126. Of eastern people in the west

Some time back we dealt with English as a lingua franca. Today we are revisiting that topic with a narrower focus: Chinese students are travelling the world and attending western universities, in America, Britain and also Germany.

Today's guest is Roger's friend and former colleague Ginny, who lived and worked in China for a while. She provides insights on where exactly the cultural similarities and differences lie, and how you can make Chinese people and particularly Chinese students feel welcome in your country, not only by using English as a lingua franca.

Filial piety
Read up on the concept of reverence towards your elders as it is established in China and other East-Asian countries.

MP3 herunterladen (6,2MB)

125. Of leaving unions and the "backstop"

Roger's explanation of the finer points of the current Brexit situation continues.

Today Peter will get an answer to his question from last episode: He'll finally get to know what the so-called "backstop" is actually about and why so many Brits consider it problematic.

Now the RoPeCast team is holding their breath for tomorrow's parliamentary decision.

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124. 100 days hence

Political language can sometimes be rather cryptic. Currently, that is definitely the case with all the issues surrounding the "Brexit".

We will solve the problem ... Well, that is, we'll clear up the language-related parts. We leave politics and the British economy for someone else to deal with and hope for the best.

MP3 herunterladen (7,1MB)

X15 - Redecorating for Christmas

After two busy but not overly productive months, the RoPeCast tech departments sends out apologies for a delay in production and some issues with the MP3 podlog.

Roger and Peter wish you a pleasant and relaxing festive season.

MP3 herunterladen (1,6MB)

123. Phonetically challenged

Carry is back in the studio with some more insights on phonetics. Today she and Roger focus on pronunciation problems typical for learners from a certain area and what teachers can do about those.

Be aware, while the episode takes reference to Germany and the Saarland foremost, many of the problems mentioned are relevant for speakers of other native languages, too. Our Russian listeners for example might also be affected by what is referenced with the German term "Auslautverhärtung", that is the de-voicing of word final consonants (think: мороз vs. морозный).

Listen in and try it out! And don't forget to hold your larynx while doing so.

English vowel chart
Illustrating the vowels for the British standard "Received Pronunciation".

German vowel chart
Compare it to the German vowels system as shown here. Notice some of the vowels mentioned here are not natively German and occur in loanwords etc.

MP3 herunterladen (6,9MB)