The World in Words

As the title suggests, The World in Words is an offshoot of Public Radio International’s The World. It’s a linguistic podcast that focuses on…well…the world.

And words.

It’s also the subject of this second review of linguistics podcasts, as promised in my September 26 post. Unsurprisingly, there is a lot of overlap in the topics of these 4¼ podcasts. (Why 4¼? Because four of them are strictly about linguistics but the fifth one is primarily about a great many other topics.) But overlap in topics doesn’t mean overlap in content, so do listen to all of them.

An interruption now — a linguistic meta-topic: the word podcast is like class or show, so it’s often unclear how specific its referent is. If I talk about “two podcasts,” do I mean Lingthusiasm and The World in Words, or do I mean two episodes of possibly the same podcast? It becomes clearer if we consistently use the word episode for the latter.

Now back to your regularly scheduled blog post.

So, what about The World in Words? It provides a welcome real-world take on linguistics, focusing on a specific culture or language each time. Occasionally it’s irritatingly plagued by errors, such as the repeated pronunciation of German “v” like the English “v” rather than the English “f,” which severely damaged an analysis of the German word “Volk.” But usually The World in Words is more professional than that, and it’s always interesting, so do listen to it. Here is a list of some recent episodes:

Hard to resist those titles, isn’t it?

Categories: Linguistics