Perspective: Can You Hear Me Now?

Sep 16, 2020

When I was 18, I received a short-wave radio from my dad for Christmas. I was SO excited.

In high school we just had reel-to-reel tapes recorded by the department chair who was French. I was studying French in college and we had cassette tapes, but this radio meant I could try and listen to Radio France or even the BBC live. I say try because you had to listen to various frequencies that wouldn’t always come in because of weather conditions or the time of day.

To listen with a short-wave radio required a commitment, it often meant staying up late and carefully tuning the dials with minute movements. I remember hearing the Queen’s message fading in and out on the BBC. And listening to rapid-fire French from Paris.

Fast-forward to today and we have the miracle of the internet, allowing us to listen any time, anywhere to foreign broadcasts wherever we are. What is even more amazing is that the sound is clear. No fading in and out, no static or straining to hear. It is like you are right there in the room. It is a pure delight to behold. It takes you to different countries and cultures. And it lets you hear native speakers without leaving your chair.

I’m Rosie Klepper and that’s my perspective.