 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.

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Ottoman Turkish nostalgia

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Fri, Dec 19, 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?

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An indigenous language school in LA fights to stay open

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Fri, Dec 12, 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.

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A bilingual seal of approval for high school graduates

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Dec 10, 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.

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

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Dec 04, 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 practice their negotiating skills.

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How to eat your words

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Nov 26, 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.

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

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Mon, Nov 24, 2014


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

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Misheard song lyrics in the age of the Internet

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Nov 20, 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.

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Remembrance of the Man who Translated Proust

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Mon, Nov 17, 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 veritable novel.

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Military slang post-Iraq and Afghanistan

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Oct 29, 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.

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Telling real stories in translation

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Mon, Oct 27, 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.

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

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Oct 22, 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.

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Is there such thing as an untranslatable word?

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Tue, Oct 14, 2014


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

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Russian curses are inventive, widely-used—and banned

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Oct 08, 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

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How did English become the language of science?

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Mon, Oct 06, 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.

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

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Oct 01, 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.

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A brief history of simultaneous interpretation

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Mon, Sep 29, 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 Translate!

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The grammar of cuisine

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Mon, Sep 22, 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."

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

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Mon, Sep 15, 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.

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

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Fri, Sep 05, 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.

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Parliamentary-style debates are becoming popular in China

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Fri, Sep 05, 2014


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

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

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Sep 03, 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.

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The linguistic curiosities of dating online

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Tue, Aug 19, 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.

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Language tensions in Modi's India

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Fri, Aug 01, 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.

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John Smith, Pocahontas, and the beginnings of American English

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Fri, Jul 25, 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?

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How English nearly got a language academy

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Jul 24, 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 fostered linguistic snobbery?

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

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Jul 23, 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.

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

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Tue, Jul 22, 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.

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What's the point of learning Russian?

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Tue, Jul 15, 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 plunge.

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

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Mon, Jul 07, 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.

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How to sound simultaneously English and Spanish at the World Cup

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Jul 03, 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.

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

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Tue, Jul 01, 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.

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How FIFA overcame soccer's language barrier

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Tue, Jun 24, 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.

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A history of Hebrew, told one word at a time

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, Jun 19, 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.

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Words and phrases that only make sense at the World Cup

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Wed, Jun 11, 2014


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

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

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Thu, May 29, 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.

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

The World in Words Author: The World in Words
Mon, May 19, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Sat, May 17, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, May 08, 2014


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

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, May 05, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Apr 30, 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."

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Words written in secret: a history of invisible ink

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Apr 29, 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."

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A Canadian journalist escapes detention in Ukraine by speaking French

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Apr 28, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Apr 23, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Apr 22, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Apr 14, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Apr 10, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Apr 07, 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.

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In search of the perfect email sign-off

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Apr 01, 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.

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A modest French revival in Maine, USA

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Mar 13, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Mar 04, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Feb 25, 2014


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

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In Canada, Olympic patriotism defeats pronunciation pettiness

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Feb 14, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Feb 13, 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 upbringing.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Feb 07, 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)

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Feb 06, 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.

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Fleeting language: history told through ephemera

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Feb 04, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Feb 03, 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.

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Gary Shteyngart's immigrant life in four languages

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Jan 27, 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.

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No room for African languages in multilingual Disney song

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jan 24, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Jan 20, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jan 17, 2014


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

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Jan 16, 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?'

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Jan 06, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Dec 23, 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 of the conversation on social media.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Dec 12, 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 found a way to make a better living, by teaching Spanish lessons over Skype.

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How do you translate the language of dementia?

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Dec 11, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Dec 09, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Dec 05, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Dec 04, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Dec 03, 2013


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

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Dec 02, 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.

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Straight outta ESL class: learning English by learning slang

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Nov 27, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Nov 20, 2013


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

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Germans on Twitter say 'ja!' to Nein Quarterly

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Nov 07, 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.

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Which Jane Austen do you think should go on the British ÂŁ10 note?

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Nov 01, 2013


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

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Silicon Valley gets linguistic enlightenment from India

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Oct 28, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Oct 25, 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 teammates?

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Oct 24, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Oct 18, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Oct 15, 2013


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

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Oct 10, 2013


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

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Oct 04, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Sep 26, 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.

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Iran and the US learn how to flirt, diplomatically

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Sep 24, 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

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Having an Accent in America: An Actor Speaks

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Sep 18, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Sep 17, 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.

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Google Translate This!

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Sep 05, 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 translator. Their goal: "Do no harm."

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Why What's Funny in China Might Surprise You

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Sep 04, 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.

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Easter Island's Rapa Nui Language Attempts a Comeback

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Sep 02, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Aug 30, 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.

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Did William Shakespeare really invent all those words?

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Aug 19, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Aug 14, 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.

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What Drones, Bees and Marilyn Monroe Have in Common

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Aug 08, 2013




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A Push to Keep the Zapotec Language Alive in Los Angeles

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Aug 08, 2013


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

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A Crash Course in Portuguese With Angelique Kidjo and Fado Novato

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Aug 01, 2013




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jul 19, 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 reaction.

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The Language of New Orleans in One Word: Gumbo

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Jul 18, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Jul 17, 2013




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jul 12, 2013




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The Globalization of Yiddish

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Jul 11, 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.

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Twanging and Twickling with the World's Best Worm Charmers

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Jun 27, 2013




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To Change or Not to Change Script: Turkish vs Persian

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Jun 24, 2013




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Cold War Linguists: The NSA's Spies of Teufelsberg

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Jun 18, 2013




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jun 14, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Jun 11, 2013




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Silicon Valley's Immigrant Janitors Learning English at Work

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Jun 06, 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 work.

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The Compounding Magic of German

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Jun 05, 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.

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'Burgers': The New Power Brokers in Pakistan?

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Jun 05, 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.

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Observing the Tiananmen Anniversary with 'Big Yellow Duck'

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Jun 04, 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.

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How Ancient Graffiti Might Be More Familiar Than You Realize

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, May 31, 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.

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Indians, Indian-Americans and Spelling

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, May 30, 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

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, May 23, 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.

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A Call for English Only at the European Union

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, May 21, 2013




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How Language and Culture Play into Phishing Scams

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, May 09, 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.

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A New Protestant Beginning for the Irish Language in Belfast

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Apr 10, 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.

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'Amnesty': Sensitive Word in the Immigration Debate

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Mar 25, 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.

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Five Foreign Language Films You Might've Missed

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Feb 22, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Feb 13, 2013




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The Pope's Big News Came in … Latin

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Feb 12, 2013




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Lost in a Sea of People and Languages

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Feb 08, 2013




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Is It Racist When a White Guy Mimics Jamaican Patois?

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Feb 01, 2013




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Translating the Untranslatable: 'Finnegans Wake' in Chinese

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Jan 31, 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.

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Quebec's Separatists on Charm Offensive with Bilingual Song

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Jan 24, 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.

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Comic Book Snacks that Talk Back in Two Languages

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Jan 22, 2013




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Language Life and Death in New York City

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Jan 16, 2013




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New Roles for Old Languages in South Africa

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jan 11, 2013




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Mexican Teachers Adapt to Their American-Raised Students

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Jan 08, 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.

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Bringing Back Nepal's Minority Languages

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Jan 07, 2013




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Chinese Wedding Rush on "Love You Forever" Day

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jan 04, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Dec 28, 2012




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Boy Sopranos and Early Onset of Puberty

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Dec 24, 2012




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What's in a Name in Ethiopia?

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Dec 19, 2012




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Join the Army, Speak a Language and Become a Citizen

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Dec 17, 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.

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Why I Like Catalan and Don't Speak it

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Dec 07, 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.

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The Sweet Revenge of Recycling a Book Title

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Nov 27, 2012




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The Many Meanings of Chips Funga

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Nov 20, 2012


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

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Damon Albarn's Soundscape Gives the BBC Something to Celebrate

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Nov 14, 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.

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The BBC and the Language of Responsibility

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Nov 12, 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.

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Aramaic Revival in the Holy Land

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Nov 08, 2012




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America's Woes From the Outside In

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Nov 05, 2012




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Is Language Holding Back New York's Bengali Voters?

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Nov 02, 2012




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Gangnam Wordplay and Tiananmen Poetry

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Oct 30, 2012




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Oct 26, 2012




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Translating Birth, Love and Death

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Oct 18, 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 called "Found in Translation".

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An Australian Dictionary Redefines Misogyny

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Oct 17, 2012


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

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Hinglish: A Case of Reverse Colonization?

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Oct 04, 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 those who come to it as a second or third language. Those speakers are having a profound influence on English. Especially in country as large as India.

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In Cairo, Cars Speak

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Sep 21, 2012




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The Perils of Campaigning in Spanish

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Sep 18, 2012




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The Language of Disability Around the World

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Sep 06, 2012




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Where Chinese and Arabic Calligraphy Meet

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Sep 05, 2012




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13-Year-Old Teaches Kurdish in Turkey

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Aug 24, 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.

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Jewish American Students Reimagine Yiddish Europe

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Aug 23, 2012




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Turbanology Unwraps Sikh Culture

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Aug 22, 2012




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Invented Languages from Hollywood to Bollywood

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Aug 14, 2012




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Podcast: Africa's Translation Gap

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Aug 08, 2012




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Olympic Terminology: Fletchings at the Ready

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jul 27, 2012




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Podcast: The Bimusical Brain

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Jul 18, 2012




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How Technology is Changing Chinese, One Pun at a Time

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Jul 11, 2012


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

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Podcast: Are Norwegians Literally Born on Skis?

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Jul 05, 2012




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A Push to Support Language Diversity in India

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Jul 05, 2012


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

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Podcast: Are Europeans Still Tribal?

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Jun 27, 2012




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Podcast: Linguistic Rectification, and Tori's Spelling

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jun 22, 2012




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Podcast: Nairobi's Smart Graffiti and Sheng Hip Hop

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Jun 13, 2012




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Podcast: Speaking Freely in the New Burma

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Jun 06, 2012




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Apr 25, 2012


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

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Nevada Court Interpreters Protest Wage Cuts

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Apr 24, 2012




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Podcast: In Vietnam, a Nation Learns English

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Apr 11, 2012




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Podcast: The Chinese Yuan and the Currency of Language

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Apr 03, 2012




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Podcast: Mistaking Welsh For Hebrew

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Mar 26, 2012




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Podcast: A trip around America's languages

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Mar 08, 2012




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A Rush to Learn English in Myanmar

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Mar 08, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Mar 05, 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.

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Podcast: Mademoiselle in Song, and Translating Jargon

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Mar 01, 2012




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Podcast: Ben Lewis' History of Communism Told Through Jokes

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Feb 29, 2012




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Podcast: Chinese Orphans Catch a Break

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Feb 21, 2012




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Podcast: The Perfect Love Song

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Feb 13, 2012




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The Voice of Iran in Spanish

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Feb 06, 2012




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Podcast: Inventing a Word for a Facebook Relationship

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Jan 31, 2012




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Fear of the Foreign, Hospital English, and Garifuna Music

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Jan 24, 2012




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Up Close With Language Super Learners

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Jan 16, 2012




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The Road to Hyperpolyglottery with Michael Erard

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Jan 09, 2012




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Jan 02, 2012




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Dec 27, 2011




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Dec 21, 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.

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Retweeting Bad Grammar

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Dec 13, 2011




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A Right Brain Religion Translated into a Left Brain Language

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Dec 08, 2011




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A Dubious Award For The Squeezed Middle

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Nov 28, 2011




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Nov 18, 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.

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Podcast: Australia Through its Languages

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Nov 16, 2011




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Podcast: Oh My Lady Gaga, and Other Linguistic Exchanges

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Nov 15, 2011


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

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Podcast: Translators Past, Present and Future

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Nov 07, 2011




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Podcast: Corporate Spelling Experiments

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Oct 28, 2011




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Oct 24, 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.

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Podcast: Are Chinese Kids Losing Their Language?

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Oct 17, 2011




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Oct 13, 2011




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Podcast: An Inuit Dialect and Zappa's Lyrics

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Oct 03, 2011




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Sep 22, 2011




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Does Banning Bilingual Education Change Anything?

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Sep 13, 2011




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Pakistan Province Makes Learning Chinese Mandatory

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Sep 05, 2011


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

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Twanging with Lynne Murphy aka Lynneguist

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Sun, Aug 14, 2011




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Aug 10, 2011




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The Words that Armed Anders Breivik

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Aug 04, 2011




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Tamil Language Trying to Keep Up With the Times

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Aug 04, 2011


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

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Aug 01, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Jul 28, 2011




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Podcast: No Metaphors — China MiĂ©ville's Imagined Language

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Jul 20, 2011




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Podcast: Finally, Proof that Fiction is Good for You

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Jul 13, 2011


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

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The Legacy of the Bible in Translation

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Jun 27, 2011




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Podcast: What's Assyrian for Canuck?

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Jun 16, 2011


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

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Podcast: The US Government's Metaphor Program

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Jun 07, 2011


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

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Re-learning Spanish, and Super-Injunctions

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Jun 01, 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 alien and undocumented worker. Plus, British gag orders aren't working, thanks to Twitter. And, does Obama heart Britain as much as Brits heart Obama? Is the relationship still special?

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Linguistic surrealism from China to Belgium

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, May 17, 2011




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The battle to own Bin Laden's story

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, May 12, 2011




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The butcher, the baker, and the cabbage gelder

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, May 04, 2011




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Apr 20, 2011




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From Cicero to Lynne Truss with Robert Lane Greene

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Apr 14, 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?

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Dictators with dialects, finger spelling and universal Inuit

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Mar 31, 2011




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At the BBC, fewer languages and less influence?

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Mar 25, 2011




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Mar 23, 2011




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Hiroshima, Nagasaki and self-censorship

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Mar 16, 2011




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The vocoder, the linguistic robot and the Dead Rabbit

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Mar 16, 2011




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Consciousness, Poetry, and Bilingual Babies

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Mar 09, 2011




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Language-learning in Europe, and free speech in Tunisia

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Mar 01, 2011




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Feb 18, 2011




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Pharaohs, Cantonese and the Gang of Four

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Feb 17, 2011




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Feb 16, 2011




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The staying power of English, and Shakespeare in Shona

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Feb 10, 2011




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French not happy about English language proposal

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Feb 10, 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.

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Eliminating an unwanted language, and Shakespeare in Shona

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Feb 09, 2011




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Cantonese: a Dialect in Peril?

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Feb 07, 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.

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At the BBC, fewer languages and perhaps less global influence

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jan 28, 2011




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Beautiful code, ugly fonts, and the architecture of diplomacy

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jan 21, 2011




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Political language before and after Tucson

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jan 14, 2011




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Teach yourself Babylonian, and teach the Ashes to the Ashes

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jan 07, 2011




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Dec 17, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Dec 09, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Nov 30, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Nov 16, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Nov 05, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Oct 28, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Oct 22, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Oct 08, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Sep 28, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Sep 17, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Sep 10, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Sep 03, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Aug 20, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Aug 10, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jul 30, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jul 23, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jul 16, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jul 09, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Jul 01, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Jun 23, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jun 11, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Jun 07, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, May 31, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, May 24, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, May 14, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, May 07, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Apr 27, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Apr 19, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Apr 12, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Apr 01, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Mar 19, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Mar 12, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Mar 05, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Feb 19, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Feb 12, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Feb 02, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Jan 25, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jan 15, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jan 08, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jan 01, 2010




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Dec 17, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Dec 11, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Dec 04, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Nov 25, 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.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Nov 20, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Nov 12, 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 been going on for many decades.

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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Nov 02, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Oct 26, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Oct 15, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Oct 09, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Sep 29, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Sep 15, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Sep 07, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Aug 14, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Aug 07, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jul 31, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Jul 29, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Jul 22, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Jul 14, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Jul 09, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Jul 01, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Jun 25, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jun 19, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jun 12, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Jun 05, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, May 29, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, May 28, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, May 22, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, May 14, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, May 08, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Apr 30, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Apr 24, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Apr 17, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Apr 10, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Apr 02, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Mar 27, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Mar 20, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Mar 12, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Mar 04, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Feb 26, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Feb 19, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Feb 13, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Feb 04, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Jan 28, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Jan 20, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Jan 15, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Jan 07, 2009




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Dec 30, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Dec 18, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Dec 10, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Nov 28, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Nov 20, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Thu, Nov 13, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Nov 07, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Oct 31, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Oct 28, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Oct 21, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Oct 15, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Oct 07, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Fri, Sep 26, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Sep 23, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Sep 16, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Sep 09, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Sep 02, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Aug 26, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Aug 19, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Aug 12, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Aug 05, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Wed, Jul 30, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Jul 21, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Jul 15, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Jul 08, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Jun 30, 2008




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The World in Words 9: English and Textperanto go global

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Jun 23, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Tue, Jun 17, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Jun 09, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Jun 02, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, May 26, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, May 19, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, May 12, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, May 05, 2008




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

PRI's The World Author: PRI's The World
Mon, Apr 28, 2008




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