Introducing the Lernen to Talk Podcast

The Lernen to Talk Podcast is here!

Not to be confused with the Lernen to Talk Show, the Lernen to Talk Podcast shares stories (in English) from people who have spent time learning a language. The audio format provides the opportunity for a longer exploration of the positive impact learning a second language often has on one’s life. The first two episodes are now available for you to listen to.

ANDREW HERMANN is the founder and CEO of Better World Beans, a direct trade coffee company which is changing the world – one mug at a time. In this episode, you’ll here how learning Spanish has been an integral part in Andrew’s journey as an entrepreneur. You’ll hear how a volunteer trip to the Dominican Republic with Education Across Borders at age 15 transformed into a growing business which has already improved the lives of a cooperative of coffee farmers. You’ll hear how aspects of Andrew’s Jesuit education at Seattle Preparatory School and Xavier University became the foundation of his professional lifestyle, and how Cincinnati’s Deeper Roots Coffee inspired Andrew as he developed the project. You’ll hear how Dominican Spanish is really hard to understand. Oh, and you’ll hear a goose.

Hearing Andrew’s story was very moving for me personally. This interview took place on my second visit to this coffee growing community in the Dominican Republic. Last year, after my eyes were opened by the coffee farmers themselves, I had the honor of working as a barista at 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab, where I learned to prepare (and enjoy) coffee with care. While I worked there, we served Better World Beans as a “guest coffee” for a whole month! I got to grind, brew, and serve delicious pourover coffee from the very coffee trees I had seen and touched. Coffee, like most agricultural products, is something we tend to take for granted. I hope this podcast reminds you to think about the people behind your favorite morning beverage, and the long journey each bean makes to your mouth!

Learning about coffee is like learning a language. The learning never ends!

If you like the Podcast, please share it with anyone you think might find it interesting! Coffee drinkers, Spanish speakers, and permaculture enthusiasts alike will find something to connect with.



JOHN KLINGLER is a teacher based in Cincinnati who teaches history and German. Before he became a teacher, he lived in Germany, South Korea, Turkey, and Italy. In this episode, in addition to some crazy stories from John’s time abroad, you’ll hear thoughts on language requirements in U.S. universities, the balance between acquisition and retention, and how hard it is to find good ice cream in Iraq.

John and I have been friends for about a year, and this conversation was a rare opportunity for me to hear how his affection for languages may inform his worldview in general, and in what ways our thoughts overlap. I hope you enjoy!

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