English as She is Spoke


Here is a delightful book.
It is a classic; my father had an Edwardian copy, beautifully bound.
Mine is a small paperback facsimile (in fact, part facsimile), but it still amuses me.

As a child I thought it was hilarious!
In fact, it was NOT written as a joke, but was a serious attempt to introduce portuguese students to the subtleties of the English language, and vice versa.

The book was first published in 1883.
The author was a Senhor Pedro Carolino.
He entitled it "The New Guide of the Conversation in Portuguese and English."

He had, however, one serious problem.
He did not have a Portuguese-English dictionary.
The book was written with the aid of a Portuguese-French phrase-book and a French-English dictionary.
Armed with these aids, Senhor Carolino set out on his journey.

He wrote a Preface to explain his aims. Here are extracts from the Preface:
"A choice of familiar dialogues, clean of gallicisms, and despoiled phrases, it was missing yet to studious portuguese and brazilian youth; and also to persons of others nations, that wish to know the portuguese language.
We sought all we may do, to correct that want,divising the present little work in two parts.
The first includes a greatest vocabulary proper names by alphabetical order; and the second, 43 Dialogues adapted to the usual precisions of the life.
We did put, with a scrupulous exactness, a great variety own expressions to english and portuguese idioms.

We expect then, who the little book ( for the care what we wrote him, and for her typographical correction ) that may be worth the acceptation of the studious persons, and especialy of the Youth, at which we dedicate him particularly."

The book itself is in sections, offering first, English as she is Spoke, then familiar phrases, then familiar dialogues, then familiar letters, then anecdotes, and finally 'Idiotisms and Proverbs.'

I shall offer you a sample of each section.


Of the Man.

The brain      The inferior lip
The brains     The superior lip
The fat of the leg   The marrow
The ham            The reins


Starch-maker   Porter
Barber              Chinaman
Coffeeman         Founder
Potkshop-keeper        Grave-digger
Cartwright                  Tradesman
Tinker,a Brazier          Stocking-mender
Nailer                        Locksmith


Some black pudding   A little mine
Some sugar-plum       Hog fat
Some wigs                 Some marchpanes
A chitterling sausages        An amelet
A dainty-dishes                 A slice, steak
A mutton shoulder            Vegetables boiled to a pap


Apply you to the study during that you are young.
Dress you hairs.
Sing an area.
These apricots and these peaches make me to come water in the mouth.
Wax my shoes.
This room is filled of bugs.
He has spit in my coat.
He is valuable his weight's gold.
I have put my stockings outward.
Have you understanded?
Since you not go out, I shall go out nor I neither.
I have croped the candle.
Dry this wine.
It is a noise which to cleave the head.
This meat ist not too overdo.
Never I have feeld a such heat.


For to dress him self

John, make haste, lighted the fire and dress me.
Give me my shirt.
There is it sir.
Is it no hot, it is too cold yet.
If you like, I will hot it.
No, no, bring me my silk stocking's.
Its are make holes.
Make its a point, or make to mend them.
Comb me, take another comb.
Give me my handkarchief.
There is a clean, sir.
What coat dress you today?
Those that I had yesterday.
The tailor do owe to bring soon that of cloth.
Have you wexed my shoes?
I go wex its now.

The walk

Will you and take a walk with me?
Wait for that the warm be out.
Go through the meadow.
Who the country is beautiful!
Who the trees are thick!
Take the bloom's perfume.
It seems me that the corn does push alredy.
You hear the birds gurgling?
The field has by me a thousand charms.
Are you hunter?
Will you go to the hunting in one day this week?
We have done a great walk.

With a hairdresser

Your razors, are them well?
Comb me quickly; don't put me so much pomatum.
What news tell me?
All hairdressers are newsmonger.
Sir,I have no heard any thing.

With a dentist

I have the teeth-ache.
Is it a fluxion, or have you a bad tooth?
I think it is a bad tooth; please you to examine my mouth?
You have a bad tooth: will you pull out this tooth?
I cant to decide me it, that make me many great pain.
Your tooth is absolutely roted; if you leave it; shall spoil the others.
In such case draw it.
I could give you an opiate for to strengthen the gums.
I thank you; I prefer the only means, which is to rinse the mouth with some water, or a little brandy.


Montesquieu to the abbot Nicolini
Allow me, my dear Abbot, who I remind me of your friendship.
I recommend M. of the Condamine. I shall tell you nothing, else he is a of my friends.
Her great celebrity may tell you from others things, and her presence will say you the remains.
My dear Abbot, I will love you even the death.
( I cannot understand this at all!)


At the middle of the night very dark, a blind was walk in the street with a light on the hand and a full jar upon the back.
Some one which ran do meet him, and surprised of that light: "Simple that you are, told him, what serve you this light?
The night and the day are not them the same thing by you! -
It is not for me,was answering the blind,that I bring this light, it is to the end that the giddies which seem to you do not come to run against me, and make to break my jar."

A physician eighty years of age had enjoied of a health unalterable.
Theirs friends did him of it compliments every days: "Mister doctor, they said to him, you are an admirable man.
What you make then for to bear you as well?-
- I shall tell you it, gentlemen he was answered them, and I exhort you in same time at to follow my exemple.
I live of the product of my ordering without take any remedy who I command to my sicks."


To build castles in Espagnish.
Cat scalded fear the cold water.
There is not any ruler without a exception.
Take the occasion for the hairs.
He is not so devil as he is black.
The stone as roll not heap up foam.
He is beggar as a church rat.
Of the hand to the mouth, one lose often the soup.
To look for a needle in a hay bundle.
To craunch the marmoset.
To buy a cat in a pocket.
To fatten the foot.
There is not better sauce than the appetite.
Tell me whom thou frequent, I will tell you which you are.

I hope you wll enjoy translating these!

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