Word for Word #13 Translations & foreign words
Every language plays by its own rules. So how do you faithfully represent the stories of one language in another? Novelist Hannah Kent remembers how it felt to see her bestselling book Burial Rites translated into 29 languages; literary translator Meredith McKinney inducts us in the secrets of her profession; and Sue Butler explains the allure of untranslatable words. Subscribe now on iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, or your favourite podcast app to get the latest episode delivered direct to your inbox. Listen now
Word for Word #12 They: A singular pronoun?
When it comes to the language we use around gender, change is happening fast. But some of that new language isn't so new after all. Internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch takes us deep into the history of pronouns in English, and the long and useful life of singular they; the editors look to Sweden, with an eye on The Watch List; and Norrie explains how one little word took them all the way to the High Court of Australia. Subscribe now on iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, or your favourite podcast app to get the latest episode delivered direct to your inbox. Listen now
Word for Word #11 Strine; the Australian accent
Winston Churchill called the Australian accent "the most brutal maltreatment that has ever been inflicted" on the English language. But when Strine first emerged, it was praised as an unusually pure variety. Linguist Felicity Cox traces the history of our accent from the Sydney colony to the present day - when it's still changing. Plus: pronunciation can be a source of personal anxiety and public controversy. The dictionary editors muse on the Americanisation of Australian English, the rise of "haitch", and the oral gymnastics of "ophthalmologist". Subscribe now on iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, or your favourite podcast app to get the latest episode delivered direct to your inbox. Listen now
Word for Word #10 What's in a name?
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Or would it? In this episode, we dive headfirst into the history of naming. Tiger Webb from ABC Language helps us get to grips with given name trends, surname extinction and Australian place naming; the Macquarie Dictionary editors peel back the secret stories behind everyday eponyms; and Kate is hard at work cuddling babies. Subscribe now on iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, or your favourite podcast app to get the latest episode delivered direct to your inbox. Listen now
Word for Word: Season 2
Season 2 of the Word for Word podcast is coming soon!
Word for Word #9 Australian Indigenous languages
Before 1788, hundreds of Indigenous languages were spoken in Australia. Today, that picture looks very different, but language remains an essential part of the fabric of Indigenous identity. In this special episode of Word for Word, we explore a language with tens of thousands of speakers, as well as some languages spoken only by a handful of people; novelist Kate Grenville tells the story of an unusual First Fleet lieutenant and his attempts to learn the Gadigal language; and we meet a young Indigenous woman in the remote community of Ngukurr, who is determined to keep her grandmother's language alive. Listen now
Word for Word #8 Word of the Year 2016
Join us as we go behind the scenes in the selection process for Macquarie's Word of the Year. We listen in on the Word of the Year committee meeting, featuring guest judges Dom Knight and Annabel Crabb; the dictionary team reflects on how the extraordinary politics of 2016 collided with our language last year; and Sue Butler is the guest of honour at a kebab house. Listen now
Word for Word #7 Emoji, hashtags & internet slang
Yas queen, we're finally talking internet slang! In this episode, we marvel at the evolution of language online, exploring emoji, hashtags, and new words with writer Alex McKinnon. It's lit. Also: the dictionary team reminisce about the weird things you've sent them in the mail, and the players at The Games Den reveal their favourite words. This is the last episode in our very first series of Word for Word. But don't worry! We'll be back with brand new episodes early in the new year. Listen now
Word for Word #6 Toorak tractors & sausage sandwiches
It's the question that sparked debate around the country: what do you call a sausage in a piece of bread? Your answer will likely reveal your roots, as the Macquarie team goes beyond bathers vs. cossies to explore Australian regionalisms. Also: Sue Butler reveals the secret histories behind some uniquely Australian turns of phrase, and we get closer to nature in search of favourite words. Listen now
Word for Word #5 Scrabble master
Fancy yourself a dab hand at Scrabble? Meet Esther Perrins. She's a former British national champion and Guinness World Record holder, and her highest score for a single game of Scrabble is a staggering 683 points. Also: Sue Butler muses on the enduring appeal of folk etymologies and the Pan Macmillan book club deploys some very classy favourite words. Listen now
Word for Word #4 Darn & blast
Warning: this episode contains quite a lot of swearing because we're talking about - well, swearing. This week, the Macquarie Dictionary team is living dangerously with no good, very bad, extremely naughty taboo words. Also: Sue Butler tells the story of Australia's very first dictionary, written by a notorious convict, and we swing by the local dojo to collect some favourite words. Listen now
Word for Word #3 Omar Musa: Wandering rhapsodist
This week on Word for Word, poet, rapper and author Omar Musa waxes lyrical on the rich diversity of Australian slang. Also: the Macquarie team explains how a new word gets in the dictionary and we hang out with a local Harley Davidson chapter. Listen now