The World in Words

A podcast about languages and the people who speak them.

Latest Episodes

Arts, Culture & Media

Deciphering the lingo of pro-Trump trolls

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.

Arts, Culture & Media

In the former East Germany, Frank Zappa lives on as a beacon of freedom

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.