In the mid-19th century, long time before online automatic translators were available, there was a Portuguese “philologist” named Pedro Carolino who, without any instruction or knowledge about Chaucer’s language, dared to create a conversation guide in Portuguese and English.
Provided, apparently, with a Portuguese-French conversation book (written by José da Fonseca) and a French-English dictionary, he undertook the arduous task of bridging the gap between these two books.
The result was disastrous but also timeless and sublime!
The English language was ruined, but at the same time enriched with new expressions such as: “He do the devil at four” or “Cat scalded fear the cold water” or even “That not says a word, consent”.
The most absurd and funny parts were soon after collected in a book titled “English as She Is Spoke”.
This facsimile edition aims to share with today’s readers the original Portuguese-English version of this classic unintentional humor book, as it appeared in print in 1855.
“Nobody can add to the absurdity of this book, nobody can imitate it successfully, nobody can hope to produce its fellow; it is perfect.”