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Language

Specials

Innovation Hub: The Whole Tradition Show

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Leading up to this Thanksgiving holiday, Innovation Hub wonders: do traditions still serve a purpose, or should they be overhauled?

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The Takeaway

Language & Politics Divide Navajo Nation

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Navajo Nation presidential candidate just got booted off the ballot because, like many young people in the tribe, he can't speak Navajo fluently. Now some wonder if the law is fair. 

Comments [1]

Schoolbook

NYC Middle School Directory Causes Problems for Non-English Speakers

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WNYC
The city guides for applying to middle school were available only in English weeks into the application season which was a big problem for many New York City parents.
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Radiolab

Words Will Never Hurt Me

Monday, October 20, 2014

Euphemisms may water down language but do they hurt us? George Carlin thought so. Adam Gopnik isn't so sure.

Comments [8]

Radiolab

Translation

Monday, October 20, 2014

How the right words can have the wrong meanings, and the best translations lead us to an understanding that's way deeper than language. 

Comments [88]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Where Does the Word Ketchup Come From? And Other Questions on the Language of Food

Friday, October 17, 2014

For this week’s Please Explain, linguist Dan Jurafsky tells us about the language of food—from the origins of ketchup to the words we use to describe food.

Comments [5]

Soundcheck

Now We Know How To Sing 'Don't Stop Believin'' In Dothraki

Thursday, October 09, 2014

The linguist behind the Game of Thrones language explains how "conlangs" are created and even translates Journey and Iron Maiden songs into something Khal Drogo could understand. 

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Soundcheck

Conlangs, Dothraki And 'Don't Stop Believin''; 'Free Bird' At 40; Blake Mills Plays Live

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Conlang is a term for a language created on purpose by humans, like Esperanto or Klingon. Now, we can add Dothraki to the list. A look at Lynard Skynard's hit. Blake Mills plays live.

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On The Media

The Emoji-Only Social Network Has Launched, and it's Pretty Cool

Friday, August 29, 2014

Emojli, the emoji-only social network, allows you to register an emoji-only username, and send emoji-only messages.
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PRI's The World

Beijing has a message for China's Cantonese speakers — stick to Mandarin!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Cantonese-speaking heartland of southern China is also the country's most populous region. But Beijing still considers the region's native language of Cantonese to be a minority dialect, and now it wants Cantonese broadcasters to switch to Mandarin — but why now?

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Radiolab

Hello

Thursday, August 21, 2014

It's tough to make small talk with a stranger—especially when that stranger doesn't speak your language. (And he has a blowhole.)

Comments [60]

Listen to Lucy

‘Hello there’: eight lessons from Microsoft’s awful job loss memo

Monday, August 11, 2014

‘Hello there’: eight lessons from Microsoft’s awful job loss memo

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PRI's The World

The good part about leaving Russia is no longer having to apologize for its actions

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Author Masha Gessen left Russia seven months ago, leaving behind a burning shame over her former country's "continuing slide into darkness."

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On The Media

Loaded Language

Friday, July 25, 2014

For reporters covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, choosing the right words is a daunting task. So the International Press Institute set out to identify those hot-button words and phrases that the media throw around and create a glossary, called "Use With Care", that offers context and more neutral language. Brooke talks with Naomi Hunt, editor of the glossary and senior press freedom adviser at the IPI.

Comments [6]

On The Media

The Quick Brown Fox Subtweets The Lazy Dog

Monday, July 07, 2014

Pangrams! Sentences that use every letter of the alphabet! You can definitely live without them (unless you happen to be a typographer), but why would you want to? Fortunately, you don’t have to live without them anymore, at least on Twitter.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

How To Learn a Foreign Language

Friday, June 27, 2014

Successful language learning at an older age requires 1) practice, 2) paying attention 3) getting lots of real world input and 4) practice.

Comments [28]

On The Media

Your Morals Depend on Language

Friday, June 20, 2014

Would you sacrifice one person to save the lives of five others? Your answer may depend on whether you consider the problem in your native tongue or a secondary one.

Comments [9]

Listen to Lucy

Descent into drivel is a sign of Apple’s fall

Monday, June 16, 2014

Descent into drivel is a sign of Apple’s fall

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The Takeaway

Mastering the Boston Accent is Wicked Hard

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

What does it take to sound like a Bostonian? Johnny Depp is getting flack for his Boston accent in the upcoming film "Black Mass" about crime boss Whitey Bulger. A longtime Boston casting director breaks down what makes the Boston accent so unique.

Comments [14]

The Takeaway

How's Your English? Celebrating Grammatical Sins

Monday, June 02, 2014

Ammon Shea's new book, "Bad English: A History of Linguistic Aggravation," is a celebration of grammatical sins of sorts. He says that new words, with new meanings and new rules of grammar, are all just signs of a healthy thriving language.

Comments [70]