My old time radio podcasts get listeners not only throughout the United States, but around the world. I see countries such as Canada, Australia, the UK, and South Africa in the stats report, countries whose citizens know what great radio drama sounds like.
Of course, there are other countries where English isn’t even spoken and these shows are download. One of the biggest downloading countries is China. Both my Superman and Dragnet podcasts are big in China. I’ve often attributed to this to China opening up and curiosity about the West and its culture.In addition, some downloads may come from Hong Kong, which has a very large bilingual population, having spent several decades under British Rule.
Today, my imagination kicked in and came up with another reason to download Old Time Radio from non-English speaking countries-as a way to help learn conversational English. English, is the International language of commerce and is learned by many in China. However, with local dialects predominating in many regions of the country, it must be a challenge for some people to maintain their knowledge learned in school. I know my one semester of Russian has pretty much gone down the memory hole. If a language is not part of your life, it’s quickly forgotten.
Jack Webb’s policemen are consumate professionals. They provide excellent examples of smooth, crisp, conversation. Thus listening to Dragnet is a great way to stay immersed in the language.
However, one thing began to worry me on the new show. Pat Novak. I imagined a man travelling from China to the U.S. for a trip and talking to modern Americans in the parlance of the most hard boiled detective of the 1940s. As fair warning, foreign guests: we don’t talk like that anymore. In fact, I don’t think we ever did.
Whether listeners from other nations are wanting to brush up on their English, learn about American culture, or just enjoy a great drama, thank you for listening. I never cease to be amazed that podcasts uploaded in Boise, Idaho are listened to the world over.