world in words podcast

Sign language: Philadelphia vs. well...pretty much everyone else

Deaf Philadelphians have their own particular version of American Sign Language, with some of its own words or slight differences in the orientation and configurations of the hands when compared to regular ASL.

And the difference between the two dialects? One is more…French? Listen to the whole story on our World in Words podcast:  here.

Eddie Izzard has often joked about language from the silliness of Latin to why English speakers are so stubbornly monolingual. However, in late ‘90’s, Eddie decided that it wasn’t enough to joke about language; he wanted to joke in other languages. 

In 1997 he took the stage and did his first set in France in French. It wasn’t funny, he admits, but it was the start of a career goal to do stand-up in as many languages as possible. Eventually he did feel funny (and fluent) in French. Now, nearly two decades after that first French show, he has toured in not only French but German and Spanish. He intends to learn Russian and Arabic next.

The World in Words sat down with Izzard to find out why he’s decided to take his humor around the globe and how he’s managed to learn all these languages. (Warning: Parts of this podcast are definitely NSFW.)

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