Resource List: Podcasts about Literary Translation, Language, and Linguistics

podcasts about literary-translation. language, and, linguistics

This is an ongoing resource list of podcasts about literary translation, language, and linguistics—topics that often come up in discussions with readers of my weekly newsletter, We Are All Translators.

All the lists below are in alphabetical order by podcast title. If you know of a podcast that isn’t listed below, please share it in the discussion area below. Thanks.

Podcasts Spotlighting Literary Translators

Jill: A Women+ in Translation Reading Series: A “virtual Women+ in Translation reading series that spotlights women, trans, and/or nonbinary translators or translators of women, trans, and/or nonbinary authors. Jill! also invites submissions to our ongoing virtual reading series. Read work can either be published or unpublished.”

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Meet the Translator with Dot Roberts: The podcast brings on “a different translator with each episode, getting to know them, hearing their story, and covering a variety of topics related to translation.”

Speaking Tongues with Elle Charisse: “The podcast in conversation with multi-linguals. Join Elle Charisse each Monday to sit down to discuss language and culture. [Personal Note: I had such a fun conversation with Elle in 2022 about Gujarati literature in translation, including my own.]

Talking Translations: This podcast “brings Irish writers and translators together to share their stories and voices. Each episode features an Irish writer reading their own work aloud, followed by a translator reading a newly commissioned translation of the same piece. The recordings are all produced at home by the writers and translators themselves, allowing the listener to travel to the homes of the speakers in Ireland and around the world. The texts of the original work and of the translation are published on the Literature Ireland website and provide an opportunity for publishers abroad to consider the work for future publication.”

Translators Aloud with Tina Kover and Charlotte Coombe: A Youtube channel that brings “literary translators out of the shadows, and into the limelight where they belong. A place for translators to read their own work; a positive space for sharing great literature, read aloud by the translators themselves.” [Personal Note: You can catch a video of me reading from my translation on this channel here.]

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Translating the World with Rainer Schulte: “The podcast highlights translators who give presence to foreign writers in English, interviews with writers and their translators, portraits of contemporary international writers, and bilingual readings of poetry. A podcast of the Center for Translation Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas.”

Transnational Literature Series: This is run by the Brookline Booksmith bookstore in MA, USA. It’s a video event series available to attend live/virtually, and the recordings are then shared on Youtube. The focus is on world literature, which means a lot of translators as well. Their mission: “The Transnational Series focuses on stories of migration, the intersection of politics and literature, and works in translation.”

WAAT Sessions: Hosted by me, Jenny Bhatt, this is a relatively new series of video conversations about literary translation with folks from across the translation ecosystem: translators, authors, editors, critics, media creators, and more.

Women in Translation: Run by Trafika Europe Radio, this podcast is about “showcasing the richness of European women authors and translators.”

General Podcasts On Literary Translation, Language, or Linguistics

Atlas Linguae: This is a podcast about language and translation from Studio Ochenta where they “dive deep into a variety of language-related topics, such as how can a story really become global? How can one translate humor, and what is the future of emoji language? In each episode, we hear from experts who show us the wonderful complexity of the world of translation.

A Way With Words: Hosted by Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett, this is “an upbeat and lively public radio show and podcast about language examined through family, history, and culture. Language debates, variations, and evolution, as well as new words, old sayings, slang, family expressions, word histories, etymology, linguistics, regional dialects, word games, grammar, books, literature, writing, and more.”

Grammar Girl: Hosted by Mignon Fogarty, this podcast is exactly what its title says and “has been named one of Writer’s Digest’s 101 best websites for writers multiple times.”

LangFocus: Actually, a Youtube channel. Paul Jorgensen, the founder and creator, says: as a language enthusiast and lover of learning, my mission is to inspire others to learn a language they are passionate about, to engage with other cultures, and to deepen their understanding of human communication.”

Lexitecture: “The premise is simple: in each episode, two friends (Ryan, a Canadian,  and Amy, a Scot) get together armed with a new chosen word, and then they regale each other (and you!) with whatever bits of fascinating trivia they’ve been able to uncover about the origins and histories of those words, tracing through the ages to decipher just how each word got from its beginnings to its current use.”

Lingthusiasm: Co-hosted and co-created by two linguists, Lauren Gawne and Gretchen McCulloch, this podcast is about all things linguistics and more. “A lively, deep, language-y conversation with real linguists!”

Omnibus: Not exactly about translation but certainly gets into language issues. “Twice a week, Ken Jennings and John Roderick add a new entry to the OMNIBUS, an encyclopedic reference work of strange-but-true stories that they are compiling as a time capsule for future generations.”

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Rough Translation: An NPR program, this podcast considers the question, “How are the things we’re talking about being talked about somewhere else in the world?” Host Gregory Warner “tells stories that follow familiar conversations into unfamiliar territory. At a time when the world seems small, but it’s as hard as ever to escape our echo chambers, Rough Translation takes you places.”

Subtitle: Co-hosted by Patrick Cox and Kavita Pillay, this podcast “tells stories of our obsessions with language, from comedians, writers, and researchers; from speakers of endangered languages; from speakers of multiple languages; from anyone who shares these obsessions.”

That’s What They Say: This is “a weekly segment on Michigan Radio that explores our changing language. Each week, the University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan will discuss why we say what we say with Michigan Radio Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth.”

Translation Confessional: This is a podcast, newsletter, Youtube channel, and more. Run by Rafa Lombardino, its goal is as follows: “Let’s explore that side of our freelancing careers we don’t talk about too often or very openly: the struggles, the time invested into learning and improving ourselves, the ups and downs, dealing with clients, meeting deadlines, and also the little joys that make up for everything.”

The Allusionist: Hosted by Helen Zaltzman, this is a “podcast about language and how and why we humans use it the ways we do.”

Words for Granted: “Words for Granted is a podcast that looks at how words change over time. Host Ray Belli uses linguistic evolution as a way of understanding larger historical and cultural changes.”

Inactive Podcasts On Literary Translation, Language, or Linguistics

Feeling Bookish: Hosted by Roman Tsivkin and Robert Fay, this podcast “focuses on maximalist, innovative novels and literature in translation. Periodic interviews with critics, writers, and translators.”

Dalkey Archive Press: Black on White: Run by Trafika Europe Radio, this podcast is about “Conversations on contemporary fiction in translation… and so much more.”

Lexicon Valley by John McWhorter: “A close examination of language — its power to inform and misinform, to elucidate and obfuscate — from renowned Columbia University linguistics professor John McWhorter.”

Lost in Translations: Hosted by ??, this is “a podcast dedicated to exploring the world of literature and helping people diversify their reading.”

Three Percent: A podcast co-hosted by Chad Post and Tom Roberge at the University of Rochester, New York. This has been a terrific “resource for international literature” on books, industry stuff, and more.

Translators Note: Run by Exchanges, the biannual online journal of literary translation at the University of Iowa, this podcast discusses wide-ranging translation-related topics with guests from across the translation ecosystem.

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