Standard Maritime English

For those on the towing side of things, does the term “kicking her in the ass” sound familiar? Overheard that jewel from a tow somewhere on the ICW.

Any crazy or stupid Norwegian phrases we oughta know about??


Judging from the posts of our Norwegian friend, I’d guess there are plenty of crazy and stupid phrases. But that probably isn’t what you meant.

1 Like

I assume that refers to going faster?

There are some, but before I quote any; How is your Norwegian language comprehension??

Similar to “hook her up,” “come on to her,” and dozens of others.

“Put the coals to her.”

You could try offering a translation.

The purpose of Standard Maritime English is clarity of communication between vessels and with VTS etc.

The example of the tanker causing a major spill in Balikpapan, Indonesia, MAY be an example of where a Chinese Master and an Indonesian Pilot communicating in English did not understand each other for lack of English comprehension on one or both side.

The need for Standard Maritime English also applies to Engineers who need to communicate with shipyards and suppliers in places where English is not commonly used. To use American terminology, (or even worse, slang) may not be helpful in ensuring effective communication.

I remember on an OSV where the Chinese Cook had ordered “2 boxes Black Fruit”. The Shipchandler called up the American Port Engineer for clarification. His reply; “I don’t fu*king know. Give them Grape fruits”. What did he actually want?? Prunes.

Yes I could translate some Norwegian terms, but what good would that do?
If a Norwegian need to communicate with you he/she would use English anyhow as they are though in school from grade 3.
PS> If in a formal shipboard setting that would be in Standard Maritime English.