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Rough Translation

Author: NPR

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Rough Translation is a podcast about cultural mistranslations and what we can learn from them. Usually, we're heading to far off places to bring you stories that hit close to home. This spring, with the help NPR's Veterans Correspondent Quil Lawrence, we're taking on a cultural divide that's closer to home. One many Americans might not know is there.
67 Episodes
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Two worlds: dress uniforms and foosball tables. The military and Silicon Valley used to work hand in hand. Now, why won't big tech build them a new gonculator?
Alicia's situation raises questions about the VA's caregiver program. And a new diagnosis changes everything for Matt. How will Alicia and Matt start healing their respective wounds, borne out of different battles? Find part 2, Battle Lines, here. And part 1, Battle Rattle, here.
Alicia Lammers takes on the twin roles of wife and caregiver to her veteran husband. What happens when your husband becomes your official duty? Part 2 of the story of Matt and Alicia Lammers. You can find Part 1, Battle Rattle, here.
He's a veteran looking for love. She's a civilian who learns more about war than she ever imagined. Part 1 of the story of Matt and Alicia Lammers.
Home/Front

Home/Front

2021-05-2624:241

Is it true that "you can't understand" if you've never been to war? In the first episode of our new season, we hear from people on opposing sides of a widening divide.
War Poems Revisited

War Poems Revisited

2021-05-0547:393

As the U.S. pulls out of Afghanistan, we look back at a time when Taliban poetry and a local cooking show became part of the war. And the U.S. had the perfect person to fight on that front.
How To Speak Bad English

How To Speak Bad English

2021-04-2135:4613

Heather Hansen used to teach people to speak "perfect" English. Until she realized that so-called "bad English" might be a better way to communicate.
Our favorite McDonald's in Marseille, France has reached its afterlife. It took court cases, spray paint, and the slogan you know turned upside down (literally) to get there.
In the wake of the shootings in Atlanta, a Korean-American writer reconnects with her own family.
Two very different approaches to wooing vaccine skeptics. And how a little FOMO can go a long way.
What happens when your guidebook isn't written with you in mind? Nanjala Nyabola on her new book: Travelling While Black.
Boxing Back

Boxing Back

2021-02-1028:507

Your stories and creative solutions to not quite fitting in.
Our Boxes, Ourselves

Our Boxes, Ourselves

2021-01-2727:3612

From Montréal to Edinburgh, and from São Paulo to Taipei: your stories about belonging, or longing to just be.
France is the place where for decades you weren't supposed to talk about someone's blackness, unless you said it in English. Today, we're going to meet the people who took a very French approach to change that.
Welcome To The New World

Welcome To The New World

2020-11-2534:454

What can a young refugee who's survived a war teach a novelist about writing young adult adventure?
All Eyes On US

All Eyes On US

2020-11-1240:176

Just because you can't vote, doesn't mean you're not watching. We crisscross the globe to understand how people see their fates and fortunes in the aftermath of the 2020 U.S. election.
Radical Rudeness

Radical Rudeness

2020-10-2846:219

After a Ugandan scholar is suspended from her university job, she discovers a new tool for resistance: extreme public rudeness. Will it work against a strongman president?
What if more evangelical Christians in the United States fought climate change with the same spirit they bring to the issue of abortion? We go back to a surprisingly recent period when that happened.
How does India's caste system play out in the hiring practices of Silicon Valley? And what happens when dominant caste people in the U.S. grapple with their own inherited privilege for the first time?
A Chinese idol had millions of fans who adored him for his kindness and good looks. Then, this February, one group of fans accused another of violating their image of him. What happens is a lesson in morality and revenge, love and hate, and how these feelings are weaponized on the internet.
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Comments (99)

Devin Sperling

This show is ostensibly about bridging the civil/military divide but we're three episodes into the season and it's only focusing on one case that is an extreme example of violence and PTSD that just reinforces veteran stereotypes. All this show is doing is widening the gulf it's supposed to be trying to fix.

Jun 16th
Reply

dok dicer

It's so sad how this American ideology around the military and their supposed heroism (for engaging in imperial warfare for oil against outgunned and outfinanced countries and their civilian population) victimizes spouses and normalizes that abuse. I don't need to understand what that abusive pos went through to know that nobody should suffer through what he put his wife through.

Jun 9th
Reply

Arielle Niss

I’ve been loving Rough Translation for YEARS! This new civ/mil series is eye-opening. And the music is really evocative. Thanks, team!!

Jun 8th
Reply

mari arana

Wow, I'm always so I'm awe of military families. What a huge sacrifice.

May 16th
Reply

Gabriella Arroyo

this one made me cry last time, and again this time.

May 10th
Reply

Katie Devlin

the lack of understanding about the Black and Korean community issues regarding the LA riots 100% equate to the French- former colonie boys.

Apr 8th
Reply

ncooty

Anecdotes provide an interesting perspective, but this podcast often uses anecdotes as a means for individuals to over-generalize their own experiences or cast their suspicions as facts. There seems to be little effort to check facts or to contextualize these anecdotes within actual statistics. For example, what are the relative absolute and frequencies of violent crimes against people of Asian descent in the U.S.? Have those frequencies increased? Is it just a matter of increased reporting or sensitivity? Are there any relevant covariates to race that help explain the trends (vs. insinuating that all crimes against racial minorities are racially motivated)? This is just lazy story-telling with a lack of concern for facts, context, or journalistic integrity--as if you think allowing a guest to spread inaccurate information via your platform is not your problem.

Mar 26th
Reply

Brent Cupp

n.nnnnnn

Mar 18th
Reply

ncooty

Guide books are sometimes wrong. Sometimes, they increase the popularity of certain activities, such that they're no longer the same as they were for the writer of the guide book. That's not racism. It's corrosive and wrong to blame everything on racism, and to search so fervently for the ways in which we're each sanctified victims.

Mar 7th
Reply

Kyomi Paris

12:16 Also, the man who wrote the tweet is referring to muslims as a sort of threat, and the joke goes to show that islamic presence is just... the opposite. socially speaking, peaceful and unobtrusive. What's wrong with washing your hands 5 times a day and covering yourself? (everyone is doing this now!) ... What's wrong with being Muslim?

Feb 6th
Reply (1)

Kyomi Paris

12:16 It clearly demonstrates that now, all are doing the same things (but under different labels: covid 19 safety &/ muslim tradition), and how different are we? i.e We are all ''normal'' people. The only real difference between a Muslim and a non Muslim is religious belief concerning God, and personal practices.

Feb 6th
Reply (1)

mari arana

Sad that this poor man was harassed and brought down by his own chosen religious group who did not act according to what they supposedly believe.

Jan 11th
Reply

it

não é só corrigir, é educar. trés bien!

Dec 29th
Reply (1)

Chanaka Hettige

This was beyond beautiful ❤️

Dec 23rd
Reply

Chanaka Hettige

Thanks for this guys. It was intriguing. And thinking back to my motherland, Sri Lanka, it's not so different from the situation in Pakistan. Luckily, not that worse!

Dec 21st
Reply

Chanaka Hettige

Hey! That sound like our experience in US.! 🤣

Dec 2nd
Reply

Gabriella Arroyo

could they even have gotten a gun if they wanted to?

Nov 26th
Reply

it

very interesting episode! I want a few more minutes so we can hear from the other countries!

Nov 12th
Reply

Chanaka Hettige

What a wonderful story!

Nov 12th
Reply

mari arana

What a fascinating story.

Nov 10th
Reply
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