The APA (Amercian Pschological Association) Dictionary of Psychology defines empathy as “understanding a person from his or her frame of reference rather than one’s own, or vicariously experiencing that person’s feelings, perceptions, and thoughts.” Clearly, there should be empathy if seafarers are to be treated more kindly by those who profit from them. So why is this word not used more often by advocates of seafarers’ rights?
The perils of writing candidly about the shipping world
A candid writer should not expect to be popular with those who wield some power and influence in the shipping world. On the contrary, he should prepare himself to be despised or, worse, ignored. This much I have learned in the 13 years that Marine Café Blog has been in existence.
English for mariners: 21 useful water idioms
Seafarers who want to hone their English skills would do well to learn and use more idioms in their daily life. Idioms are useful tools for facilitating communication. They can also give a good impression of the seafarer to senior officers and management.
A major misconception about EMSA audits still persists
It has been 17 years since the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) made its inspection visit to Turkey — the first of many it would conduct to verify compliace with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). Yet, many still have a foggy idea about the real nature and goal of these inspections.
Ship-related idioms to add flavour to your conversation
There are three reasons why seafarers and other maritime professionals should learn to use idioms more often. First, they enable one to express an idea concisely and avoid being verbose. Second, they enrich one’s vocabulary. Third, and not the least important, they add a bit of flavour to everyday conversation.
Maritime campaign slogans that can bore you to death
Slogans are indispensable in any campaign. They are intended to drive home an important message and goad people into action. To achieve this end, the slogan has to be catchy and original, not clichéd. Alas, some maritime campaign slogans are dull and unimaginative.
10 uncommon words to describe some maritime folks
There are certain words and phrases that one does not get to read in the maritime press. They are not polite to use, to say the least. Yet, they aptly describe some folks in the shipping community. It is language that goes beyond appearances and indicates who an individual really is, not what he or she purports to be. Take the following for instance:
Why ‘the human element’ label dehumanizes seafarers
Folks at The Nautical Institute in London continue to refer to seafarers as “the human element”. They and others who are well meaning may think that it helps in analysing and elucidating certain maritime issues. What the use of the phrase has accomplished is objectify further the men and women who work at sea.
A deep dive into the meaning and origin of ‘old salt’
The term “old salt” is widely understood to mean an experienced or seasoned mariner. But how many years of sailing experience does it take for one to be given the tag? I have known some fellows who chalked up enough seagoing service to get licensed as masters in their early 30s. Can they be called “old salts”?
9 most shocking remarks from folks in maritime Manila
When in maritime Manila, expect the unexpected. You might hear words uttered that will jolt you and make you wonder if you’re watching an absurdist comedy. But it is no play. It is real life.
Words sweeten and mask reality in the shipping world
People in the shipping world love talking, and they are infatuated with words. How else can one explain the never-ending string of maritime conferences; the highfalutin awards dinner speeches; and the Day of the Seafarer slogans warbled by officials of IMO London and echoed by just about everyone in shipping?
The difference between bay and harbour illustrated with art
Bay or harbour? Which of these two terms to use can sometimes pose a dilemma. Official names help to some extent — e.g., “New York Harbor” and “Manila Bay”. But one may well ask: what is the difference between the two given that ships regularly come in and out of both places?