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Plain English is the podcast for learners everywhere who want to improve their English in a fun and modern way. Every Monday and Thursday, we explore the events and trends that shape the world in clear, understandable English. We also take a close look at one English expression or phrasal verb in each episode. Best of all, we go at a slower speed so you can understand every word. By listening to current events and trending topics, you will expand your vocabulary, improve your English listeni ...
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" Britain and the United States are the two biggest exporters of television. But the third-biggest may surprise you: Turkey. Long-running Turkish dramas have become among the most popular television shows around the world, from Chile to Bulgaria. -- At Plain English, we make English lessons for the modern world. -- Today’s full English lesson, incl…
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" Americans buy and sell millions of homes per year, and about 90 percent of transactions use a real estate agent. But agents in the U.S. charge among the highest rates in the world, thanks to their stranglehold on the listing databases. But recent court cases are challenging the agents' control of the market. -- At Plain English, we make English l…
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" First there was powder. Then there was liquid laundry detergent. And then there were laundry ""pods,"" small capsules of pre-measured detergent. But now Proctor & Gamble, the maker of Tide, has a new way of getting laundry detergent into the machine. It's a dry tile, which is lighter, easier to pack, and contains less plastic. The company spent t…
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" The Nobel prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez worked on a slim novel called ""Until August"" on and off for decades. In his final years, the author determined the book was not fit for publication and ordered the drafts destroyed. Now, ten years after his death, the writer's sons have published the book against his wishes. Did they do the …
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" Twenty years ago, a new computer program let consumers download a feed of audio clips onto their iPod music players. Today, ""podcasting"" serves millions of listeners of all interests. Here's how podcasting has grown over the years. -- At Plain English, we make English lessons for the modern world. -- Today’s full English lesson, including a fre…
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" Three years ago, it seemed that neither Biden nor Trump would be on the American presidential ballot in 2024. But now both are, setting up a rematch from four years earlier. Too bad it's a rematch most voters don't want. -- At Plain English, we make English lessons for the modern world. -- Today’s full English lesson, including a free transcript,…
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" Weight-loss drugs look to figure prominently in the business and health landscape of the future. So today, we take a look at four questions about these drugs: How do patients' take them? Are they covered by insurance? How much do they cost? And why are they so hard to find? -- At Plain English, we make English lessons for the modern world. -- Tod…
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" Weight-loss drugs like Wegovy have become extremely popular in recent years. Recent studies confirm that patients regain much of the weight they lose if they ever stop treatment. But not everyone can afford to take these drugs for life. -- At Plain English, we make English lessons for the modern world. -- Today’s full English lesson, including a …
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" Four years ago, our lives changed in an instant. As the immediate danger of the pandemic subsided, we went back to our old habits of eating indoors, gathering with friends and family, and traveling. But there are some changes that persisted, even after the pandemic ended. Here are a few of them. -- At Plain English, we make English lessons for th…
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" People would never go on cruises again. They'd probably wear paper face masks in public, even after the pandemic receded. These are just two examples of predictions that did not come true. Four years after the ""novel coronavirus"" swept the world, these habits are no more. -- At Plain English, we make English lessons for the modern world. -- Tod…
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" What happens to a large shopping mall after the biggest stores close? The mall often stays open in a zombie state: fewer customers, lower quality, and a depressing vibe. But they can still be profitable under the right circumstances. -- At Plain English, we make English lessons for the modern world. -- Today’s full English lesson, including a fre…
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" The enclosed shopping mall was once the epicenter of suburban social life. But now, the age of the indoor mall is ending. E-commerce and shifting consumer preferences have left some malls struggling. Here's how malls rose to prominence...and how many are fighting for their survival. -- At Plain English, we make English lessons for the modern worl…
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" Swiss francs, British pounds, euros, and various kinds of dollars are divided into hundredths. But not all currencies have 1/100th coins. Today, we look at how Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, euro-area countries, the U.S., and the U.K. handle their lowest-value coins. -- At Plain English, we make English lessons for the modern world.…
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" If the 1990s and 2000s were about globalization and offshoring, then the 2020s are about ""nearshoring."" Large companies in the U.S. and western Europe want to bring manufacturing and services closer to home. But they still want lower-cost labor that globalization has provided them. Mexico and eastern Europe are using the ""nearshoring"" trend t…
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" Leap Years come (about!) once every four years. The unusual day can cause havoc for some people, least of all the approximately 5 million who were born on February 29. In this lighthearted story, we take a look at how the day affects different people ... and who benefits from the extra day. -- At Plain English, we make English lessons for the mod…
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" AM radio has been around for over a hundred years and one of the most popular places to listen is in the car. Now, though, some carmakers have decided not to include AM antennas in their new electric cars. The electric components in the car interfere with the AM signal. But some people are worried that this may spell the end of the AM band. -- At…
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" Thousands of post office workers in the U.K. were falsely accused of accounting fraud--all because of a faulty computer system. Hundreds were falsely convicted, while many more lost their savings. Four committed suicide. Now, a new drama on the British channel ITV exposed the scandal and prompted the U.K. government to try to make amends. -- At P…
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" The world of academic publishing has been shaken by a series of scandals of late. But one idea aims to correct the biases in research. A ""registered report"" brings greater transparency and controls to the research process. And some journals pledge to publish any research finding, whether a hypothesis is confirmed or not. -- At Plain English, we…
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" Academic researchers are under intense career pressure to publish their findings, a pressure known as ""publish or perish."" While that pressure means that researchers stay productive, it can also lead to unethical research practices or data manipulation. Data from several recent studies, including one about dishonesty, have been questioned by cr…
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" A key part blew off the body of a Boeing 737-MAX plane shortly after takeoff, ripping the shirt of a passenger and causing a drop in cabin air pressure. The plane landed safely, but America's FAA has opened an investigation into the plane's safety. It was the latest setback for Boeing, one of the two biggest global plane manufacturers. -- At Plai…
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" Pedicabs -- bicycles with fancy carriages on the back -- are popular in London's West End and SoHo. Due to a quirk in London's taxi law, they operate without any type of regulation. But they're widely seen as a rip-off for tourists and a nuisance for those who live nearby. But should they be regulated like taxis or are they just harmless fun? -- …
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" Ecuador, nestled between Peru and Colombia on South America's Pacific coast, was once one of the safest countries in the Americas. But now, the it's suffering a spiral of violence, fueled by foreign drug gangs. -- At Plain English, we make English lessons for the modern world. -- Today’s full English lesson, including a free transcript, can be fo…
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" If you have a knack for writing the perfect prompt in ChatGPT, then you might want to become a ""prompt engineer."" That's the new job title for people who help companies use GPT and other AI models to achieve their goals. But it's a lot more than just typing into a chat window. -- At Plain English, we make English lessons for the modern world. -…
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" The grizzly bear population has grown in the western United States, after successful conservation efforts. But that means the bears, which can weigh 400 kilograms, are coming into conflict with humans who live in the area. Here's how the people are coping with their new neighbors. -- At Plain English, we make English lessons for the modern world.…
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" Ikea stores are known for being very big and far from the city center. For many shoppers, a trip to Ikea is a full-day event. But now the Swedish furniture store is opening smaller stores in city centers, hoping to appeal to apartment-dwellers who can't make it to the huge stores far away. -- At Plain English, we make English lessons for the mode…
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