It's reasonably easy to explain using gestures: please repair this broken object. It's somewhat less easy to explain that no, he shouldn't touch the funny papery stuff that he can see through a window in the back. I just about managed to pantomime "no, you don't wear it as a necklace, you nail it to the wall". I completely failed to convey "no, it's really not an amulet".
He was showing me a bunch of amulets that he writes and makes, written in a script that looks similar to Arabic but I'm fairly certain isn't. He said something about Aramaic, which if we weren't just completely talking past eachother would make him the second Aramaic speaker I've met here. And he attempted to convey something about how his religion teaches the unity of humanity and he respects all religions. And I think what he was saying is that he is some kind of sofer, for a religion which certainly isn't Islam (he was vehement on that point) and I don't think is Christianity either, though he did keep saying "Yeshua! Yeshua!". But now we're getting into pretty abstract topics for a conversation with no common language!
Anyway, it was trying to be a nice fuzzy intercultural encounter, of the sort that sometimes occurs when a non-Jew notices a mezuzah. Except that our level of linguistic competence it became somewhat farcical.
After all this, I should probably get the writing checked, shouldn't I?