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Posts Tagged ‘language’

Achtung, Achtung!

Title: Slow German

Speaker: Annik Rubens

As you probably guessed from the title I’m going to make a little detour this time – that’s right I’m going to write about a podcast that is not in English, or even in Polish. This was my very first podcast in German. I felt so proud of myself. This is just what the name said: slow German. Basically they pick a subject and than talk about it v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y. I have to admit I only listened to one episode – the one about cars. It was not quite what I had in mind (I’m interested mostly in small, beautiful, ridiculously expensive sport cars like Aston Martins) but it was a start. If someone is not sure of their abilities in German this is a great place to start. Listening to this podcast gave me the courage to try something more advanced and I found a podcast I’m going to write in my next post.

The vocabulary is fairly easy, and really the main advantage of this podcast is that they speak very slowly. Usually when looking for podcasts in German I found either very basic ones (let’s say hello in German) or very advanced – clearly meant for Germans themselves. This is somewhere in the middle. I can recommend it to anyone who has learned German, but is not advanced enough for German radio or tv.

I know it’s summer – but please comment anyway?

by Izabela

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Title: MSt English Language

Provider: University of Oxford

Since taking History of the English Language is obligatory this year at my university I thought it would be good to find something interesting to listen to. Although the very first post I wrote on this blog is about Old English, I think the subject is really interesting and I wanted to find something more. And here it is. The podcast not only contains useful and interesting information, it also allows the listeners to see how linguists work.

For example, the one about old English was particularly insightful for me. I finally understood how people know how things were pronounced back then. I get grammar and spelling –  there are the manuscripts. But it was fascinating to find out how we know how people spoke in the Middle Ages. And no, I’m not going to elaborate – that would be a spoiler. Just go listen yourself, come back and comment.

And I would appreciate some suggestions on what subject should I find podcasts next. I mean there are only so many thing you can listen to about the language, especially with exams in those very subjects coming up. I need some fun. Pretty please?

by Izabela

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Title: Listen to English – Learn English Podcast

Author: Peter Carter

Today I’d like to recommend a brilliant podcast I use for teaching. As the title of this post says this series is the essence of Britishness. So far my favourite episode is titled A nice cup of tea. I won’t even add anything – the title speaks for itself.

As for the technical stuff , the speech is slow, but at the same time the subjects are interesting. The episodes vary in difficulty, so they are suitable for students on different levels. The only thing that bothers me is the music added to the episodes. But that is just my opinion – usually I’m all for using different tools for learning, but I must admit I didn’t like any of the songs included in the podcasts. But maybe that’s just me – I have a weird taste in music.

I must admit I do listen to a lot of podcasts, but it took me a while to find one I could recommend as a learning tool for intermediate students. I mean the first one that comes to mind is always Stuff You Should Know, but it is too difficult for beginners.

This series is entertaining, quite easy and the episodes are short. Plus there is the enormous help of transcripts and exercises on the website.

As always, go listen and come back to comment. And if you have anything to recommend, please let me know – I really need something new to write about.

by Izabela

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Title: The English We Speak
Provider: BBC

What does “knickers in a twist” mean? What would happen if somebody “painted the town red?” And what a “hullabaloo” is? If you’re curious, you should click on the title above. I have stumbled upon this series by accident, and I find it really worth listening to. It can be very useful, especially for those of us who want to enrich their vocabulary, improve their way of speaking, and enjoy the sound of a wonderful British accent. 🙂 It can be also very helpful when you try to teach somebody English – it can diversify your classes.
The authors assure that their extracts can help us to make our English sound more natural. There is over a hundred of podcasts, and each of them provides the listeners with a short programme about a piece of slang or a particular everyday English phrase. It is that kind of English we won’t have ability to learn at school, and at the same time it is presented in a very simple language. I would like to underline that it is really short, too – the duration of every podcast is about 3 minutes. What is more, the series is updated every week so you can learn systematically.  Nothing’s easier! Just stay tuned and keep listening! I hope you would like it! 😉

by Alicja

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Speaker and Provider: @linguistchris
A nicely done series of podcasts on linguistics. Each podcast deals with a different area of the subject and goes over it thoroughly. I think it can be useful both to people who know nothing at all about the subject and to those, who, like me, are finishing the second semester of classes called Introduction to Linguistics, not to mention Phonology, Phonetics and Syntax. It is a very good way to revise for the finals (I know I write about them in every post but they are  looming on the horizon, threatening the peace of innocent students). I can wholeheartedly recommend them to everyone. I love phonology and phonetics – and still found the podcasts on them interesting – a revision of what I should know. On the other hand I do not enjoy syntax – the first semester was ok, but the second simply baffles me – and the podcast on the subject was very helpful.
For those who do not have to pass exams in linguistics – simply enjoy listening and finding out new, exciting knowledge about language – You can listen only to tracks about the areas which interest you personally – and skip over others.
I must admit I took me a long time to gather my courage and listen to the podcast – I was afraid it would be either too easy, or too difficult, but I was pleasantly surprised . It takes considerable skill to make a podcast which can be interesting to both complete newbies and people who have dealt with linguistics ( I do not claim to be an expert – I’m only a first year, but non the less I have some knowledge on the subject).
And here is another link to the podcast (for those of you who do not use iTunes)
by Izabela

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Title: How did language evolve?

Speakers: Josh Clark and Charles “Chuck” Bryant from Stuff You Should Know

Provider: HowStuffWorks.com

I was beginning to dread that I would never get to recommend this brilliant series of podcasts on our blog because the subjects of individual tracks are so different and not really what we should write about. But here it is: a podcast about linguistics from my favourite pair of podcasters. Admittedly my fellow student’s won’t get much new knowledge out of it – but it’s a good place to start revising for the finals – remember what we spoke of in introduction to linguistics classes in the first semester.

With that said I have learned something interesting from the podcast – the alternative view of how the language came to be – so far I’ve only been familiar with Chomsky’s hypothesis.

All in all Stuff You Should Know is for me the epitome of what a non-university podcast should be – not overly professional, yet providing valuable information (with sources) and often extremely amusing. The variety of subjects is impossible to describe – they go from funny lists (10 fun festivals) through economy (How Bail Works), social issues (Guerilla Gardening) to science (How Medical Marijuana Works). What really proves the quality of the podcast is that those guys are capable of saying that they are wrong and actually request insight from listeners.They are also involved in a very admirable thing – kiva.org (if you don’t know what it is they did a podcast about it)- and they’ve already reached a million dollars donated under SYSK (StuffYouShouldKnow) team.

I think it is the best easy listening – when you don’t really have the energy for anything overly intellectual and when you’re stuck with boring chores – this is the way to go.

I did not add the link at the top as usual, because I found the podcast in several places so you have to choose which source is the most convenient for you. Though I think that the full list of podcasts is only on iTunes, but I’m not sure.

http://www.flumecast.com/watch/how-did-language-evolve-43864.html

http://castroller.com/Podcasts/StuffYouShould/2863655

http://www.learnoutloud.com/Podcast-Directory/Self-Development/Instructional/Stuff-You-Should-Know-Podcast/30506

http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/stuff-you-should-know/id278981407

by Izabela

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