Talking Like Real Pirates

Yesterday was Talk Like a Pirate Day. Coincidentally, it was also the day we uploaded the video/podcast of a Wheeler Centre event last week featuring Canadian journalist Jay Bahadur. Bahadur is the author of Deadly Waters, a look at the world of Somali pirates that describes an anarchic world of high-stakes drama against a backdrop of poverty and lawlessness. Piracy is an ancient form of illegitimate wealth-creation. By targeting Red Sea and Arabian Gulf merchant shipping, Horn of Africa piracy can be extremely lucrative, but it also threatens shipping routes and is driving up the cost of insurance.

If you want to talk like a real pirate, as opposed to a cartoon, you can forget your “hearties” and “shiver me timbers”. Instead, you’d be better off memorising phrases like, “Istaag ama waan ku tooganayaa!”, which is Somali for “Stop or I will shoot!” or “Kam beh reejaal bilmarkab?”, Yemeni for “How many men are on this ship?” Here’s more on talking like a real pirate from Wired magazine.

(Click to watch video.)

(Click to watch video.)

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