June 2024

72. Kim potowski’s master class in heritage languages

2024-06-12T10:09:10-04:00By |Episodes|

72. kim potowski’s master class in heritage languages Kim Potowski, a professor of linguistics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has a passion for preserving heritage languages, in part by understanding how to teach speakers of these languages, which she now does. Steve sat in on one of her classes for heritage Spanish speakers. “And what an unusual Spanish class it was,” he said. “This is not your uncle's Spanish class.” He then had a second “class” with Kim, when the two of them sat down in her office to discuss [...]

March 2024

71. The Surprise in That Subway® Sandwich: Languages

2024-04-30T09:28:51-04:00By |Episodes|

71. The Surprise in That Subway® Sandwich: Languages Getting a peek behind the curtain to see how a company truly operates can be eye-opening. I never knew that, you may find yourself saying. You may start off in this episode, as we did, not knowing much about terms like localization and transcreation. What could they possibly have to do with a Subway Footlong? As it turns out, a lot. An American bilingual named Carrie Fischer is in charge of communicating with all of Subway’s global partners. She’s created the perfect recipe for [...]

January 2024

70. A Whisper to God

2024-01-17T08:46:49-05:00By |Episodes|

70. A Whisper to God The American journalist, linguist, and author Michael Erard (Babel No More) has lived in South America, Asia, and now in Europe. He’s always had an ear to the native languages as much as for them. A deep researcher of language, he shares in this episode why he believes that “human beings are meant to have very complex linguistic systems in their brains.” He also explains why he likens learning a language to weaving a rope. “GOING TO THE NUNS”  Michael and his family have been living in [...]

December 2023

69. What Is Life When You Leave the US and Become United Stateless?

2023-12-12T22:59:51-05:00By |Episodes|

69. What Is Life When You Leave the US and Become United Stateless? The 20th-century novelist Thomas Wolfe famously pronounced that “you can’t go home again.” But what if you have little choice? This is what a number of Latino immigrants, who have long made their home in the US, face when immigration laws require that they return to their country of birth. ALEXANDRA RIVERA’S UNITED STATELESS Alexandra Rivera, a Mexican American, has made it her calling to report on this group of returnees, as she calls them, whom most of us [...]

October 2023

68. Amy Chua, the Original Tiger Mom, Has Bilingual Stripes

2023-12-12T09:35:27-05:00By |Episodes|

68. Amy Chua, the Original Tiger Mom, Has Bilingual Stripes Amy Chua, known to many as Tiger Mom, was determined that her two American-born daughters would grow up as she had: speaking Chinese. How else could they appreciate their heritage? Amy’s parents, who immigrated to the US in the 1960s, inculcated in their children many of the values from their homeland. In some surprising ways that Amy describes in this episode, these same values led Amy to become both a participant in America’s democracy and a concerned observer of it. DISCOVERING [...]

September 2023

67. Meet a Spanish Teacher in Maine Named Mohamed

2023-09-21T13:11:16-04:00By |Episodes|

67. Meet a Spanish Teacher in Maine Named Mohamed Mohamed with a fellow alum of Bowdoin College (different years), Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Call him señor Mo. That’s what Mohamed Kilani’s third- to fifth-grade students in Falmouth, Maine, call him. Mohamed is an Iraqi by birth, a Jordanian by virtue of war, and now in America by virtue of a selfless and brave mother. Listen to this Arab refugee’s odyssey of finding home, and the many languages he speaks that have played a role. Among them: Spanish, which has a [...]

April 2023

66. How Joe Keenan came to write a breakout book on learning Spanish

2023-05-16T17:02:41-04:00By |Episodes|

66. How Joe Keenan came to write a breakout book on learning Spanish Joe in Santa Elena Canyon near his home in Big Bend. "One wall of the canyon is in Mexico and the other is in the US, and that's the Rio Grande down the middle. A foot in each world," Joe says. Just exactly how can you master Spanish? As a native English speaker who became smitten with Spanish, the American journalist Joe Keenan decided that nobody else had written how to break out of beginner’s Spanish, [...]

65. How Dario Wolos Turned a Taco into Tacombi The secret sauce: a love of language, culture, and family

2023-04-26T16:11:34-04:00By |Episodes|

65. How Dario Wolos Turned a Taco into Tacombi. (The secret sauce: a love of language, culture, and family) When you wrap your appetite around a Tacombi taco, here’s what you’ll taste: Tradition Culture Family Authenticity And possibly the best taco you’ve ever had. In this episode, Tacombi founder Dario Wolos shares his journey as an entrepreneur who is building a brand that honors the food, culture, and family values of the Mexico that have been part of his life from childhood. Language as lodestar As a youngster, Dario was shaped [...]

March 2023

64. A Global Audio Storyteller: The Journey of Martina Castro

2023-03-29T07:52:32-04:00By |Episodes|

64.  A Global Audio Storyteller: The Journey of Martina Castro Maybe it was because her father was always listening to NPR. Perhaps it came from wanting to study a language she never heard in her bilingual home. Or possibly it was her lifelong love affair with opera and singing arias, “a very big part of my life,” she says. AN EAR FOR WHAT WASN’T BEING SPOKEN Whatever the reason, the Uruguayan American Martina Castro, the powerhouse behind Duolingo’s multilingual podcasts, had heard a need for something that was long missing in [...]

63. Chef Pati Jinich’s Recipe for Reaching Across Cultures

2023-03-15T10:10:58-04:00By |Episodes|

EPISODE 63. Chef Pati Jinich’s Recipe for Reaching Across Cultures Photo by Pati Jinich “Here's the thing that we all need to know. And it's life lessons. It's just like making pancakes or rice or so many things in life. “You’re not going to get it the first time around. “You’re going to have the tools, you're going to have the correct ingredients, I'm giving you the right instructions with so many tips. But regardless of all that, you need to repeat and to try it many times, and [...]

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