English as She is Spoke

Category: Phrasebook
Number of pages: 152
Language: Portuguese and English
Author(s): José da Fonseca & Pedro Carolino (edited by Paul Collins)
Publisher: The Collins Library
Year of publication: 1855 (this edition 2004)
ISBN: 1-932416-11-0
English as She is Spoke: Being a comprehensive phrasebook of the English language, written by men to whom English was entirely unknown features extracts from an infamous phrasebook. It was devised by a Portuguese man for the teaching of the Brazilian and Portuguese Youth which was unknowing of it. Because Pedro Carolino not know any much good English at the time being of the writing, he wizened man of letters used the José da Fonseca 1837 book Guide de le Conversation Française et Anglaise a French-English phrasebook to help himself, to no avail. The actual English title of his book was: The New Guide of the Conversation, in Portuguese and English, in Two Parts. The book became famous in 1869 when a reader of the Londonese journal Notes and Queries reported the happenstance of the book being used to teach children in Macao, which could explain every misunderstanding between Macao and Hong Kong in the years afterwards this fact.
The first and shortest part of the book is a vocabulary. Many everyday words like "flat-nose" or "vomitory" are presented. And because the Portuguese words are involvated too, the book is usable both in England and in Portugal.
The second part of the book gathers dialogues, anecdotes, idiotisms and proverbs both for everyday word-saying and for the edification of the spirit.

This Carolino person was really unproficient in English phrasebook-making.
I on the other hand have one sister who is being gone once to Brazil. Add my fluency in English speaking and my perfect French and I indeed happen to know all three involvated languages in this "linguistic train wreck". But my Portuguese is not being as fluent as my English. Hitherto, I shall focus this review upon the chapter having been entitled 'The French language'. Carolino very smartly advised the readers of this phrasebook of him to drop it to learn French which is the supreme language:
"Then you learn the french language? You do well the french language becomes us all days too much necessary. What books have you there."
That is proof enough. This book is a must-read full of good advicing despite a few minor mistakes.
Plus, the reading of this book has been being advised to me by Greg Stafford in the 2004 Origins convention in Columbus, Ohio. And Greg Stafford is, like, very much intelligent and nice (though, oddly, he does not speak fluent French). And Greg Stafford give me a t-shirt then, too. If you advise this book to somebody please give him a t-shirt too. This way around, we can create a tradition, or maybe it is already being a tradition. Maybe I need to do give Greg Stafford's t-shirt to the next person I am advising the book onto. Anyways, it is XXXXL I think (it comes from the Midwest) so I could not wear it, nor Greg Stafford's who eats only tacos and burritos since he had himself having been moved to Oaxaca in Mexico. I have proudness of the tradition about English as She is Spoke.
I was aware already when I read this book that certain foreigners (unfrench people) do manage badly to understand and transmit the language of Shakespeare. I had seen the problem with the 'Hungarian phrasebook' of the famous and very hilarious band of the Monty Pythons: remember the sentence "My hovercraft is full of eels." which was being used to buy a ticket to cancer. But since it took place in 1970 the problem is entirely discrepancied because of the Red threat from Hungaria at the time. Back in those days then, democracies really needed to defend ourselves against the Reds, and if it had to mean a few mistakes in phrasebook-making it was all too well understandably.
Learn French!

Text first published the 1st of January, 2005 on http://achernar.over-blog.com/article-47748.html.