Sunshine Abroad

The trials and rewards of French translation and beyond


Pirates are infinitely more interesting than common sailors. Society supports this as fact. We have "Talk Like a Pirate Day" (last Wednesday, for those playing at home), not "Talk Like a Sailor Day."


Not really. You see, I'm doing research on 18th century nautical terms, in both French and English. There are a few glossaries and dictionaries out there, as well as meticulously labeled diagrams, but it's easier to learn and understand the terms in a context.

Looking for such historical context, one can turn to a few different places. Textbooks (can be dull), ship's logs from the era and other primary sources (excellent, but the old-style spelling can be hard to wade through), or historical fiction and non-fiction stories. Interest-peaking AND historically accurate!

After all, pirates sailed on the same ships as everyone else.