A 60-page pamphlet
printed in Britain in 1883, consisting of selections from Pedro Carolino's The New Guide of the Conversation in Portuguese and English
, which had been published a few decades earlier. Carolino's work was a phrase book
, containing English words and phrases that a foreigner
could use during travel in the British Isles
. However, there was one problem: Carolino had no knowledge of English
Carolino made his phrase book by translating a Portuguese-French phrase book into English using a French-English dictionary. The fact that Carolino didn't know very much French complicated matters even further.
Confused? Pretend for a minute that you're Carolino. You know Portuguese and a little French. First, you translate Portuguese into French using a phrase book. Then you take that French and translate it to English word-for-word using a dictionary. The result? Well, it makes Babelfish look like Shakespeare.
In fact, the resulting phrase book is so humorous that it makes me crack up 150 years after it was written. The pamphlet was so popular in Britain that it ran to 10 editions. An American version was published by Mark Twain, who was so impressed by the book that he wrote an introduction in praise of it.
I am noding English As She Is Spoke in its entirety. I'll leave the nonsensical words and phrases to be defined by creative members of The Nodeshell Rescue Team.
Introduction to "The New Guide of the Conversation in Portuguese and English"
Useful Words, Part I
Useful Words, Part II
Familiar Dialogues, Part I
Familiar Dialogues, Part II
Familiar Dialogues, Part III
Idiotisms and Proverbs