English As She Is Spoke: Being a Comprehensive Phrasebook of the English Language, Written by Men to Whom English Was Entirely Unknown

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McSweeney's Books, 2004 - Foreign Language Study - 133 pages
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In 1855, when Jose da Fonseca and Pedro Carolino wrote an English phrasebook for Portuguese students, they faced just one problem: they didn't know any English. Even worse, they didn't own an English-to-Portuguese dictionary. What they did have, though, was a Portuguese-to-French dictionary, and a French-to-English dictionary. The linguistic train wreck that ensued is a classic of unintentional humor, now revived in the first newly selected edition in a century. Armed with Fonseca and Carolino's guide, a Portuguese traveler can insult a barber ("What news tell me? All hairs dresser are newsmonger"), complain about the orchestra ("It is a noise which to cleve the head"), go hunting ("let aim it! let make fire him"), and consult a handy selection of truly mystifying "Idiotisms and Proverbs."

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Review: English as She Is Spoke: Being a Comprehensive Phrasebook of the English Language, Written by Men to Whom English was Entirely Unknown

User Review  - Kevin - Goodreads

I reluctantly list this as nonfiction though it reads like a parody. A very odd book about "manglish" brought back from olden times by the fine folks at Collins Library. Read full review


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About the author (2004)

Paul Collins is the author of Sixpence House, Banvard's Folly, and Community Writing. Not Even Wrong: Adventures in Autism, a memoir on raising his young autistic son, will be published in 2004. Collins edits the Collins Library imprint at McSweeney's Books, and his Collins Almanac compilation of literary oddities appears daily at collinslibrary.com. His work has appeared in New Scientist, Cabinet, and the Village Voice. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and son.

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