Pirates, ahoy!

Did you know that 19 September is International Talk Like a Pirate Day? Well, in honour of this unique occasion, my lessons have taken on a piratic theme. Below is a shot of the vocabulary explanation.

This is what my blackboard typically looks like: colourful and splattered with quick sketches.

Source: http://anime.desktopnexus.com

Can you decode this into simple English?

Jack:   Ahoy, you ol’ sea dog.
Luffy:  Avast, you scallywag! You’ll walk the plank for that.
Jack:   Shiver me timbers! Nay, the crew won’t like that. Get me hearties on deck or it’ll be the cat o’ nine tails before you can say “Jolly Roger”.

There’s a Japanese comic and anime called One Piece that features Monkey D. Luffy, a reckless captain, and his band of Straw Hat Pirates. Luffy’s the one that’s freaking out in the image.

Today’s speech is loaded with words expressions from sea. Clear the decks, to go overboard, keep afloat, know the ropes, at one’s rope’s end, no room to swing a cat, the cat’s out of the bag, the whole nine yards, to be under way, to make headway, fly by night, and chock-a-block are just some examples. How many of these do you use and never knew where they came from? I had always thought the last one meant something along the lines of “so stuffed I couldn’t even manage a block of chocolate” – a vary rare condition to be in 😉

While we are on the topic of marauding, the controversial senkaku islands debate is hot here in Japan. Recently, Chinese media reported that about 1000 sea vessels had set sail for the islands in protest of Japan officially taking ownership of them. There have also been stories of boats crossing into restricted waters and people swimming up onto the islands. Tensions on land are high too. A big celebration of the 40 year relationship between Japan and China due to take place in Beijing was cancelled. Some businesses have halted their work abroad, including Toyota, due to the violent attacks by protesters. It’s scary to see how horribly affected people are by media and greed. Let’s hope these nautical exploits get sorted out quickly and peacefully.

One thought on “Pirates, ahoy!”

  1. Nice! I love the crew.

    Oh, and according to my students, Luffy is pronounced Loofie, which kind of makes sense. One Piece is wierd though, tried watching it and never got very far. Give me Naruto anyday. (And Naruto did a whole pirate thing too.)

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