Radio Free Transmission

Well, it’s about time I added my two Euro cents to the “what it’s like to be an anglophone expat in Berlin” discussion. I’ll avoid the usual references to sauerkraut, not crossing the road against the lights etc.* in favour of something that’s been bugging me for a while now, namely the difficulties posed by something as simple as listening to the radio if you have young children who speak English.
The problem is that radio stations here tend to play unexpurgated versions of English songs – at least the stations we tend to listen to, Radio Eins and Flux FM. This can be a bit awkward when you’re sitting at the breakfast table with your four- and six-year-old daughters and that Lilly Allen tune comes on. You know the one that I mean. This has happened more than once.
You could supposedly make the case that it’s our own fault when it comes to Radio Eins, as their slogan is ‘Nur für Erwachsene’, which means ‘Only for adults’, though this is not meant entirely seriously. Flux have no such excuse though. It’s not as if no-one in Berlin speaks English, after all. What was really annoying, though, was when we heard Cake’s version of ‘I Will Survive’ recently after the girls were in bed, and they played the version with the swearing deleted!
Help is at hand, though. To protect our daughter’s ears from the sort of language they’d hear on the street every day if we were still in London, we now tend to listen to Radio Teddy. Yes, that’s right, a station aimed at kids – or if you believe their marketing, “the whole family”. It is pretty hard going for those over 12, but in its defence the girls love it. I do occasionally listen the World Service on, but I usually get shouted down pretty quickly. Sadly it’s a shadow of its former self now the government have slashed its funding, and I often find myself tuning in only to find they are playing a repeat of an item broadcast earlier the same day. Even Radio Teddy beats that…

*If you like funny lists (let’s face it, who doesn’t?) then here are two for you:

2 Responses to “Radio Free Transmission”

  1. Ilka Says:

    The problem with Radio Teddy is the music though… there might be no swearing on the radio, but if it lasts too long the parents might start.

  2. Giles McCormick Smith Says:

    A fair point, and well made!
    I might have done the World Service a bit of a disservice – I’ve listened a little more frequently over the last week or so, and have heard quite a few interesting peices, and managed to avoid hearing any repeats. I suspect, however, that if one listened for more than a couple of hours in one sitting items would start to come round again (and I don’t just mean the news).

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