I love linguistics, sociology and history. I love what I do now, but I also would have loved to spend my life studying the interplay of language, culture and perception (as anyone who’s ever studied or apprenticed with me knows).
Thus it was to my great delight that I stumbled on the YouTube channel Langfocus late last year. Hosted by a Canadian named Paul, with a charmingly unpretentious style—even when trying too hard—Langfocus consists largely of extensively researched and well-presented episodes focusing on different languages, language groups and aspects of language and linguistics.
The well-structured episodes are typically only about 15 minutes long, and he packs a lot of material in to that time.
There’s a lot of interesting geography and some history and political history in the episodes, and he spends a few episodes talking about different language classifications—which is a very interesting question by itself. What makes a language a language? What’s a lingua franca, pidgin or creole language? The answers to these all have deep political and historical roots that tell us a lot about ourselves and our histories.
If you’re interested in world history and geography, or in learning a language, it’s a great portal.