Entries in pirates! (3)


"How to Talk Like a Pirate … In His Native Javanese" on Danger Room

International Talk Like A Pirate Day is here again for its 10th anniversary. Which means the old gags — shivering your timbers, calling out to your maties,  mispronouncing “Sarsgaard” — are getting kind of stale, especially when there are real-life pirates roaming the high seas. If you really want to rap like a modern-day Captain Jack, it means learning a few choices phrases in a new language – one spoken by the gents hijacking ships right now.

Last year Danger Room’s hard-hitting ITLAPD coverage brought you linguistic quick guides to Somali and Yemeni Arabic. But since then pirate attacks off the Horn of Africa have dropped significantly, especially over this past summer. Some credit may be to the weather, since it turns out that rough seas during monsoon season restrict the ability of Somali pirates to operate. Some credit may also be to the combined efforts of various anti-piracy forces, including those of the United States and the EU, which have stepped up attacks against pirates in the past year. And some credit may be to increased security measures on ships that are passing through the Gulf of Aden and around the Horn of Africa — a trend which continues results reported in 2011. But whatever the reasons, the facts are that attacks are down, and so you may be starting to wonder if all the that time you’ve spent in the last year learning pirate phrases in Somali was worth it. You may even be wondering if it’s worth it to talk like a pirate at all.

Well matorka demee, sailor! Just because piracy is down around Somalia doesn't mean the high seas are safe for mariners the world over. While the drop in Somali piracy has reduced the rate of piracy worldwide, piracy remains high in the number two region for pirate activity in the world: South East Asia and the the Indian Sub-Continent. And the number one area for pirate activity in the region remains Indonesia. In the first half of 2012 there were 32 attacks in Indonesia, one in the Malacca Straits, and four in Malaysia — compared to 21, zero and 11 for all of 2011. If piracy continues at the same rate for the rest of 2012 we can expect a record year for piracy in the region, continuing a trend that started at an all time low mark for piracy in the region in 2009.

So it’s time to learn a little pirate Indonesian, me hearties.

Read the full post at Danger Room.


"Climate Studies Show: Somali Pirates Take Summer Vacations, Too" on Wired's Danger Room

It’s the first full week of summer, and most of us are probably thinking about how to get away to escape the heat, relax, and maybe hit a wave or two. Well, it turns out that Somali pirates take a summer break, too — but for different reasons.

A recent report produced by researchers of the New Zealand Defense Force and the Royal Australian Navy (Climatic controls on piracy in the Horn of Africa region, 2010–2011) proposes a new spin on the observed temporal pattern of attacks by Somali pirates based on weather, or more specifically the monsoons that occur in the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea during the summer and winter.

Read the full post at Danger Room.


"How to Talk Like a Pirate … in His Native Somali" on Wired's Danger Room

Sept. 19 is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. For most would-be buccaneers, this is an opportunity to drink grog and try out their best Captain Jack Sparrow impersonations. Danger Room certainly does not discourage this kind of behavior.

At the same time, piracy is not just a thing of the past, but rather a real-world problem plaguing the some of the most dangerous areas of the world today. And so with this in mind but also in the spirit of International Talk Like A Pirate Day, Danger Room would like to offer this guide to talking like a real pirate — as in, the one of the guys hijacking ships in the Horn of Africa region today. It’s the first in what may become a series of ITLAPD features.

Read the full post at Danger Room.