Language podcasts

[Updated October 2022]

A recent request from a colleague on Facebook looking for interesting podcasts to listen to got me compiling the following list. I’ve listed podcasts that are about language, translation and/or interpreting, but none about language learning (there are plenty out there if that’s what you’re looking for). Depending on how much time you have available you might want to listen to all of a podcast’s episodes or just cherrypick here and there. The list is in alphabetical order and, with two exceptions, only includes podcasts in English. Podcasts in italics are now defunct/have stopped producing new episodes.

  • I have a soft spot for The Allusionist – subjects are very varied and I like Helen Zaltzmans’ take on things
  • Because Language is a lengthy monthly podcast from Australia about linguistics and the science of language, with bonus episodes for paying subscribers. It was previously a weekly show called Talk the Talk for which there’s still an archive of 395 episodes.
  • ATA’s French Language Division has a Continuing Education Series podcast (uses a mixture of French and English)
  • Globally Speaking by Renato Beninatto and Michael W. Stevens is a podcast by and for localisation professionals
  • Grammar Girl with Mignon Fogarty and the occasional guest: more than 700 short episodes
  • Listen to Wordbee’s International Buzz for a podcast about international business, localisation, global marketing, and more. Yours truly recorded an episode on Creoles. Now renamed L10N Radio
  • LangFM by Alexander Drechsel tells the stories of interesting people from the world of language
  • Marketing Tips for Translators by Tess Whitty has led to a book: The Ultimate Collection of Tips from the podcast
  • Meet the Translator: using an interview format Dot Roberts delves into different areas of translation and learns more about colleagues each month
  • Rough Translation by NPR takes a look at how things are being talked about elsewhere in the world
  • Smart Habits for Translators by Veronika Demichelis and Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo is a holistic look at working in the translation profession and the lifestyle and challenges that go with it
  • Speaking of Translation is hosted by Eve Bodeux and Corinne McKay
  • Subtitle is a podcast by about languages and the people who speak them, hosted by Patrick Cox and Kavita Pillay
  • In 2018 publisher Vagabond Voices ran 7 episodes of the podcast Think in Translation
  • Translation Confessional by Rafa Lombardino explores the aspects of a career in translation that aren’t often or openly talked about
  • Billed as a talk show for translators, Translators on Air (formerly known as ‘Blabbing Translators’) ran until 2018 with 71 episodes, many of which are also available on Youtube
  • In 2010 the University Oxford did a four-part podcast on translation called What is Translation? that is still available
  • Word Bomb by Canadian broadcaster TVO unpacks one explosive word per week
  • BBC Radio 4’s Word of Mouth explores the world of words and the ways in which we use them
  • NPR‘s World in Words talked about society and culture through the prism of language. One of its hosts, Patrick Cox, now produces the Linguistic Society of America-sponsored podcast Subtitle
  • The Worldly Marketer is a podcast from Toronto about localisation, bringing insider perspectives about growing a business in a global marketplace

Other language podcasts*:

  • Accentricity: “every voice is valid” is the leitmotiv of this podcast by Sadie Ryan about accents
  • ATA also has a more general podcast
  • The History of English is a chronological history of the English language examined through the lens of historical events that shaped the development and spread of the language
  • In Another Voice is a podcast about poets we might not have heard of, and their poetry in translation.
  • Language Chats is “a podcast for language-lovers in Australia and beyond”
  • Lexicon Valley is hosted by linguist John McWhorter
  • Lingthusiam by Gretchen McCulloch and Lauren Gawne is enthusiastic about linguistics
  • Parliamo di traduzione a podcast in Italian by Natalia Bertelli, Martina Abagnale and Eleonora Cadelli.
  • Source2Target is a podcast for new and prospective translators
  • Standing on Points is a cultural history of punctuation by Florence Hazrat
  • Three Percent podcasts is a weekly(ish) conversation about new books, the publishing scene, international literature in translation, and many other random rants and raves
  • Caroline Alberoni hosts the TradTalk podcast (mainly in Portuguese)
  • Troublesome Terps is subtitled “The podcast about things that keep interpreters up at night”. Also by Alexander Drechsel along with his  fellow interpreters Sarah Hickey, Jonathan Downie, and Alexander Gansmeier as well as the occasional guest
  • Vistatalks is a language industry podcast by Vistatec. It focuses on interesting discussions with interesting people from around the world
  • Long-running A Way With Words looks at language through family, history, and culture
  • Word Matters by the editors of American dictionary Merriam-Webster is billed as a podcast for “readers, writers, and anyone who ever loved their English class”

*podcasts that I don’t, occasionally, or no longer listen to, mainly due to lack of time!

Further reading:

What language-related podcasts do you listen to? Let me know in the comments!