Best Linguistics podcasts — In-depth discussions on the study of language (Updated December 2018; image)
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The Allusionist
Monthly
 
Linguistic adventures with Helen Zaltzman, TheAllusionist.org. A proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.
 
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Lexicon Valley
Monthly+
 
Lexicon Valley is a show about language, from pet peeves, syntax, and etymology to neurolinguistics and the death of languages. Hosted by linguist John McWhorter.
 
A fun weekly radio show about language seen through culture, history, and family. Co-hosts Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett talk with callers who have questions and stories about linguistics, old sayings, word histories, etymology, regional dialects, slang, new words, word play, word games, grammar, family expressions, books, literature, writing, and more. Email your language questions to words@waywordradio.org or call with your questions toll-free *any* time in the U.S. and Canada at 1 (87 ...
 
Learning a new language? Get your language learning questions answered by polyglot Olly Richards, who speaks 8 languages and runs the popular blog - I Will Teach You A Language. Whatever's holding you back on the path to fluency, tune in twice a week to get your regular dose of language learning motivation, with Olly and other polyglot guests, such as Luca Lampariello, Richard Simcott, Alex Rawlings, Benny Lewis, Anthony Metivier and Jonathan Levi. Learn Spanish, Learn French, Learn German, ...
 
The Spoken History of a Global Language
 
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Word of Mouth
Monthly
 
Series exploring the world of words and the ways in which we use them
 
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The World in Words
Monthly+
 
The World in Words is a podcast about languages and the people who speak them. What happens to the brain on bilingualism? Does it matter that so many languages are dying out? Should we fear the rise of global English? Is the United States losing its linguistic cohesion? Why are Chinese tech words so inventive? Why does Icelandic have so many cool swearwords? Patrick Cox and Nina Porzucki bring you stories from the world’s linguistic frontlines. Also at pri.org/language
 
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Talk the Talk
Monthly+
 
A weekly show about linguistics, the science of language, on RTRFM 92.1 community radio, Perth.
 
A podcast that's enthusiastic about linguistics by Gretchen McCulloch (All Things Linguistic) and Lauren Gawne (Superlinguo). A weird and deep conversation about language delivered right to your ears the third Thursday of every month. Bonus episodes: www.patreon.com/lingthusiasmShownotes: www.lingthusiasm.com
 
Speculative Grammarian—the premier scholarly journal featuring research in the neglected field of satirical linguistics—is now available as an arbitrarily irregular audio podcast. Our podcast includes readings of articles from our journal, the occasional musical number or dramatical piece, and our talk show, Language Made Difficult. Language Made Difficult is hosted by the SpecGram LingNerds, and features our signature linguistics quiz—Lies, Damned Lies, and Linguistics—along with some discu ...
 
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Conlangery Podcast
Monthly
 
The podcast about constructed languages
 
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Words for Granted
Monthly
 
Words for Granted is a podcast that looks at how words change over time. Host Ray Belli uses language--more specifically, individual words--as a way of making connections among history, culture, religion, and society.
 
This podcast is designed to inspire language teaching and learning. Tune in for book reviews, interviews with inspiring teachers, best practice ideas, linguistic facts, musings on current events and crazy language learning stories. For more information, visit www.languagefuel.com
 
Podcast by LSA 2017
 
Have you ever taken a language class? Have you taken a language class that teaches you how to say "I want to work at the United Nations" before "can you pass me the salt?" We're working to fix that. Critical Language Mentor has scoured the internet to find the best resources out there to help you learn languages better. We specialize in critical, less-commonly taught languages, like Arabic, Chinese, Korean, and Persian and want to help you learn better.Visit us on the web at criticallanguage ...
 
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OnTranslation
Rare
 
A discussion of contemporary issues in translation, from classical past to the global present, hosted by Mohammed Albakry (English, Middle Tennessee State Univ.) and Joseph McAlhany (History, Univ. of Connecticut).
 
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The Hundred Years War is one of the most well-known conflicts of the Middle Ages. The long, extended war introduced new weapons and new types of warfare, and it marked a transition from the traditional feudal state to the modern nation-state. The war also contributed to a rise in nationalism which led many Englishmen to regard the French langua ...…
 
More than half of Americans are currently living with one or more serious, preventable, chronic diseases. These rates are expected to increase significantly over the next two decades. In this episode of Life Effects, host Sara Ivry talks to Gabriel Cortez, a San Francisco-based educator and poet who is one of many young people actively working ...…
 
This episode is brought to you by Slack, the collaboration hub for work. Learn more at Slack.com. LinkedIn Talent Solutions, for $50 off your first job post, go to linkedin.com/LEXICON. A conversation with Lane Greene, author of Talk on the Wild Side, about the "vague and anarchic" nature of language. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments ...…
 
Perfect sentences and slang that tickles your mind. A new book of writing advice says that a good sentence "imposes a logic on the world's weirdness" and pares away options for meaning, word by word. Plus, your musician friend may refer to his guitar as an ax, but this slang term was applied to other musical instruments before it was ever used ...…
 
Talking with Dr Rachel Hendery about what happens to language on beautiful and remote Palmerston Island. In the News: Gmail has a unique solution to the problem of gender bias and text suggestion. And parasites do not cause language diversity. Bookmarks: Motherfoclóir: Dispatches from a Not So Dead Language by Darach O' Séaghdha. Words of the ...…
 
Kausalya asks: "How do you decide what to do every day in your core study time? In Today's Episode: My "Core Study Time" is quiet, focused time that I spend on my target language every morning I don't have any kind of weekly routine where I do specific activities every day Rather, I focus on one activity, often for a period of 2-3 weeks I call ...…
 
A discussion of the challenges and opportunities in translating idioms and proverbs across languages and cultures, with examples from across the globe.
 
If you want to be a better writer, try skipping today's bestsellers, and read one from the 1930's instead. Or read something besides fiction in order to find your own metaphors and perspective. Plus, just because a city's name looks familiar doesn't mean you should assume you know how the locals pronounce it. The upstate New York town spelled R ...…
 
The English name for the country of "Wales" is not native to Wales itself. It was named by AngloSaxon settlers in Britain as a way of distinguishing themselves from their Celtic neighbors on the island. The word "Wales" has cognates in all of the Germanic languages, yet most of these cognates have nothing to do with the modern country of Wales. ...…
 
Jim Glaub and Dylan Parker didn’t think too much of it when, every year, a few letters were delivered to their New York apartment addressed to Santa. But then one year, 400 letters arrived. And they decided they had to answer them. Find out more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/dear-santa, and visit http://miracleon22ndstreet.com ...…
 
Brendan asks: "Is there a place for romanisation in language learning? In Today's Episode: What is romanisation? Considerations for romanisation in different languages The dilemma for publishers Should you use romanisation or not? Resources Mentioned: Judith Meyer's Script Hacking books: Script Hacking Arabic Script Hacking Hebrew Script Hackin ...…
 
In November of 2018, I gave a talk at the Harvard Divinity School as part of the Sound Education Conference. The talk was an overview of the history of English called “Regarding English.” The final version of the speech was edited for time, so I have recorded the original version of the speech with the parts that were left out. Enjoy!…
 
In this episode, Olly discusses whether you should use translations when reading. In Today's Episode: Should you use translations when reading? Translation is inevitable (in your head) Translations can be useful Activities relying on translation can be powerful But you always need to think about the point of the activity and what you’re trying ...…
 
Our speech is becoming more childlike, but not for the reasons you think. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: facebook.com/LexiconValley Email: lexiconvalley@slate.com Learn more about your ad choice ...…
 
Talking to Dr Kari Sullivan about mixed metaphors, and why they're not all bad. In the news: The pronoun "y'all" seems to be making gains outside the US South. A chat with William Black. Bookmarks: A look back at "Babel-17" by Samuel R. Delaney. Words of the Week: fartgate, death cross, Snowvember, woof.…
 
A caller with a 25-year-old parrot wonders: How much language do birds really understand? Plus, Knock-knock. Who's there? Boo. Well . . . you can guess the rest. But there was a time when these goofy jokes were a brand-new craze sweeping the nation. Finally, the words "coffee" and "sugar" both come from Arabic, as does another familiar word: gh ...…
 
Talking with researcher Dan Dediu about non-linguistic motivators for language. In the news: We talk easily about colour and shape, and less so for touch, and smell. But other languages mix it up. Bookmarks: Language Drops, a language learning app with 31 languages and neat games. Words of the Week: sportswashing, #ThisIsMyLane, #ThisIsNotConse ...…
 
Like much of western Europe, England experienced a significant growth in population during the two centuries after the Norman Conquest. By the 1300s, the percentage of the English population who lived in urban areas had doubled. As towns and cities grew, jobs became more specialized. The rise of specialized occupations led many workers to adopt ...…
 
If you catch your blue jeans on a nail, you may find yourself with a winklehawk. This term was adapted into English from Dutch, and means "an L-shaped tear in a piece of fabric." And: What's your relationship with the books on your shelves? Do the ones you haven't read yet make you feel guilty -- or inspired? Finally, we're all used to fairy ta ...…
 
This is a story of feats of speed and endurance, of record-breakers, of champions… Typing champions. Recorded live at the Hot Docs Podcast Festival in the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema in Toronto on 4 November 2018, WPM is performed by me and Martin Austwick. Find out more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/wpm. **There is one swear w ...…
 
Today's episode kicks off a new series on "toponymy," or the study of place names. In this general overview, we take a look at some of the historical and etymological trends that most often impact place names, such as colonialism and the commemoration of important individuals.
 
A letter stands for a sound. Or at least, it’s supposed to. Most of the time. Unless it’s C or G, which each stand for two different sounds in a whole bunch of languages. C can be soft, as in circus or acacia, or hard, as in the other C in circus or acacia. G can be hard, as in gif, or soft, as in gif. Why can C and G be hard or soft? And why d ...…
 
This episode is brought to you by Slack, the collaboration hub for work. Learn more at Slack.com. LinkedIn Talent Solutions, for $50 off your first job post, go to linkedin.com/LEXICON. How far back can we trace, with any accuracy, the spoken word? Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up fo ...…
 
Author Lane Greene joins us to discuss his new book "Talk on the Wild Side". In the news: What makes a satisfying shitgibbon? Plus: how climate affects language diversity. Bookmarks: Make an online translator with LingoJam. Words of the Week: blue wave, rainbow wave, space energy.
 
Sending someone a care package shows you care, of course. But the first care packages were boxes of food and personal items for survivors of World War II. They were from the Committee for American Remittances to Europe, the acronym for which is CARE. Also: Montgomery, Alabama is home to the new National Memorial for Peace and Justice. This prof ...…
 
In this episode, Olly announces a new programme to help you master grammar in your target language. In Today's Episode: What is Grammar Hero? The vital missing ingredient from your textbooks, and how Grammar Hero fills the gap How long it took us to create the programme The unexpected crises that hit towards the end! Join Grammar Hero Today: En ...…
 
In this Part 3 of this series, Olly finishes the deep dive into learning grammar. In Today's Episode: The students who come top in grammar tests (without studying grammar) How I stopped translating in my head when speaking Italian The 5-step process you need to get grammar right when speaking (naturally, and without hesitating) Start Speaking T ...…
 
In this Part 2 of this new series, Olly continues the deep dive into learning grammar. In Today's Episode: How to learn new grammar The grammar points you must avoid The best kind of material to study with Start Speaking Today: I’d like to thank italki for supporting the show. To claim your free lesson and start speaking today, visit: https://i ...…
 
We talk to historical linguist Bethwyn Evans about how we know languages are related. In the news: Emoji v11, and the best of the EMNLP conference. Words of the Week: nanobodies, reef-toxic, fair dinkum power, first-daughter effect.
 
Victorian slang and a modern controversy over language and gender. In the early 1900's, a door-knocker wasn't just what visitors used to announce their arrival, it was a type of beard with a similar shape. And in the 21st century: Is it ever okay to call someone a lady? Or is woman always the better term? Plus, surprising stories behind some fa ...…
 
Why did you change your name? And why did you choose the name you chose? Listeners answer these two questions. Hear their stories of gender identity, family fallouts, marriages, divorces, doxxing, cults, and…just not liking your given name very much. Find more about this episode at http://theallusionist.org/name-changers. This episode is part o ...…
 
In this Part 1 of this new series, Olly takes you on a deep dive into learning grammar the natural way. In Today's Episode: Why we struggle with grammar How to stop translating in your head How do immigrants learn English without studying grammar? Start Speaking Today: I’d like to thank italki for supporting the show. To claim your free lesson ...…
 
Nowadays, a “gym” is a place for fitness and exercise. It’s a shortening of the word “gymnasium,” which derives from the Greek word gymnasion. In the Ancient Greek world, a gymnasion was not only a place for exercise, but also a hub for philosophical study and learning. Today’s episode explores the evolution of the “gymnasium” as a cultural ins ...…
 
This episode is brought to you by Slack, a workplace communication hub. Find out more at slack.com. How long have we been starting our sentences with "so"? Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at www.slate.com/podcastsplus. Twitter: @lexiconvalley Facebook: faceboo ...…
 
Reduplication in the world's languages. A surprising number of meanings can arise from simply repeating all or part of a word. News: Words are different from sounds in the brains of puppers. Coke tries code-switching, with deadly consequences. Bookmarks: The Atlas of Endangered Languages is funded. Green's Dictionary of Slang is going free onli ...…
 
In 1803, a shy British pharmacist wrote a pamphlet that made him a reluctant celebrity. The reason? He proposed a revolutionary new system for classifying clouds--with Latin names we still use today, like cumulus, cirrus, and stratus. Also: when reading aloud to children, what's the best way to present a dialect that's different from your own? ...…
 
Have you ever thought of teaching a community language class? The good news is, you don’t have to be perfect to make an impact. In this episode, I reflect on my latest steps in learning Te Reo. I have started attending a local community class for beginners, and it was inspiring to be a part of the class. Tune in to hear what the teacher did rig ...…
 
Ron asks: "How do you learn colloquial language with limited resources?" In Today's Episode: There's a perennial problem with materials in minority languages Textbooks are simple and boring The next level up is native level... far too hard It's a real problem without a good solution Long-term, you're only going to crack this problem by learning ...…
 
Fletcher asks: "Have your views on flashcards changed?" In Today's Episode: I've been using input-based methods to learn languages recently But does this change my approach to learning vocabulary with flashcards? Do I display the word in the target language first on my flashcards? Resources Mentioned: Make Words Stick - my popular guide for usi ...…
 
Fletcher asks: "Have your views on flashcards changed?" In Today's Episode: I've been using input-based methods to learn languages recently But does this change my approach to learning vocabulary with flashcards? Do I display the word in the target language first on my flashcards? Resources Mentioned: Make Words Stick - my popular guide for usi ...…
 
Michael Rosen talks to academic Colin MacCabe and Dr Laura Wright about Raymond Williams' 1976 book Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society, which looks at the changing meanings of words such as 'culture', 'art', 'nature' and 'society'. Often the changes in meaning of these words reflect the changing society in which they are being used. ...…
 
Silence comes in lots of different forms. In fact, says writer Paul Goodman, there are several kinds: There's the noisy silence of "resentment and self-recrimination," and the helpful, participatory silence of actively listening to someone speak. Plus, the strange story behind the English words "grotesque" and "antic": both involve bizarre pain ...…
 
Iceland has quite exacting laws about what its citizens can be named, and only around 4,000 names are on the officially approved list. If you want a name that deviates from that list, you have to send an application to the Icelandic Naming Committee, whose three members will decide whether or not you’re allowed it. And if they say you’re not…yo ...…
 
Johanna asks: "How important is it to review your lesson notes?" In Today's Episode: The principle of review is super important In the past, I've spent 15 minutes at the end of the day reviewing what I did in the morning, and it's very effective The foundation of memory and mastery is repetition Your teacher is right that reviewing your notes i ...…
 
squishable, blobfish, aaarggghh, gubernatorial, apple lovers, ain’t, tronc, wug, toast, toast, toast, toast, toast.All of these are words that someone, somewhere has asserted aren’t real words – or maybe aren’t even words at all. But we don’t point at a chair or a tree and assert that it’s not a word. Of course it’s not! That would be absurd. S ...…
 
I’ve recently come back from the CLESOL 2018 conference, and absolutely loved it. In this episode, I summarise some of the interesting talks I attended, and what general threads came out of the conference. If you’re interested in following up about the speakers I mention, here are some links: Dr. Martin Andrew: https://www.drmartinandrew.com/ D ...…
 
In this solo episode, Olly gives you some updates on what's been going on. In Today's Episode: Update on the Short Story Book launch, worldwide and in US & Canada How to claim your book launch bonuses Random coincidences Language Masters event in London with Michel Thomas About the Language Influencer Summit Polyglot Conference 2019 New languag ...…
 
The origin of modern naming conventions can be traced to the period immediately following the Norman Conquest. Prior to the Conquest, almost all people in England had a single Anglo-Saxon name. After 1066, parents gave their children names borrowed from French and from the Bible. People also started to acquire second names based on their landho ...…
 
This episode is brought to you by the following advertisers: Slack, a workplace communication hub. Find out more at slack.com. Babbel, the #1-selling language learning app in the world. Get 50% off your 6-month subscription today at babbel.com/lexicon. John McWhorter discusses the evolution of the word like. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus s ...…
 
Michael Rosen finds out how best to communicate with people with dementia. Professor Alison Wray shares her new research about the ways in which language is affected by dementia. She offers practical advice to carers, such as to respond to the feeling behind the words being used by the person with dementia rather than to the words themselves.Pr ...…
 
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