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TorgoX (1933)


"Il est beau comme la retractilité des serres des oiseaux rapaces [...] et surtout, comme la rencontre fortuite sur une table de dissection d'une machine à coudre et d'un parapluie !" -- Lautréamont

Journal of TorgoX (1933)

Wednesday February 11, 2004
02:09 AM

Estonian for fun and avoidance

[ #17349 ]
Everyone, listen to me, I am from Los Angeles!

Therefore I have a great deal of experience dealing with appalling grifters, insane salesmen, and horrible horrible missionaries.

I have two tactics for upsetting people enough to make them go away:

  • Touch their face for no reason. Having a stranger prodding at your cheekbones is something nobody expects, so it sends a message: "I am crazier and/or more stoned than you. Away!"
    However, this requires touching the other person, which may not be a pleasant prospect.
  • Pretend you don't speak English. You can just say "No inglés!" but this runs the real risk that the other person might actually speak Spanish and, very painfully, might try speaking it with you. Instead you must demonstrate that you are fluent only in some other language that they cannot speak.
    For this purpose, I recommend Estonian. It's a real language, but you have nearly no chance of meeting anyone who tell that you're faking it. People have no conception of how to grift/evangelize/whatever someone with whom they share no language at all. (And at least if they try, it can at least be amusing.)

So learn some of the following phrases, altho you needn't remember their meanings or even pronounce them very faithfully. Just have something to patter. Then stop and point to yourself and say "Oy naht Unglish - Estooniahn!", then patter some more. If they try miming or speaking slowly, just look blankly at them, mutter, shake your head, and repeat "Oy naht Unglish".

If you have RealPlayer (a/k/a "RealOne") installed, just download this 66KB zip file of a RealPlayer presentation.

Other folks, just play these small (under 12KB each) mp3s:

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  • The thing about disabling the comment feature on LJ is it makes it somewhat difficult to add those entries as memories. I was able to defeat the design problem in the end.

    I've probably not told you this, but I sometimes deal with people I don't want to talk to by switching into an Israeli accent. If pretending I'm a tourist doesn't work, I can always make my English deteriorate to the point I'm just speaking Hebrew at them, and that's often a fairly good bet at not being a lingua franca.
  • There seems to be a common misconception, typified by what spiderfarmer said []: "there are Christians who actually live according the rules of the creed...and then there are [those who] try to shove the crucifix down others' throats".

    Any Christian who is living "according to the rules of the creed" is going to be active, to some degree, in attempting to spread the Gospel. It's at those who don't that one could point the finger of hypocrisy.

    One of the last things Jesus said to his disciples was, "Go int

    • That's a reasonable point, but is there also a command that Christians aren't allowed to consider what methods of evangelism are most likely to be effective and what methods are counterproductive? How many recruits are gained by the "shove the crucifix down others' throats" methods, and how many people are instead made much more resistant to Christianity?

      (Of course, spiderfarmer's use of "crucifix" isn't very appropriate, since I doubt the pilot in question is Catholic.)
  • Estonian is pretty cool. I put together a page of Estonian phrases [] a while back.

    But if the intent is to maximize incomprensibility, there are plenty of other fun choices. How about Klingon? Or Quenya? Or Black Speech? Or -- dare I say it -- Lojban? Heck, Latin would do the trick. Unless, of course, the missionaries happen to be Jesuits. :-)

  • You forgot the obligatory "No, thank you. I'm allergic to shellfish." :)


  • "This Hovercraft is full of Eels".

    The Hungarian Phrasebook [] could also be very usefull.