Germany

Arts, Culture & Media

In the former East Germany, Frank Zappa lives on as a beacon of freedom

Who was Frank Zappa? Virtuoso guitarist? Modernist composer? Smutty lyricist? Anti-censorship activist? All of the above ... and much more in the former East Germany. There, his banned records fetched small fortunes among rebellious young men who dreamed of freedom. This episode of The World in Words podcast spends 30 minutes in the company of one such man who now runs a Zappa-themed festival. We also hear from an American translator who explains Zappa's obscure lyrics to German fans, line by line.

Politics

European Union prepares to adopt 24th official language as costs mount, calls for English rise

In the European Union, every language is an official language. Government officials speak in the official language of their country, and those comments are then translated into 22, soon to be 23, other languages. All of that costs $1.4 billion per year — and that total will increase when Croatian becomes an official language later this year.