Rough Translation


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Subscribers: 5850
Reviews: 22

 May 31, 2020

 Mar 23, 2020
Great podcast for insights into other countries and other cultures! Gregory Warner is an excellent host.

 Feb 27, 2020

 Feb 23, 2020
What a great idea this podcast is, but most of all, excellently executed.

 Dec 26, 2019
Excellent journalism I would like to give it 6 stars.


How are the things we're talking about being talked about somewhere else in the world? Gregory Warner tells stories that follow familiar conversations into unfamiliar territory. At a time when the world seems small but it's as hard as ever to escape our echo chambers, Rough Translation takes you places.

Episode Date
From Niqab To N95
The French republic "lives with her face uncovered," say the posters. But now face masks are mandatory. We look back at why covering your face in France used to be a sign of bad citizenship, until it wasn't.
May 27, 2020
Hotel Corona
One hundred and eighty recovering COVID-19 patients. One Jerusalem hotel. Secular, religious, Arabs, Jews, old, young. Their phones are out, they're recording. And the rest of Israel is... tuning in.
May 13, 2020
American Surrogate: 30 Months Later
Back in 2017, we brought you the story of a Chinese mom who hired an American surrogate to carry her baby. Each needed something from the other that was hard to admit. Their relationship became a crash course in transcontinental communication and the meaning of family. Now, in the middle of a pandemic, we check in with them.
Apr 29, 2020
The Coronavirus Guilt Trip
Public shame is a powerful tool. But how useful is it when trying to curb a global pandemic? Shaming stories from South Korean chat rooms, a Pakistani street corner, and a Brooklyn grocery store.
Apr 17, 2020
WeChats From The Future
She felt the urgency before her husband did. A story about the time lag between the arrival of the coronavirus in two different nations, and how that played out in a marriage
Apr 02, 2020
How Covid-19 Is Challenging Cultures
This week on Rough Translation, we check in with NPR international correspondents in China, Germany and Greece about the ways that culture shapes—and is reshaped by—responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mar 19, 2020
The Original Sin Of Li Jiabao
A young Chinese exchange student in Taiwan with no history of activism posts a video criticizing China's president Xi Jinping on Twitter, then asks for asylum. His request for protection fuels a larger discussion about Taiwan's role as a haven for Chinese dissidents, and also raises questions about who he is as an individual and his motivations. Who is he, and can he be trusted?
Feb 26, 2020
Rough Translation Presents: Throughline
This week, we present the latest episode of NPR's Throughline, a look at the life and complicated legacy of the assassinated Iranian military leader, Qassem Soleimani.
Jan 29, 2020
Whose Ukraine Is It Anyway?
Please, take our survey!
At a Ukrainian comedy competition founded by President Volodymyr Zelensky, can humor unite a divided country?
Dec 04, 2019
Ukraine: Race Against The Machine
In the country on the other side of the impeachment hearings... A comedian runs for president of Ukraine and wins in a landslide, with a parliamentary majority to pass any law he wants. So now what? Our host, Gregory Warner, reports from Kyiv.
Nov 20, 2019
Preview: Rough Translation In Ukraine
Listen to hear a preview of a special two-part episode about Ukraine, reported by Gregory Warner.
Nov 13, 2019
Mom In Translation
For our season finale, a listener's story: When a six-year-old boy adopts Tokyo as his new home, his American mom has to figure out where she belongs in her son's new life.

If you want to share your story, email
Oct 02, 2019
Liberté, Égalité and French Fries
What happens when the employees of a business take the corporate philosophy so deeply to heart, that it actually becomes a problem for the company?

To listen to more Rough Translation, check out our previous episodes.
Sep 19, 2019
When We Talk About Love
We visit a storytelling podcast from China that slips under the radar of China's government censors, and other international podcast stories about the search for love.
Sep 04, 2019
Brazil In Black And White: Update
Two radically different ways of seeing race come into conflict in Brazil, provoking a national conversation about who is Black? And who is not Black enough? We revisit our first ever Rough Translation episode, with an update on how the election of an anti-affirmative action president is affecting the debate.

If you want to see a photo of the medical school students:
Aug 21, 2019
The Mind Of The Mark
If you're the kind of person who thinks you can't be conned, that assumption may make it harder for you to recognize when you actually are being scammed. We speak with professional poker player and author Maria Konnikova about how con-artists get inside the stories we all tell ourselves, about ourselves. Then we go to an international multimillion dollar scam in Costa Rica, where a master of the con meets his match... the IT guy.
Aug 07, 2019
What Would Jesus Drive?
What if more evangelical Christians in the United States fought climate change with the same spirit they bring to the issue of abortion? In this episode, we go back to a surprisingly recent period when that nearly happened. We meet two evangelicals who made it their mission to bridge the divide between Christians and environmentalists. What happened, and why they say the best way to start conversations about the planet is with readings of the bible.

For photos and links:
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Jul 24, 2019
When Failure Is A 4-Letter Word
On today's episode, entrepreneurs around the world are trying to redefine how their societies perceive failure, by doing the scariest thing possible: standing up in public and admitting their mistakes.

Links to more stories:

Tell us your story: #ShareYourFailure (
Jul 11, 2019
The Search: Part 2
A fragile alliance begins to fracture, as a romantic photo of Kamaran resurfaces. Ahmed confronts his family. And Sebastian meets with ISIS.

* Note: This story contains strong language and sounds of war.
Jun 20, 2019
The Search: Part 1
When a journalist goes missing in Iraq, his friends and family have to figure out a rescue plan.

* Note: This story contains strong language and sounds of war.
Jun 12, 2019
The Man Who Sedated Eichmann
The capture of Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann was one of Israel's proudest moments. But the doctor at the center of the spy operation refused to talk about his role — even with his family. Today, his children ask why.
May 29, 2019
How to Speak Addiction
A daughter — and reporter — discovers an uncomfortable truth about her mother's alcoholism. She travels to the other side of the world to find out if there's a better way to treat addiction.
May 15, 2019
We Don't Say That
France is the place where for decades you weren't supposed to talk about someone's blackness, unless you said it in English. Today, we're going to meet the people who took a very French approach to change that.

(Note: This story contains strong language in English and French.)
May 01, 2019
D.I.Y. Mosul
Fed up with government inaction, young people start rebuilding Mosul on their own. But in post-ISIS Iraq, volunteering can quickly become an act of rebellion.
Apr 17, 2019
New season: The Rebels. Starting April 17
We've traveled far away to bring you stories that hit close to home. This season, we follow people who break the rules and challenge what's normal, wherever they are.
Apr 10, 2019
Two sisters attempt to use a 19th century novelist to outwit modern Pakistani restrictions on women. And a war reporter discovers the power of drawing room comedy to understand her own family. (And warning: This episode has explicit language.)
Jul 11, 2018
War Poems
Taliban poetry. An Afghan cooking show. The US military needs a better weapon. Up comes the perfect person for the job.
Jul 03, 2018
A trashy daytime talk show in Argentina does the unthinkable. It becomes a forum for feminism. How this happened and what it changed.
Jun 29, 2018
Ukraine vs. Fake News
Today, we revisit an episode from last season. Fake news from Russia helped spark a real war in Ukraine. What can Ukraine's fight against fake news teach the US?
Jun 27, 2018
Ghana's Parent Trap
Kids are starting school at younger and younger ages. This week, one country's bold experiment to change how it teaches young children. And why it had to hide that change from their parents.
Jun 20, 2018
The Apology Broker
We trace the journey of an apology, from Japan to the U.S., that got an unlikely broker. Along the way, she had to work out: what a sorry is, who it's for, and what makes it stick.
Jun 13, 2018
Coming June 13th
The award-winning podcast returns with five original stories about people trying to cross a bridge from one worldview to another, even when everyone's telling them you can't get there from here
Jun 05, 2018
The Refugee's Dating Coach
A Syrian refugee in Berlin hopes to find love but is stumped by German dating codes and is terrified of crossing the line between flirting and harassing. A professional 'flirt coach' steps in to be his guide. (For photos of Sophia and Aktham:
Sep 25, 2017
Om Alone In India
A day of yoga in the US. A yoga war in India. A court case in California and why the Indian government is watching it. A story about the poses that bind us. (Tell us about yourself. Fill out our survey:
Sep 18, 2017
Anna In Somalia
A man is trapped in a remote prison. And he's trapped in his own mind. Until he hears a knock on the wall.... and words from another time and place.
Sep 12, 2017
American Surrogate
A Chinese mom hires an American surrogate to carry her baby. Each needs something from the other that is hard to admit. The next 9 months will be a crash course in transcontinental communication. And the meaning of family.
Sep 05, 2017
The Congo We Listen To
It made headlines worldwide: Hundreds of women raped in one Congolese village. But when one researcher arrives in town, something feels off. (Note: This episode contains descriptions of violence.)
Aug 28, 2017
Ukraine vs. Fake News
Fake news from Russia helped spark a real war in Ukraine. What can Ukraine's fight against fake news teach the US?
Aug 21, 2017
Brazil In Black And White
Two radically different ways of seeing race come into sudden conflict in Brazil, provoking a national conversation about who is Black? And who is not Black enough?
Aug 14, 2017
Coming August 14th
Travel with us. Each week we go to a new country to hear a story that says something about what's happening in the United States. Subscribe now.
Aug 04, 2017