Citing national security, the Bush Administration now offers grants to Americans to study languages such as Arabic. We travel to Cairo where language schools are full of American students. Also, a conversation with self-described language fanatic Elizabeth Little. And we also take a journey through the linguistic politics – and just plain silliness – of the Eurovision Song Contest. Here’s an example of both the politics and the silliness: the lyricists of Belgium’s official entry in the contest decided to avoid either of the country’s two official languages. Not surprising, given that the country is sharply divided along linguistic lines. But they also decided to reject every single one of the globe’s other 6,000 – 7,000 languages, in favor of a completely made-up language.
podcast #5: Americans’ language-learning adventures abroad and the linguistic sensitives of a Eurotrashy song contest