Translation Magazines for Your Ears [Updated October 2019]


In September 2016,  on the Nieman Lab‘s website, Ken Doctor stated that podcasting was back in fashion.

How hot is podcasting? Stupid V.C. money hot.

Money is chasing money. Podcast advertising expanded at a 48 percent rate last year, and it’s forecast to grow about 25 percent a year through 2020. By that point, it would be approaching half a billion dollars in annual ad revenue. That growth is rising from a small base, yes, but it’s very reminiscent of the old Interactive Advertising Bureau charts of Internet advertising we saw at the turn-of-the-century: tiny numbers growing explosively.

We can mark 2016 as the year the podcast business came of age.

And indeed, almost everybody and their grandmother has a podcast: from the always-engaging and thoughtful New Yorker podcasts to the versatile Guardian podcasts… Even Alec Baldwin is podcasting (and it’s good, too).

Podcasts are quick and cheap to produce; they are portable and on-demand (you can listen to them on your smartphone and tablet, when you want); they make communication more personal and help you deliver your marketing message more efficiently.

Podcasting has found its place within the inbound marketing philosophy, but has it found its place in the translation industry? It seems so, even if in a rather demure way for now. You can judge for yourselves: Here is the list of the most popular translation magazines for your ears.

Basic Stuff

basicsSpeaking of Translation is an occasional podcast series by Eve Lindemuth Bodeux and Corinne McKay, and it’s aimed mainly at freelance translators. The topics covered vary from how to write a great CV to tips on how to manage the holidays as a freelancer, from self-publishing to working in perfect harmony with translation agencies. It’s a good starting point for the newbies in the translation industry.

Marketing Tips for Translators collects marketing advice from translators and industry experts. Hugely popular among freelancers, this podcast series by Swedish translator Tess Whitty has won the Community Choice Award for 2014, 2015, and 2016 and boasts over 100,000 downloads since the debut in January 2014.

Translator City Radio is hosted by Zingword‘s founders, Gil Michel and Robert Rogge. FYI, Zingword is a platform claiming to offer “Simply marvellous tools for translators. Zingword is the new and easy to use CAT tool – you won’t have to relearn everything.” Some well-known experts (like Richard Brooks and John Moran) have already joined the podcast and said their piece on the most popular topics. The last episode is from 2016. Let’s hope there’ll be more.

Translation Confidential is hosted by Argo Translation and is aimed both at translators and translators buyers.

Lingthusiasm, hosted by Gretchen McCulloch and Lauren Gawne. Some episodes are available for free and others are paid content. Topics range from swearing to linguistics book reviews, from hypercorrection to conlangs.

The Russian Word’s Worth – This is a great collection of articles written by Michele Berdy, an American journalist who has been a Moscow resident since 1978, also has a podcast version on the same page.

Hardcore Stuff

superman-clipart-superman-clip-art-free-clip-arts-super-man-logo-clipart-best-picturesDo you want to up your localisation game and find out from industry leaders how to approach multilingual and multi-cultural audiences? Here are two podcasts that will offer some expert advice.

The Worldly Marketer Podcast by Kathrin Bussmann tackles the not-so-simple issue of how to grow a business in today’s global marketplace. Among the guests are some seasoned translation and localisation industry experts, from Renato Beninatto to Paula Shannon (LILT), from Florian Faes (Slator) to Anne-Marie Colliander Lind. Each episode focuses on a specific market or a specific industry in which localisation/globalisation can play a key role for business growth.

Globally Speaking Radio is sponsored by RWS Moravia (so there is bound to be some self-promotion) and hosted by Renato Beninatto and Michael Stevens. This is a podcast for the savvy professionals who want a heads up on the latest trends and issues in localisation.

Tech Stuff


Translation technology provider, Iconic Translation Machines, has launched the first two episodes of a podcast on neural machine translation. I’m looking forward to more episodes.

Linear Digression is a podcast on machine learning and big data. In addition to useful practical advice (e.g., how to steal a PIN code with signal processing and machine learning), the series comprises few interesting episodes on translation technology, for example on BLEU score for machine translation evaluation and the use of neural machine translation by Google.

Talking Machines, basically machine learning made easy.

For the Literary Crowd

typewriter-with-books-1462563908o00That Other Word is a collaborative podcast between the Center for Writers and Translators at the American University of Paris and  Two Lines Press in San Francisco. As of today, there are 14 episodes on classic and contemporary literature in translation, along with engaging interviews with writers, translators, and publishers. If literary translation is your niche – if you want to explore not-so-mainstream writers and underappreciated books – this podcast is for you.

Asymptote is another podcast that should be on your smartphone. Asymptote was born as a website dedicated to world literature in translation and, as you can read on the About page, the name is derived “from the dotted line on a graph that a mathematical function may tend toward, but never reach. Similarly, a translated text may never fully replicate the effect of the original; it is its own creative act.” The website has a blog and educational guidelines for teachers as well. In collaboration with the Guardian books network, Asymptote publishes a column called “Translation Tuesdays” highlighting the work of translators and offering a short translated piece, from poetry to short stories and book extracts.

Audio snippets

With a quick search on iTunes, Stitcher or any other oracle of your choice, you can also find episodes on translation-related issues within podcast series belonging to other domains. Two examples for all: The French Mangacast (Mangacast, l’émission du manga et de l’animation japonaise) hosted discussions on fansub and translation of Japanese manga and anime; Radiolab, “a show about curiosity” partly sponsored by the Sloan Foundation, has also produced podcasts about interpreting and translation.

Do you know of any other translation/localisation/globalisation podcasts? If so, drop me a line. I’d be happy to add them to this list.

Terminological note: In case you didn’t know yet, the word podcast is a portmanteau allegedly invented by British journalist Ben Hammersley in 2004.


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