Talk Like a Pirate Day: How to have Google, Facebook join in
Avast! It's International Talk Like a Pirate Day. What better way to raise the flag than to teach Google and Facebook how to talk like a pirate today.
Ahoy! Careful navigating the Web today, maties. There be pirates about.
So why not go overboard this year? Sure, your boss may frown on you dressing up, the police may stop you from carrying a cutlass, and your friends may hang up on you after a few "shiver me timbers!" But here's a more subtle way to enjoy the festivities without annoying anyone else: For the next 24 hours, have your computer talk like a pirate so that you don't have to.
Chart a course to Facebook.com! At the bottom of almost every Facebook page lies the company's copyright and a link that reads "English (US)." Readers in other countries will likely see a different language listed here. Regardless of what listing you see, changing the settling is just two clicks away.
First, fire at the link, which will open a window with more 75 language options. You'll find all the usual suspects: Espanol, Filipino – and "English (Pirate)." Pick your poison and wait a moment for the page to reload in the new language.
Choosing "Pirate" will relabel your wall as "Captain's Log." Correspondences now sit in your "Bottle o' messages." And friends are now your "scallywags." You'll need to turn on the setting yourself to enjoy all the countless tweaks. Someone at Facebook clearly had a hoot renaming everything.
Once you're done with all this swashbuckling, just toggle it back to "English (US)."
One word of warning, through: Scrolling to the bottom of your Facebook feed often triggers the site to automatically load more of your friend's posts, perpetually pushing the language settings further and further down the page. If you're having trouble clicking on the link before Facebook shoves it out of the way, try navigating to Subscriptions or another page with few entries on it. The language settings will be at the bottom of those pages, too.
For a different bottle o' laughs, try selecting Facebook's other joke language, English (Upside Down). We'll let you figure out what that does.
Google also offers several cheeky languages. Google.com/language_tools has more than 120 options and plenty of spoofs – Klingon, Elmer Fudd, even Bork, Bork, Bork (in honor of the Swedish Chef from "The Muppet Show.") But if you really want to searrrrch, you know which language to choose, don't ya' matey.
Google and Facebook made it easy for you, but there is a way to make other webpages talk like a pirate today. Paste any URL into Translate-pirate.com, and the service will add a touch of scurvy to that site.
For more on how technology intersects daily life, follow Chris on Twitter @venturenaut.