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Podthoughts: La Casa Rojas

Vital stats:
Format: a man speaks of many things — in Spanish
Episode duration: 5m-30m
Frequency: maybe not a going concern, but 71 episodes exist

So here’s one entirely in Spanish. If you don’t understand that language, I won’t stop you scrolling on, but if you understand even a little bit of it — or if you want to understand all of it — you might consider having a listen. On La Casa Rojas [RSS] [iTunes], the Peruvian-born, St. Paul-based Spanish teacher Luis Rojas talks about events in his life, events in the world at large, events in history, and the many vagaries of language-learning. A simple premise, to be sure, but I listen to a great many language podcasts, and at least half of them complicate themselves straight out of usefulness. This one has held to a certain purity. You want to learn Spanish? Then hey, listen to a man speak Spanish for a while.

Put the foreign linguistic element aside — not that it makes much sense to do so here — and this show would seem to follow a common but usually unfortunate podcasting form: some guy talking about stuff. But even when I began listening, my Spanish rusted to near-uselessness, the impressive friendliness of Rojas’ personality shone through. You don’t realize the rarity of this until you hear it; I get the sense that most podcasters, eager to quickly scrape together whatever audience they can, affect sour pusses and hope to gather listeners under the banner of common (if exaggerated) prejudices. The strain of this charade, I would guess, has become a leading cause of the disease known as podfade. But Rojas comes across as a genuinely friendly, open fellow, just the sort of person you hope for when you know you’ll miss some to most of the meaning of each sentence spoken. Should I go to a word like “avuncular” here? Or perhaps the closest Spanish equivalent I can find, the awfully literal “de tío”?

Read the whole thing at Maximum Fun.

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