B. Traven on ‘Yorikkian English’

With so many different nationalities aboard, it would have been impossible to sail the Yorikke unless a language had been found that was understood by the whole crew.  From that Syrian, who of all living people I have ever met knew the Yorikke longest and best, I had learned that the universal language used on the Yorikke had been usually the language most widely known at the time on the seven seas.  When the Yorikke was still a virgin maiden the language spoken by her crew was Babylonian; later it changed to Persian, then to Phœnician.  Then came a time when the Yorikkian language was a mixture of Phœnician, Egyptian, Nubian, Latin, and Gaul.  After the Roman Empire was destroyed by the Jews, through the means of a renegade puffed-up religious movement, with Bolshevik ideas in it, the language on the Yorikke was a mixture of Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabian, and Hebrew.  This lasted until the Spanish Armada was knocked out.  Then French influence became more dominant in the lingo of the Yorikke.  At Abukir the Yorikke was on the side of the French, and old man Nelson took her as a prize.  He sold her to a cotton-dealer and shipping agent in Liverpool, who in turn sold her to English pirates who worked the Spanish Main, then already in its declining glory.  Anyway, from that time on until today the lingo on the Yorikke was English.  At least that was the name the language was given, to distinguish it from any other language known under the moon.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements