The Curiosity Podcast

Klingon and Esperanto Are Important Languages, Too

Language encapsulates every part of a culture, from its history of ideas to the way its speakers perceive reality itself. And according to linguistics expert Arika Okrent, author of "In the Land of Invented Languages," even "made-up" languages like Klingon and Esperanto serve an important purpose. She joins the Curiosity Podcast to discuss the field of linguistics and why we say what we say.

In addition to her first-level certification in Klingon, Arika Okrent's education includes an M.A. in Linguistics from Gallaudet, the world's only university for the deaf, and a joint PhD from the Department of Linguistics and the Department of Psychology's Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience Program at the University of Chicago. Stream or download the podcast using the player below, or find the episode everywhere podcasts are found, including iTunes, Stitcher, and Gretta.

One Language to Rule Them All?

On this episode, Arika Okrent, author of "In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build A Perfect Language," discusses:

  • How linguists look at languages differently than others.
  • Why specific words are important to different cultures, and what those words say about those speakers.
  • Fan culture surrounding constructed languages such as Klingon, Dothraki, and the numerous creations of J.R.R. Tolkien.
  • The utilitarian and cultural purpose for teaching language and how it evolves over time.
  • Differences between living languages and dead languages, and how languages die in the first place.

Click here to follow along with a written transcript of this episode (and share clips with your friends).

Podcast Show Notes and Links

A Real-Life Klingon Opera

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About the Curiosity Podcast: Curiosity makes you smarter – and so will this podcast. Each week, we talk to experts who can help you get smart about the world around you, with a timely blend of cultural trends, life hacks, and developments in science and technology. You'll learn about your mind and your body, outer space and the depths of the sea, how history shaped the world into what it is today, and more. From the largest galaxies to your smallest brain cells, our curiosity will help you understand the world better.

Written by Cody Gough January 30, 2018

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