Talk like a pirate day

Whoops, this snuck up on me this year.  My wife reminded me last night that today is international Talk Like a Pirate Day.  I like this holiday more than I should.

If interested, the official website is here:

For me, the important thing about this website is that it lists pirate phrases to use all day in English, German, and Dutch.  I use the German rather shamelessly: My favorite phrase is “Pfeffersack”, which means bag of pepper (or somebody a pirate is about to attack).  Who doesn’t want to call a friend a bag of pepper?

I start the day out each year by teaching all my classes the pirate song “Kaperfahrt” (which is listed at the bottom of the above page).   It was covered by a German Band “Die Aertzte” a few years back, which I play on YouTube after we’ve got it down, but the homemade covers on YouTube are just as fun.  I like to sing it in a round.

After that, I’ll go over the main phrases with them, assign roles, have them stand up and say a couple phrases to each other, etc.  This year I think we’ll do a couple of short skits using the words to get their creative juices flowing, and then I’ll choose a few sayings and have them do student-generated pirate stories.

UPDATE: Today worked quite well.  As expected, my German I classes didn’t quite know what was going on but enjoyed calling each other land rats and pepper sacks.  The upper level classes said “Oh yeah” and had fun, although I needed an additional reading for them that I wrote the previous year to give them enough of a challenge.  And my Seventh Grade class outsung every other section I had.  They be good pirates.


2 responses to “Talk like a pirate day

  1. Thank you so much, Nathan! You started my day off wonderfully!! Having not been totally prepared, I did not do as thorough a job as you did…just used the chance to have kids say, “Aaargh,” instead of “Da,” and they had to use pirate voices. We had a picture of Johnny Depp as Captain Sparrow up on the overhead, and they were quite creative in coming up with a story about him. I found a page “pirate vocabulary” in Russian, but didn’t really want to trust it yet without a native speaker vetting it. Next year!!


  2. Well, my German vocabulary was vetted by Captain Slappy and Ol’ Chumbucket, soI hope it holds up. This is now the fifth year I’ve done it, so I had plenty to draw upon and just ran with it. At the same time, I had so much, that I didn’t have them do as much (i.e. making up a story) as you did, so on the whole your kids probably got more out of it. At least we’ll be able to be calling each other “Land Rat” and “Pepper Sack” for awhile now. You never know when that will come in handy.


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