Episode 95

"French is Romantic, Arabic Is Aggressive"...Does Culture Stop Us from Learning Languages?


July 2nd, 2018

1 hr 8 mins 39 secs

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About this Episode

It's a philosophical one with Lindsay this week!

Quick note on the topic of audio quality: In this week's episode, you'll hear Lindsay coming through at a slightly lower quality than usual. Our apologies! We'll be back to our usual high standards in the next episode.

Here are our two big topics.

Donald Trump Is A Tweeter

If you're au courant with the news these days, you may have noticed that Donald Trump is a prolific user of Twitter. But what do his tweets reveal about him? Language analysis platform Text Inspector has produced a report on the POTUS's twitter archive, and in this episode Lindsay and I examined what it all means.

Plus: What do Donald Trump and Regina George have in common?

Does Culture Stop Us from Learning Languages?

Learning German makes you efficient. Spanish is sexy. Arabic speakers talk about terrorism. Russian is a macho language.

Would you say you're influenced by statements like this?

In this episode, we discuss language attitudes and how they have affected our own stories in language learning. The discussion was powerful - starting with the question "Does culture / perception stop you from learning a language?", we talked about travel, terrorism, stereotypes and machine guns.

To round it off, we chatted about the good old Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. Always one to draw us linguists out to the campfire.

What About You?

Do you think that ideas and perceptions have ever stopped you...or encouraged you in language learning? Say hi on Twitter @thefluentshow or write a little message through this website.

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