Full story - November 08, 2017
A 1923 studio portrait of the In zikh ("Introspectivist") poetry group.
In 2000, American poet Jennifer Kronovet began taking Yiddish classes for just one reason: to translate Yiddish poetry into English.
Full story - October 23, 2017
David-Jon
Antifa became the buzzword of the summer after racially motivated protests in Charlottesville. But where did this word come from and how did Antifa become a movement in the US? Find out.
Full story - October 11, 2017
Nadine Heidenreich, left, and Viktor Neumann are German voice actors who dub the characters Rosita Espinosa and Rick Grimes on The Walking Dead. They're pictured here at EuroSync studios in Berlin.
Dubbed TV and movies suck, right? Those odd-sounding voices and that lamely-synchronized dialogue? In Germany, it's not like that. Dubbing is a highly evolved craft, with actors who specialize in voiceover and writers who improve the dialogue.
Full story - September 25, 2017
An excerpt from Jomny Sun's book, "everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too."
When Twitter comedian and author Jonny Sun began to write his book, "everyone's a aliebn when ur a aliebn too," he had to write down the rules of the cutesy grammar of the language he invented.
Full story - September 17, 2017
A supporter of the anti-Muslim group PEGIDA in Dresden, Germany.
Ask Germans to define the word "Volk" and you may get a bunch of different answers, each suggesting different attitudes to German identity and immigration.
Full story - August 23, 2017
red pill blue pill
In the run-up to the US presidential election, Cristina López came across language online that she didn’t understand — terms like “meme magic,” “red-pilled” and “nimble navigator.” They kept popping up in Reddit and 4chan where Donald Trump supporters posted. López and her colleagues at nonprofit Media Matters for America have spent many hours lurking on these message boards, deciphering what she calls the pro-Trump troll dialect. This week on the podcast, López explains some of the dialect.
Full story - August 08, 2017
Bad Doberan, Germany is the home of Zappanale, an annual summer festival inspired by the life and work of Frank Zappa.
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.
Full story - July 24, 2017
fortune cookies
This week on The World in Words podcast, producer Lidia Jean Kott cracks open a case of fortune cookie theft. How did fortunes become a staple at Chinese restaurants in the US? And why are fortune cookie fortunes never really fortunes?
Full story - July 11, 2017
curse word
This week on The World in Words podcast: swearing around the globe and the bad words our grandmothers teach us.
Full story - June 21, 2017
Language Photo
When does a 'dialect' become a 'language'? And what does it matter? This week on the podcast we look at two places that defy traditional definitions: Scandinavia and the Balkans.

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