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Walk the gangplank and plunge into pirate language on HERE.com

Ahoy mates! If you looked at your language options recently on HERE.com, your ‘timbers’ could have been shivered — that is, you were surprised by a wee addition.

Don’t worry, it’s not the effects of last night’s grog, it’s “International Talk Like a Pirate Day” on September 19th and HERE.com is now offered in a new language.

Why do we need such a day? Even the founders, John Baur and Mark Summers asked that question...Arrr! Their simple answer: “Talking like a pirate is fun.” It started for them when, during a friendly racquetball game in 1995, and for reasons they “still don’t quite understand,” they started talking in pirate slang.

A movement was started when they picked a random date to officially “talk like a pirate” (September 19) and when syndicated humor columnist Dave Barry picked up on the idea, it took off.

 

Now, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube all have English (Pirate language) as an option. To carry on the tradition, HERE.com has also been populated with pirate language.

Avast!

Just go to the hamburger menu on the top right of the page to your settings and change to the English (Pirate) option.

pirate language option

new settings

To find out more about adding this option, I spoke with HERE’s Keith Thorne, Lead Developer aka “Redbeard, the Helmsman,” about making the change.

KeithPirate

The notion came about, in part, to provide a consistent experience for the many users who use pirate language on Facebook and are referred to HERE.com from there. Keith also said, “We support all different languages, why not pirate? And, it’s all about fun!”

Fun Times

Development fun began with a group of those who were interested getting together for a few evenings and talking in pirate over dinner. The conversation evolved into coming up with translations for terms specific to HERE.com, and from those basics they made the site “even more pirate,” according to Keith.

They also utilized existing translations and code strings to render terms the user would recognize, supporting the goal of delivering a consistent experience.

In fact, there are many terms from pirate that align with mapping terms. For example, in creating a route, you are "plotting a course." But Keith pointed out, as a result of today’s technology, they also had to create terms for things that didn’t exist during the height of pirate times.

“Take satellite maps, for example. Pirates would have never seen this view unless they had ‘magic maps,’ so it became ‘bewitched’ maps. Also, anything to do with mobile phones needed a new word. Downloading an app became: ‘put a map on yer parrot,’" he said.

Fan Favorites

The pre-login view of HERE.com is where Keith’s favorite pirate saying comes in to play. When creating a collection (i.e. “Booties” [which means something very different in Pirate language!]) HERE.com pirate encourages you to:

"Stash fine taverns 'n hide-outs."

Collections in Pirate

I am a fan of “less blethering,” so I’ll stop the post now and let you get on with it.

less blethering                        ↑

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