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Rough Translation

NPR

Our expectations of work are changing. Whether you're a cubicle-dweller, side gig hustler, or blue-collar breadwinner, we're all experiencing some major changes to the idea of what a workplace should look and feel like. Can the culture of work change too? In this latest season of Rough Translation, we'll be traveling the globe to see how people are shifting their relationship to their jobs. From the mysterious man who inspired a "slacker revolution" in China to an American trans woman trucker changing the rules of the road, and from to the new codes of small talk in the Brazilian metaverse, to the ways that a war can change how Ukrainians look at work (and how work can change how they see a war). We explore what happens when international workplace norms are challenged both by local customs and homegrown rule-breakers.

Our expectations of work are changing. Whether you're a cubicle-dweller, side gig hustler, or blue-collar breadwinner, we're all experiencing some major changes to the idea of what a workplace should look and feel like. Can the culture of work change too? In this latest season of Rough Translation, we'll be traveling the globe to see how people are shifting their relationship to their jobs. From the mysterious man who inspired a "slacker revolution" in China to an American trans woman trucker changing the rules of the road, and from to the new codes of small talk in the Brazilian metaverse, to the ways that a war can change how Ukrainians look at work (and how work can change how they see a war). We explore what happens when international workplace norms are challenged both by local customs and homegrown rule-breakers.

Location:

United States

Networks:

NPR

Description:

Our expectations of work are changing. Whether you're a cubicle-dweller, side gig hustler, or blue-collar breadwinner, we're all experiencing some major changes to the idea of what a workplace should look and feel like. Can the culture of work change too? In this latest season of Rough Translation, we'll be traveling the globe to see how people are shifting their relationship to their jobs. From the mysterious man who inspired a "slacker revolution" in China to an American trans woman trucker changing the rules of the road, and from to the new codes of small talk in the Brazilian metaverse, to the ways that a war can change how Ukrainians look at work (and how work can change how they see a war). We explore what happens when international workplace norms are challenged both by local customs and homegrown rule-breakers.

Language:

English


Episodes

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

6/29/2022
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.

Duration:00:34:35

Failing@Work: Epic Fails & Failure Epics

6/22/2022
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.

Duration:00:31:13

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

6/15/2022
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?

Duration:00:41:54

Lunching@Work: When Eating at Your Desk Is Forbidden

6/8/2022
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.

Duration:00:31:06

Slackers@Work: A Song for the Exhausted

6/1/2022
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?

Duration:00:41:22

New Season: @Work. Starting June 1.

5/25/2022
We're back @Work. The new season of Rough Translation will tell surprising stories from workplaces and work cultures around the world.

Duration:00:02:45

The Good Russians

4/27/2022
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.

Duration:00:20:15

The Scarf and the Snuffbox

4/15/2022
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.

Duration:00:17:46

Letter of Unhappiness

3/30/2022
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.

Duration:00:16:08

The Culture Front

3/15/2022
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.

Duration:00:41:13

Fighting Words In Ukraine

3/2/2022
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.

Duration:00:31:45

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

2/16/2022
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.

Duration:00:50:41

May We Have This Dance?

12/22/2021
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?

Duration:00:45:13

Moms In Translation

12/15/2021
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.

Duration:00:44:09

Tasting At A Distance

12/8/2021
You can zoom around the world through sight and sound, but you can't taste at a distance, right? Stories about what happens when we try.

Duration:00:34:16

Home/Front: Marla's List

7/9/2021
Marla kept a detailed account of Iraqi civilians harmed by war. How did she recruit people in the U.S. military to help them? And what toll did it take on her? Part 2 of the story of Marla Ruzicka. You can find Part 1 here.

Duration:00:49:34

Home/Front: Marla's War

6/30/2021
Marla Ruzicka didn't belong in a war zone. Nobody in Afghanistan knew what to make of her. Until Marla started to solve a problem that no one thought could be solved.

Duration:00:35:55

Home/Front: Rebels In The Valley

6/23/2021
Two worlds: dress uniforms and foosball tables. The military and Silicon Valley used to work hand in hand. Now, why won't big tech build them a new gonculator?

Duration:00:30:44

Home/Front: Battle Borne

6/16/2021
Alicia's situation raises questions about the VA's caregiver program. And a new diagnosis changes everything for Matt. How will Alicia and Matt start healing their respective wounds, borne out of different battles? Find part 2, Battle Lines, here. And part 1, Battle Rattle, here.

Duration:00:40:37

Home/Front: Battle Lines

6/9/2021
Alicia Lammers takes on the twin roles of wife and caregiver to her veteran husband. What happens when your husband becomes your official duty? Part 2 of the story of Matt and Alicia Lammers. You can find Part 1, Battle Rattle, here.

Duration:00:40:01