as She is Spoke", a real puzzling book
There are basically 2 ways to create a classic:
1) you could create something so fantastic, so... etc. that no one
will ever stop talking about you.
2) you could create a work that is sooooo bad, so really bad, that
no one will ever stop talking about it.
Pedro Carolino opted unintentionally for the second way... When in
the remote 1855 Carolino decided to write an English phrasebook called "O
Novo Guia da Conversação em Portuguez e Inglez" ('Guide
to the Conversation in Portuguese and English', better known under the title "English
as She is Spoke") for Portuguese students, he faced just one problem:
he didn't know any English. Even worse, he lacked a Portuguese-English dictionary!
All he had was a Portuguese-to-French dictionary, and a French-to-English dictionary.
But this did not stop Carolino (who involved in this absurd project José da
Fonseca, a well-known author, without his knowledge and against his
will!). Using both his dictionaries, Carolino first translated the Portuguese
expression into French, then he translated the phrase from French to English...
and the result was a greater contribution to humour than linguistics! You'll
find below some excerpts of the book and anything that looks like an error is,
in fact, the way it really appears in the book. This Guide is surely the worst
phrasebook ever written, but it still sells well!
come se lei è parlare'
Come pubblicare una guida alla conversazione portoghese-inglese
senza avere la minima conoscenza dell'inglese ma aiutandosi con
due dizionari: uno, portoghese-francese, e l'altro, francese-inglese?
Impossibile direste voi... Per quanto ciò possa sembrare
incredibile, Pedro Carolino ha avuto il coraggio di farlo. Ne è nato
il libro "O Novo Guia da Conversação
em Portuguez e Inglez", meglio conosciuto col titolo "English
as She is Spoke", di pessima qualità dal punto
di vista della linguistica, ma che fece e fa ancora sganasciare
dal ridere generazioni di anglofoni. Si, decisamente non bisogna
essere il migliore per aver successo!
telle qu'elle se parler'
Ce fantastique livre "O Novo Guia da Conversação
em Portuguez e Inglez", mieux connu sous le titre
de "English as She is Spoke", qui se
devait d'être un guide très sérieux de conversation
portugais-anglais, fut publié en 1855 par Carolino, un
auteur incompétent qui ne savait parler anglais. Ce prétendu
guide, vous vous en doutez, a fait rire des générations
d'anglophones, y compris Mark Twain fervent admirateur de Carolino.
Vous trouverez ci-dessous des extraits "telle qu'elles être
extraiter même du livre".
necessity don't know the low.
few the bird make her nest.
is not valuable to breat that he eat.
are some blu stories.
some money, nothing of Swiss.
sin in trouble water.
bad arrangement is better than a process.
has a good beak.
the country of blinds, the one eyed man are kings.
build castles in Espagnish.
scalded fear the cold water.
do the fine spirit.
a tongue one go to Roma.
is not any rnler without a exception.
out the live coals with the hand of the cat.
horse baared don't look him the tooth.
the occasion for the hairs.
do a wink to some body.
many go the jar to spring, than at last rest there.
eat untill to can't more.
like Bertram, love hir dog.
want to beat the iron during it is hot.
is not so devil as he is black.
is better be single as a bad company.
stone as roll not heap up not foam.
shurt him the doar in face.
has fond the knuckle of the business.
turns as a weath turcocl.
is not better sauce who the appetite.
pains come at horse and turn one's self at foot.
is beggar as a church rat.
much go the jar to spring that at last it break there.
force to forge, becomes smith.
the chestnut of the fire with the cat foot.
of a child is water into a basket.
some thing the misforte is good.
me whom thou frequent, I will tell you which you are.
the paunch comes the dance.
the hand to mouth, one lose often the soup.
look for a needle in a hay bundle.
craunch the marmoset.
buy cat in pocket.
be as a fish into the water.
make paps for the cats.
fatten the foot.
come back at their muttons.
16 For To See the Town
Anothony, go to accompany they gentlemen, do they see the town.
We won't to see all that is it remarkable here.
Come with me, if you please.
I shall not forget nothing what can to merit your attention.
Here we are near to cathedral; will you come in there?
We will first to see him in outside, after we shall go in there
for to look the interior.
Admire this master piece gothic architecture's.
The chasing of all they figures is astonishing' indeed.
The cupola and the nave are not less curious to see.
What is this palace how I see yonder? It is the town hall.
And this tower here at this side? It is the Observatory.
The bridge is very fine, it have ten arches, and is constructed
of free stone.
The streets are very layed out by line and too paved.
What is the circuit of this town? Two leagues.
There is it also hospitals here? It not fail them.
What are then the edifices the worthiest to have seen?
It is the arsnehal, the spectacle's hall, the Cusiomhouse, and
We are going too see the others monuments such that the public
pawnbroker's office, the plants garden's, the money office's, the
That it shall be for another day; we are tired.
17 To Inform One'self of a Person
How is that gentilman who you did speak by and by? Is a German.
I did think him Englishman. He is of the Saxony side.
He speak the french very well. Tough he is German, he speak so
much well italyan, french, spanish and english, that among the
Italyans, they believe him Italyan, he speak the frenche as the
Frenches himselves. The Spanishesmen believe him Spanishing,
and the Englishes, Englishman. It is difficult to enjoy well
so much several languages.
applications of Carolino philosophy
Sometimes reality goes further than fiction! In 1874 the book "Klíč k
mluvnici francouzského jazyka" was published in
Czechoslovakia which used a method called 'Ollendorff-Grellepois'
to teach French.
Translated into English, the dialogues sound like coming out
of an asylum:
- Does the German man own the beautiful umbrellas of the Italians?
Yes, he does, but he doesn't have those of theTurkishes.
- The Germans, what do they have?
They have corn and horses, but no vessels.
- Do the French people have friends?
They do, but the Spanish people have no friends.
- The Spanish people, what do they have?
They have good donkeys!
You can acquire the book "English as she is spoke" here.