Rough Translation


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.


United States




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.




White Lies: The Men on the Roof

It all started with a photograph. A photograph from 1991 of a prison takeover in rural Alabama. A photograph of a group of men on the roof of that prison holding a bedsheet scrawled with a message: "Pray for us." In the first episode of the new season of White Lies, hosts Chip Brantley and Andrew Beck Grace go searching for answers to the questions raised by this photograph. Who were these men? What on earth had made them want to take over that prison? And what became of them after? As they...


Ukraine: Under The Counter

One weekend. An amateur smuggling operation. A wartime mission. The story, in collaboration with Radiolab.


The Stoop: Reclaiming Black In Australia

Who is Black in Australia? (Or "Blak?") Our friends at The Stoop listen to the calls of the kookaburra and reexamine the global reach of the American Black Panther Party to understand the relationship between Blackness and Indigeneity down under.


The Cat Must Still Be Fed

A hyperlocal news site in Red Hook, N.Y. posts a job opening. A journalist in Ukraine applies. And what readers think of as "local news" is going to change dramatically.


Alone@Work: Miles To Go Before I'm Me

726 miles in one day. Gas station sushi. Mysterious loading docks. We hit the road with two American women who found long-haul trucking as a means of escape and self-transformation.


Ourselves@Work: Home Is Where The Hustle Is

Nigerian novelist Chibundu Onuzo dreams of returning to Lagos, but she worries she'll struggle to adapt in the city of her birth, where the word "oppressor" is often used as a compliment. In this episode, she seeks advice from her "big boss" older brother.


You're@Work: The Right Persona for the Job

Who are you at work? In this episode, two stories of people who really commit to embodying their work selves. The result? New realms and new personalities.


Failing@Work: Epic Fails & Failure Epics

Many of us think we can't share our stories of failure until we've reached success. Some Mexico City entrepreneurs started a club to change that, and the world took notice.


Stuck@Work: Your Country's Brand Is Escape, But You Can't

When Portugal forbade bosses from contacting employees after hours, international media jumped at the chance to cover the new law. Portuguese workers were oddly quiet. Why?


Lunching@Work: When Eating at Your Desk Is Forbidden

In 2021, France suspended a law that forbids eating lunch at work. We talk to an American teacher relieved to see it go and a French historian determined to bring it back.


Slackers@Work: A Song for the Exhausted

A video ricochets across Chinese offices, and a scooter thief becomes an icon for brewing discontent. Why is a thief who says he's tired of working viewed by the Chinese state as such a threat?


New Season: @Work. Starting June 1.

We're back @Work. The new season of Rough Translation will tell surprising stories from workplaces and work cultures around the world.


The Good Russians

Hundreds of thousands of Russians are leaving Russia. They're facing an uncertain welcome abroad. Poet and writer Linor Goralik joins us to read from "Exodus 22," her uncomfortably frank conversations with Russians who – before the war – lived in a Westernized bubble, ignoring the mounting threats of Putin's regime. Then, the bubble burst.


The Scarf and the Snuffbox

What can a blank piece of paper, four ballerinas, a scarf and snuff box mean in Russia? A conversation with Russian Anthropologist Alexandra Arkhipova about how anti-war protestors resist the war in Ukraine through code and hidden messages.


Letter of Unhappiness

When Naira calls her parents back home in Russia to talk about the war in Ukraine, they treat her as an outsider and a threat. She finds a way to break through the propaganda wall, with inspiration from a chain letter.


The Culture Front

When protecting a language is used as justification for war, how can its speakers fight back? A conversation with Russian speakers of the diaspora who are rethinking their relationship to language, identity, and the Russian community.


Fighting Words In Ukraine

Vladimir Putin joined the KGB at age 23. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy got his early training in a no less Soviet institution–the world of competitive comedy. We update our 2019 episode about a high-stakes comedy competition in Ukraine.


Presenting 'TED Radio Hour': Work, Play, Rest

The past few years have shaken the fundamental ways we live. It's... disorienting. But it's also an opportunity to reexamine how we spend our time. In this episode from TED Radio Hour, speakers investigate evolving notions of what it means to pay our bills.


May We Have This Dance?

A jazz dance born in Harlem in the 1920s ends up in a tiny Swedish town. What happens when Black dancers try to bring the Lindy Hop home?


Moms In Translation

An Irish journalist discovers she belongs in a place she's never been. A 6-year-old boy decides he's from another country. Stories about finding home far from home.