“It is difficult to enjoy well so much several langages.”
—O Novo Guia da Conversação em Portuguez e Inglez,
otherwise known as English As She is Spoke.
Who doesn’t love phrase books? Even when flawlessly executed, they are an endless source of amusement. O Novo Guia was not flawlessly executed—unless, that is, you subcribe to the “blind idiot” school of translation. It is safe to say that this book thoroughly killed the English language.
If you have ever had to do the Dictionary Dance with someone whose native language is not English, you know how it works. The non-native speaker uses a word that makes no sense in context. You look up the mystery word in the relevant dictionary—in my case, for some reason, generally English-Italian. Armed with one or more words in the speaker’s native language, you look up each one in the other half of the dictionary, yielding a selection of English words. One of them will be the word your non-native speaker used; another will be the word they should have used.
First the good news: This is not a hoax.
In the beginning was José da Fonseca (1788–1866), whose O Novo Guia da Conversação em Francês e Português came out in Paris in 1836. Why a book intended for Portuguese speakers learning French was published in France rather than in Portugal remains unclear. But the choice of publisher, J. P. Aillaud, was unsurprising, since they regularly put out Portuguese material. The book must have been fairly successful; a second edition came out in 1853. (I have not personally seen any version of this book. The Bibliothèque Nationale de France has a copy of each edition, but they don’t seem to be available online yet.)
And now the fun begins.
In 1855, the same French publisher, Aillaud, came out with O Novo Guia da Conversação em Portuguez e Inglez, bearing the two names José da Fonseca and Pedro Carolino. This book is a word-for-word translation of Francês e Português, replacing French with English. In his Introduction, James Millington—himself a translator—explains something of how it was done.
It is painfully obvious that Carolino did not know English. He doesn’t know the difference between “make” and “do” (faire); he has no idea when the French de becomes “’s” (possessive) and when it becomes “of”; he doesn’t know the difference between “a” and “one”—and, unlike Anglo-Indian, which has the same quirk, he tends to favor “a”. I don’t think anyone has identified the exact dictionary Carolino used, but there are plenty of hints that it was very, very old. Archaic words abound: “gridelin” (a color), “hedgehog” (sea urchin), “morpion” (crab louse), “reins” (kidneys), “turnsol” (sunflower). A few words are even spelled with final -e, as in “sorte”.
That’s English. But I’m not entirely convinced Carolino even knew French. Was his entire discussion with the publisher conducted in Portuguese? The original introduction—that is, José da Fonseca’s words after passing through the Carolino mangle—says
The first [part] includes a greatest vocabulary proper names by alphabetical order
Sure enough, if you retro-translate the word lists, the result will be in French alphabetical order. The full Novo Guia confirms it. Fishes and Shell-Fishes, for example, begins with Ablette (Múge, bleak) and Alose (Sável, shad) and ends with Veau de Mer, which explains why “sea-calf” comes after “torpedo” and “wolf”. It must not have occurred to our Pedro that he could rearrange his lists so the English terms would end up in alphabetical order, as advertised.
Then there are the hyphens, as in French donne-moi: “Help-to”, “dress-me”, “Comb-me”, “bring-him”, “like-it”. Carolino was also hazy on the use of qui and que, so he didn’t know which dictionary entry to choose. Perhaps most tellingly, he never converted money—even though his book includes a translation of Fonseca’s currency tables, and the Portuguese column makes it clear what’s going on.
José da Fonseca was a respected scholar. But who the heck was Pedro Carolino? Nobody knows. It has been suggested that he was the real-life translator Pedro Carolino Duarte, lurking behind a thin pseudonym. I’m inclined to doubt it. Duarte specialized in German novels, which would certainly explain his lack of English. But even so, he was a translator, while “Pedro Carolino” was all too obviously . . . not.
The joint attribution to José da Fonseca and Pedro Carolino has led some writers to assume that Fonseca was in some way involved in the production of the Portuguez e Inglez phrase book. This accusation—no other word will do—was rebutted some years ago by linguist Alexander MacBride. In his own, gloriously deadpan words (archived here and here):
“Fonseca’s English, though stiff and not quite impeccable, was excellent; and Fonseca’s standards where language instruction was concerned were the very highest. Unless Fonseca fell victim to some injury or disease of the brain between 1837 and 1855, it is inconceivable that he had any direct part in the preparation of the book we know as English As She Is Spoke.”
At the time of these investigations, MacBride was a Ph.D. candidate in linguistics at UCLA. He is now a staff linguist at Google. (Is this, or is it not, the Best Job Title Ever?)
In the years after 1855, the Novo Guia picked up many English-speaking admirers. (Portuguese speakers were generally silent, on the excellent grounds that the book was not published in Brazil until 2002—and doesn’t seem to have been published in Portugal to this day.) For an example, see Edward Gould Buffum’s article on Parisian English, written for an American audience in 1867.
Finally, in 1883, the book was reissued in English under the title English As She is Spoke. There were at least two versions: an American one from Osgood (Boston) with introduction by Mark Twain, and an English one from Field and Tuer (London) with introduction by James Millington. Unlike Millington, Mark Twain didn’t realize that the entire book is a translation from French. So there is a certain poignancy to his description of the author’s Preface:
It is not a fraud who speaks in the following paragraph of the author’s Preface, but a good man, an honest man, a man whose conscience is at rest, a man who believes he has done a high and worthy work for his nation and his generation, and is well pleased with his performance
Thanks to the lack of international copyright, publishers on each side of the Atlantic happily swiped the other country’s edition.
And now the bad news: The Portuguese original was almost 200 pages. The English abridgement is just 60 pages. Going by Mark Twain’s introduction to the American edition, that version must have been longer—maybe even unabridged.
The English version, even in abridged form, has picked up many fans over the years: take here, and here, and finally here—headlined “The Carolino Effect”, a phrase which deserves to come into general use. It has been reprinted many times, and can be found in a free Kindle edition bearing the description:
This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers.
The phrase “a community of volunteers” is Amazon’s boilerplate for any text that was taken from Project Gutenberg, whether or not it was actually produced by Distributed Proofreaders (the volunteers). This particular text happens to have been a solo production.
But I digress.
This etext is based on the Appleton (New York) edition. Since it has the Millington introduction rather than the Mark Twain introduction, it must have begun life as a pirated version of the London edition. That’s a shame—but it all happened in 1884, so everything has long since passed into the public domain regardless.
All Portuguese quotations, and all references to O Novo Guia, are from the second (1855) edition, simply because that’s the only one available online. English As She is Spoke may have been made from the first edition, or even from the 1869 final edition. (The reference to “this second edition” in the Preface means the second edition—1853—of Fonseca’s book.) The 2nd edition has minor differences in spelling, and a few sections are in a different order than in English As She is Spoke. In the 2nd edition, the English word “I” is almost always lower-case “i”, except when it comes at the beginning of a sentence. It seems unlikely that the Novo Guia’s editor would have introduced this change if it wasn’t already present in earlier editions. It’s more likely that the reverse change, from i to I, was introduced—whether mechanically or intentionally—by the English editor or typesetter.
In the Novo Guia, all English was printed in italics, making the letters l and t almost indistinguishable. (I have met this typeface before.) Some words that English As She is Spoke gives with an l, like “lrouble” or “lhat” or “go lo sleep”, may really just have been imperfectly printed t’s. Among other oddities, the spelling “quater-” for “quarter-” is consistent throughout the book. Almost all occurrences of “won’t” are errors for “want”, as if Carolino were writing from dictation.
Unless otherwise noted, all errors are reproduced litteratim from the original. That includes the casing of “English As She is Spoke” where you might expect “English as She Is Spoke”. In Portuguese quotations I have tried to preserve the accents, as far as legibility will allow, although I’m pretty sure some of them have been wiped out by later spelling reforms. Additional notes and corrections, including Portuguese glosses, are given at the end of each section.
A Jest in Sober Earnest.
The Parchment Paper Series.
“EXCRUCIATINGLY FUNNY,” says The World, is “English as she is Spoke, or a Jest in Sober thought.”
“EVERY one who loves a laugh,” says Fun, “should either buy, beg, borrow, or—we had almost said steal—this book; for in sober earnest we aver that it is not given to every one to ’jest so.’”
A Jest in Sober Earnest.
With an Introduction by
D. Appleton & Co., 1,3, & 5 Bond Street.
ROM the time of Shakspere downwards, wits and authors innumerable have made themselves and the public more or less merry at the expense of the earlier efforts of the student of a strange tongue; but it has been reserved to our own time for a soi disant instructor to perpetrate—at his own expense—the ii monstrous joke of publishing a Guide to Conversation in a language of which it is only too evident that every word is utterly strange to him. The Teutonic sage who evolved the ideal portrait of an elephant from his “inner consciousness” was a commonplace, matter-of-fact person compared with the daring visionary who conjures up a complete system of language from the same fertile but untrustworthy source. The piquancy of Senhor Pedro Carolino’s New Guide of the Conversation in Portuguese and English is enhanced by the evident bona fides and careful compilation of “the little book,” or as Pedro himself gravely expresses it, “for the care what we wrote him, and for her typographical correction.”
In short, the New Guide of the Conversation in Portuguese and English was written with serious iii intent, and for the purpose of initiating Portuguese students into the mysteries of the English language. The earlier portions of the book are divided into three columns, the first giving the Portuguese; the second what, in the opinion of the author, is the English equivalent; and the third the English equivalent phonetically spelt, so that the tyro may at the same time master our barbarous phraseology and the pronunciation thereof. In the second part of the work the learner is supposed to have sufficiently mastered the pronunciation of the English language, to be left to his own devices.
A little consideration of the shaping of our author’s English phrases leads to the conclusion that the materials used have been a Portuguese-French phrase-book and a French-English dictionary. With these slight impedimenta iv has the daring Lusitanian ventured upon the unknown deep of a strange language, and the result, to quote again from the Preface, “May be worth the acceptation of the studious persons, and especially of the Youth, at which we dedicate him particularly,” but will at all events contribute not a little to the Youth’s hilarity.
To begin with the vocabulary; it is perhaps hardly fair to expect a professor of languages to trouble himself with “Degrees of Kindred,” still, such titles as “Gossip mistress, a relation, an relation, a guardian, an guardian, the quater-grandfather, the quater-grandmother,” require some slight elucidation, and passing over the catalogue of articles of dress which are denominated “Objects of Man” and “Woman Objects,” one may take exception to “crumbs” v and “groceries,” which are inserted among plates and cruets as ordinary table garniture.
Among what are denominated “Eatings” we find “some wigs,” “a dainty dish,” “a mutton shoulder,” “a little mine,” “hog-fat,” and “an amelet”: the menu is scarcely appetising, especially when among “Fishes and Shellfishes” our Portuguese Lucullus sets down the “hedgehog,” “snail,” and “wolf.” After this such trifles as “starch” arranged under the heading of “Metals and Minerals,” and “brick” and “whitelead” under that of “Common Stones” fall almost flat; but one would like to be initiated into the mysteries of “gleek,” “carousal,” and “keel,” which are gravely asserted to be “Games.” Among “Chivalry Orders” one has a glimmering of what is intended by “Saint Michaelmas” and “Very-Merit”; vi but under the heading of “Degrees,” although by a slight exercise of the imagination we can picture to ourselves “a quater master,” “a general to galeries,” or even a “vessel captain,” we are entirely nonplussed by “a harbinger” and “a parapet.”
Passing on to “Familiar Phrases,” most of which appear to be old friends with new faces, Senhor Carolino’s literal cribs from the French become more and more apparent, in spite of his boast in the Preface of being “clean of gallicisms and despoiled phrases.” “Apply you at the study during that you are young” is doubtless an excellent precept, and as he remarks further on “How do you can it to deny”; but study may be misdirected, and in the moral, no less than in the material world, it is useful to know “That are the dishes whom vii you must be and to abstain”; while the meaning of “This girl have a beauty edge” is scarcely clear unless it relates to the preternatural acuteness of the fair sex in these days of board schools and woman’s rights.
Further on the conversationalist appears to get into rough company, and we find him remarking “He laughs at my nose, he jest by me,” gallicé “Il me rit au nez, il se moque de moi”; “He has me take out my hairs,” “He does me some kicks,” “He has scratch the face with hers nails,” all doubtless painfully translated with the assistance of a French-English dictionary from “Il m’a arraché les cheveux,” “Il me donne des coups-de-pied,” “Il m’a laceré la figure de ses ongles.” It is noticeable that our instructor as a rule endeavours to make the possessive pronoun agree with the substantive viii in number and gender in orthodox Portuguese fashion, and that like a true grammatical patriot he insists upon the substantive having the same gender as in his native tongue; therefore “às unhas” must be rendered “hers nails” and “vóssas civilidádes” “yours civilities.” By this time no one will be disposed to contradict our inimitable Pedro when he remarks “E facéto” giving the translation as “He has the word for to laugh,” a construction bearing a suspicious resemblance to “Il a le mot pour rire.” “He do the devil at four” has no reference to an artful scheme for circumventing the Archfiend at a stated hour, but is merely a simulacrum of the well-known gallic idiomatic expression “Il fait le diable à quatre.” Truly this is excellent fooling; Punch in his wildest humour, backed by the whole colony of Leicester Square, could ix not produce funnier English. “He burns one’s self the brains,” “He was fighted in duel,” “They fight one’s selfs together,” “He do want to fall,” would be more intelligible if less picturesque in their original form of “Il se brûle la cervelle,” “Il s’est battu en duel,” “Ils se battent ensemble,” “Il manque de tomber.” The comic vein running through the “Familiar Phrases” is so inexhaustible that space forbids further quotation from this portion of the book, which may be appropriately closed with “Help to a little most the better yours terms,” a mysterious adjuration, which a reference to the original Portuguese leads one to suppose may be a daring guess at “Choisissez un peu mieux vos paroles.”
In the second part, entitled “Familiar Dialogues,” the fun grows fast and furious. Let x us accompany our mad wag upon “The walk.” “You hear the bird’s gurgling?” he enquires, and then rapturously exclaims “Which pleasure! which charm! The field has by me a thousand charms”; after this, to the question “Are you hunter? will you go to the hunting in one day this week?” he responds “Willingly; I have not a most pleasure in the world. There is some game on they cantons.” Proceeding from “game” to “gaming” we soon run aground upon the word “jeu,” which as we know does duty in French both for a game and a pack of cards. “At what pack will you that we does play?” “To the cards.” Of course this is “A quel jeu voulez vous que nous jouions?” “Aux cartes;” and further on “This time I have a great deal pack,” “Cette fois j’ai un jeu excellent.”xi
Now let us listen to our friend at his tailor’s: his greeting is perky—almost slangy. “Can you do me a coat?” he enquires, but quickly drivels down to “What cloth will you do to?” and then to the question “What will you to double (doubler) the coat?” obtains the satisfactory answer “From something of duration. I believe to you that.” After requesting to have his garment “The rather that be possible,” he overwhelms the procrastinating man of cloth with the stern remark “You have me done to expect too,” evidently a bold version of “Vous m’ avez fait trop attendre” which draws forth the natural excuse “I did can’t to come rather.” Passing by a number of good things which one would like to analyse if space permitted, we arrive at “For to ride a horse,” a fine little bit of word painting almost Carlylean xii in its grotesqueness. “Here is a horse who have a bad looks. He not sall know to march, he is pursy, he is foundered. Don’t you are ashamed to give me a jade as like? he is undshoed, he is with nails up; it want to lead to the farrier.” “Let us prick (piquons) go us more fast, never I was seen a so much bad beast; she will not nor to bring forward neither put back.” “Strek him the bridle,” cries the horsedealer, “Hold him the rein sharters.” “Pique stron gly, make to marsh him.” “I have pricked him enough. But I can’t to make marsh him,” replies the indignant client. “Go down, I shall make marsh,” declares the dealer; upon which the incensed equestrian rejoins “Take care that he not give you a foot kicks,” and the “coper” sardonically but somewhat incoherently concludes xiii with “Then he kicks for that I look? Sook here if I knew to tame hix.”
After the “Familiar Dialogues” we come upon a series of letters from celebrated personages, who would be puzzled to recognize themselves in their new dresses; and a collection of anecdotes which may be taken singly after dinner as a gentle promoter of digestion; the whole being appropriately concluded with “Idiotisms and Proverbs,” between which it must be confessed the distinction is purely imaginary; the following are a few gems: “Its are some blu stories” (contes bleus); “Nothing some money, nothing some Swiss,” “He sin in trouble water” (confusion of pécher and pêcher). “A horse baared don’t look him the tooth,” “The stone as roll not heap up not foam,” mousse meaning both foam and moss, of course the xiv wrong meaning is essential to a good “idiotism.” “To force to forge, becomes smith” (a force de forger on devient forgeron). “To craunch the marmoset” and “To fatten the foot” may terminate the list, and are incontestably more idiotic, although scarcely so idiomatic as “Croquer le marmot” and “Graisser la patte.”
The column in Portuguese which runs throughout the original work is omitted, and only a sufficient number of the English extracts are culled to enable the reader to form a just idea of the unintentionally humorous style that an author may fall into who attempts to follow the intricacies of “English as she is spoke” by the aid of a French dictionary and a phrasebook.
It is to be trusted the eccentric “Guide” to which this short sketch is intended to serve as
xvi Introduction—and, so far as may be, elucidation—is not a fair specimen of Portuguese or Brazilian educational literature; if such be the case the schoolmaster is indeed “abroad,” and one may justly fear that his instruction—to quote once more the Preface—“only will be for to accustom the Portuguese pupils, or foreign, to speak very bad any of the mentioned idioms.”
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 2 want, composing and divising the present little work in two parts. The first includes a greatest vocabulary proper names by alphabetical order; and the second forty three Dialogues adapted to the usual precisions of the life. For that reason we did put, with a scrupulous exactness, a great variety own expressions to english and portuguese idioms; without to attach us selves (as make some others) almost at a literal translation; translation what only will be for to accustom the Portuguese pupils, or-foreign, to speak very bad any of the mentioned idioms.
We were increasing this second edition with a phraseology, in the first part, and 3 some familiar letters, anecdotes, idiotisms, proverbs, and to second a coin’s index.
The Works which we were confering for this labour, fond use us for nothing; but those what were publishing to Portugal, or out, they were almost all composed for some foreign, or for some national little acquainted in the spirit of both languages. It was resulting from that corelessness to rest these Works fill of imperfections, and anomalies of style; in spite of the infinite typographical faults which some times, invert the sense of the periods. It increase not to contain any of those Works the figured pronunciation of the english words, nor the prosodical accent in the 4 Portuguese; indispensable object whom wish to speak the english and portuguese languages correctly.
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 especially of the Youth, at which we dedicate him particularly.
The fat of the leg
The inferior lip
The superior lip
A left handed
The gossip mistress
Tinker, a brasier
The morning-gown, night-gown
The paint or disguise
The low eating house
The prison, geol
The bed wood
The bed battom
The feet’s bed
The pillar’s bed
The head’s bed.
Some black pudding
A chitterling sausages.
A mutton shoulder
A little mine
A slice, steak
Vegetables boiled to a pap
Some paltry wine
Some sirup or sirop
Red-breast, a robin.
A sorte of fish
A pound an half
A quater ounce.
Even or non even
The sides of the nef
The little cellar
The boby of the church
Chanter, a clerk
General of a order
A vessel captain
A army general
A general to galeries
A great admiral
A king a lieutenant
A quater master
A vice admiral’s ship
The fire pan
A bomb ketch
The military case
A fusil, a gun.
To break upon
To tear off the flesh
To draw to four horses.
As described in Millington’s introduction, the Vocabulary section of the Novo Guia includes pronunciation. The first set of words is:
|The brain||Thi bréne.|
|The brains||Thi brenes.|
|The fat of the leg||Thi fate ove thi legue.|
|The ham||Thi hame.|
|The inferior lip||Thi ine-fi-ri-eur lip.|
|The superior lip||Thi siú-pi-ri-eur lip.|
|The marrow||Thi mar-rô.|
|The reins||Thi rén’z.|
|Of the Man.|
|The brain, the brains||Ô cerebro. Os miolos.|
|The reins||Ôs rins|
|That is: not a typo for “veins” but an archaism for “kidneys”. This is one of the more dramatic hints that Carolino’s French-English dictionary was very, very old. The OED has a citation for “reins” from as recently as 1870—but that’s in a translation of Homer, which would have been intentionally archaic. Their second-newest citation is from 1700.|
|Defects of the body.|
|In the “Degrees of Kindred” section, “a” translates un (masculine) while “an” translates une (feminine), suggesting that this is specifically “an ugly woman”. But the Portuguese has Feio, masculine, so for once we’ve got Carolino correctly differentiating “a” and “an”.|
|Degrees of kindred.|
|The gossip, The gossip mistress||O compadre, A comadre|
|A relation, An relation||Ô parente, A parenta|
|The same happens with “A guardian, An guardian” a bit further along.|
|The quater-grandfather, The quater-grandmother||Ô pãe do bisavo ôu trisavo, A mãe . . .|
|In the 2nd edition of the Novo Guia, this section comes after “Objects of man” and “Woman objects”—as well as several omitted sections—and immediately before Servants.|
|This presumably has something to do with dishes or porcelain, since the Dictionary Dance eventually leads to words like “dresser” and “sideboard”.|
|Especially useful when traveling in Scotland.|
|The busk||Â vâra-do-espartilho|
|Technically, the “busk” is the metal or whalebone stiffening at the front of a corset, but the word was sometimes used to designate the entire corset. In the Novo Guia, the word espartilho by itself is glossed as “stays” (corset) a bit further along.|
|The cornet||Â côifa-dê-nôite|
|The skate||Ôs chapins|
|The vomitory||Ô vômito|
|Parties a Town.|
|Parties a town||Pârtes d’úma cidáde|
|The jack||Ô engênho dê virár ô espêto|
|That would be what 19th-century books called a “bottle-jack”, even though it had nothing to do with bottles.|
|For the table.|
|A chitterling sausages||Úm chouriço|
|If a chouriço is the same as chorizo, I guess that is a reasonable translation.|
|A little mine||Úma fogâça|
|Vegetables boiled to a pap||Súcco d’ervilhas|
|As with the pécher and pêcher cited in Millington’s introduction, this involves two similar French words, ail (garlic) and aile (wing).|
|Some paltry wine||Água-pé|
|Quadruped’s beasts.||Animáes quadrúpedes|
|The French would have been something like bêtes or animaux de quatre pieds.|
|This may well be a mechanical error—c for e—but if so, it was borrowed intact from the Novo Guia.|
|The OED’s only citation for the “whoop” spelling is from 1694.|
|Meaning finch—or, capitalized, Finch.|
|In French, as in Portuguese, the same word does for both, and our Pedro didn’t know which one to choose.|
|A morpion, both in French and in English, is a crab louse. The OED calls the English word “obs.”|
|Fishes and shell-fishes.|
|A sorte of fish||Pêixe-caldêira|
|This is not the only time an English word shows up with archaic final e. Here it looks as if the dictionarist wasn’t sure what the French word meant, and could only guess it was, er, a sorte of fish. Or possibly a fish kettle (chaudière).|
|A sea urchin was sometimes called a “sea hedgehog” as late as the 19th century.|
|Was there a different French word meaning a small lobster?|
|gyrasol (now girasol) is a sunflower, Fr. tournesol. Once you know that the French is alphabetical, it becomes much easier to work out what the author intended.|
|In the 2nd edition of the Novo Guia this section comes after Minerals and Stones, before Weights.|
|In the 2nd edition of the Novo Guia, this section comes immediately after Flowers.|
|The color name “gridelin”—which might be pink, grey or pale violet—seems to have peaked in popularity in the 17th century.|
|Metals and minerals.|
|Google Translate helpfully says this means chewing gum—though it probably didn’t in 1855.|
|In the 2nd edition of the Novo Guia, this section is immediately before Solemn-feasts|
|A quirk of French and English is that an English “curate” is equivalent to a French vicaire, while an English “vicar” is a French curé. So to find out what a “general curate” does, look up “vicaire-général”.|
|I don’t need to consult the dictionary to know that this has to be another case of “asp” and “aspic”.|
|A harbinger||Úm furriél|
|A parapet||Úm guarda-de-corpo|
|I guess that is what a parapet is for, so you can see where our Pedro went astray.|
|A king a lieutenant||Úm tenênte-dê-rêi|
|The bait||Â escôrva|
|A fusil, a gun||Úma espingârda|
Go to send for.
Have you say that?
Have you understand that he says?
At what purpose have say so?
Put your confidence at my.
At what o’clock dine him?
Apply you at the study during that you are young.
Dress your hairs.
Sing an area.
These apricots and these peaches make me and to come water in mouth.18
How do you can it to deny?
Wax my shoes.
That is that I have think.
That are the dishes whose you must be and to abstain.
This meat ist not too over do.
This ink is white.
This room is filled of bugs.
This girl have a beauty edge.
It is a noise which to cleave the head.
This wood is fill of thief’s.
Tell me, it can one to know?
Give me some good milk newly get out.
To morrow hi shall be entirely (her master) or unoccupied.
She do not that to talk and to cackle.
Dry this wine.
He laughs at my nose, he jest by me.
He has spit in my coat.
He has me take out my hairs.
He does me some kicks.19
He has scratch the face with hers nails.
He burns one’s self the brains.
He is valuable his weight’s gold.
He has the word for to laugh.
He do the devil at four.
He make to weep the room.
He was fighted in duel.
They fight one’s selfs together.
He do want to fall.
It must never to laugh of the unhappies.
He was wanting to be killed.
I am confused all yours civilities.
I am catched cold.
I not make what to coughand spit.
Never I have feeld a such heat.
I have put my stockings outward.
I have croped the candle.
I have mind to vomit.
I will not to sleep on street.20
I am catched cold in the brain.
I am pinking me with a pin.
I dead myself in envy to see her.
I take a broth all morning.
I shall not tell you than two woods.
Have you understanded?
Let him have know?
Have you understand they?
Do you know they?
Do you know they to?
The storm is go over.
The sun begins to dissipe it.
Witch prefer you?
The paving stone is sliphery.
The thunderbolt is falling down.
The rose-trees begins to button.
The ears are too length.
The hands itch at him.
Have you forgeted me?
Lay him hir apron.
Help-to a little most the better yours terms.21
Dont you are awaken yet?
That should must me to cost my life.
We are in the canicule.
No budge you there.
Do not might one’s understand to speak.
Where are their stockings, their shoes, her shirt and her petlicot?
One’s can to believe you?
One’s find-modest the young men rarely.
If can’t to please at every one’s.
Take that boy and whip him to much.
Take attention to cut you self.
Take care to dirt you self.
Dress my horse.
Since you not go out, I shall go out nor I neither.
That may dead if I lie you.
What is it who want you?
Why you no helps me to?
Upon my live.
All trees have very deal bear.
A throat’s ill.22
You shall catch cold one’s.
You make grins.
Will some mutton?
Will you fat or slight?
Will you this?
Will you a bon?
You not make who to babble.
You not make that to prate all day’s work.
You interompt me.
You mistake you self heavily.
You come too rare.
|This ink is white.||. . . brânca ôu aguâda|
|This girl have a beauty edge||. . . é airosa|
|To morrow hi shall be entirely (her master) or unoccupied.||Êlle serâ â manhã interamênte livre.|
|Under libre, our Pedro’s French-English dictionary must have said something like “his master (her master) or unoccupied” and he didn’t know which parts to crop away.|
|She do not that to talk and to cackle.||Ella não fâz senão conversár ê palrâr|
|Dry this wine.|
|If you guessed that the first word in Portuguese is “provâi” (“ôu prôve”), you guessed right.|
|He burns one’s self the brains.||Côm ûm pistolâço fez-se saltâr os miólos.|
|(The word saltâr becomes sauter in French, giving the whole thing a culinary tone.)|
|He make to weep the room.||Mânda varrêr ô quârto|
|The first letter of “sweep” must have been swept away.|
|I am confused all yours civilities.||Estôu confúso dâs vóssas ôu súas civilidádes|
|Till say-us?||Alhé ônde dizêmos?|
|Till hither.||Alhé aquí|
|I have put my stockings outward.||Calcêi âs mêias dô avêsso ôu âs avéssas|
|I have croped the candle.||Espivitêi a vêla|
|I am catched cold in the brain.||Tênho ûm deflúxo de cérebro|
|I shall not tell you than two woods.||. . . dúas palavras|
|The rose-trees begins to button.||. . . rebentâr|
|Dont you are awaken yet?|
|This phrase is missing from the 2nd edition of O Novo Guia.|
|We are in the canicule.||Estâmos nâ canícula|
|Where are their stockings, their shoes, her shirt and her petlicot?||Ônde estão súas mêias, sapátos, camisa ê sâia?|
|In French, the point is obvious: Four different possessive adjectives (son, ses and so on), determined by the respective items’ number and gender.|
|All trees have very deal bear.||Tôdas âs árvores estâo bêm carregádas|
|Will you a bon?||Querêis ôu quér ûm ôsso?|
|You not make who to babble.||Não fazêis ôu fáz senão taramelár|
How does your father do?
He is very well.
I am very delight of it. Were is it?
I shall come back soon, I was no came that to know how you are.
Is your master at home?
Is it up.24
No, sir, he sleep yet.
I go make that he get up.
It come in one’s? How is it, you are in bed yet?
Yesterday at evening, I was to bed so late that I may not rising me soon that morning.
Well! what you have done after the supper?
We have sung, danced, laugh and played.
To the picket.
Whom I am sorry do not have know it!
Who have prevailed upon?
I had gained ten lewis.
Till at what o’clock its had play one?
Un till two o’clock after mid night.
At what o’clock are you go to bed.
Half pass three.
I am no astonished if you get up so late.
What o’clock is it?
What o’clock you think is it?
I think is not yet eight o’clock.
How is that, eight ’clock! it is ten ’clock struck.25
It must then what I rise me quickly.
Adieu, my deer, I leave you. If can to see you at six clock to the hotel from ***, we swill dine togetter.
Willingly. Good by.
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 to day?
Those that I had yesterday.
The tailor do owe to bring soon that of cloth.26
Have you wexed my shoes?
I go wex its now.
It must that I may wash my hands, the mouth and my face.
Will you and take a walk with me?
Wait for that the warm be out.
Go through that 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 bird’s gurgling?
Which pleasure! which charm!
The field has by me a thousand charms.
Are you hunter? will you go to the hunting in one day this week?
Willingly; I have not a most pleasure in the world. There is some game on they cantons?
We have done a great walk.27
We shall have a fine weather to day.
There is some foggy.
I fear of the thunderbolt.
The sun rise on.
The sun lie down.
It is light moon’s.
It is to day courier day’s; I have a letter to write.
At which does you write?
Is not that? look one is that.
This letter is arrears.
It shall stay to the post. This pen are good for notting. During I finish that letter, do me the goodness to scal this packet; it is by my cousin.
How is the day of month?
The two, the three, the four, etc.
That is some letter to me.
Go to bear they letter to the post.28
Do you like the gaming?
At what pack will you that we does play?
To the cards.
Waiter, give us a card’s game.
What is the trump?
The club’s king.
Play, if you please.
The heart’s aces.
We do ought.
This time I have a great deal pack.
Can you do me a coat?
What cloth will you do to?
From a stuff what be of season.
How much wants the ells for coat, waist coat, and breeches?
What will you to double the coat?
From some thing of duration. I believe to you that29
When do you bring me my coat?
The rather that be possible.
Bring you my coat?
Yes, sir, there is it.
You have me done to expect too.
I did can’t to come rather.
It don’t are finished?
The lining war not sewd.
It is so that do one’s now.
It pinches me too much upon stomack.
The sleeves have not them great deal wideness?
No, sir, they are well.
Your razors, are them well?
Comb-me quickly; don’t put me so much pomatum. What news tell me? all hairs dresser are newsmonger.
Sir, I have no heared any thing.30
John bring us some thing for to breakfast.
Yes, Sir; there is some sousages. Will you than I bring the ham?
Yes, bring-him, we will cup a steak put a nappe clothe upon this table.
I you do not eat?
How you like the tea.
It is excellent.
Still a not her cup.
It is true what is told of master M***?
Then what is told of him?
I have heard that he is hurt mortally.
I shall be sowow of it, because he is a honestman.
Which have wounden him?
Do know it why?
The noise run that is by to have given a box on the ear to a of them.31
I won’t have a good and fine cloth to make a coat.
How much do you sell it the ell?
We thout overcharge you from a halfpenny, it cost twenty franks.
Sir, I am not accustomed to cheapen: tell me the last price.
I have told you, sir, it is valuable in that.
It is too much dear, I give at it, eighteen franks.
You shall not have what you have wished.
You did beg me my last word, I told you them.
Well, well, cut them two ells.
Don’t you will not more?
No, at present.
Go to dine, the dinner is ready.
Cut some bread; here is it, I don’t know that boiled meat is good.32
Gentilman, will you have some beans?
Peter, uncork a Porto wine bottle.
Sir, what will you to?
Some pears, and apples, what wilt you?
Taste us rather that liquor, it is good for the stomach.
I am too much obliged to you, is done.
How is the french? Are you too learned now?
I could to tell some word’s that I know by heart.
Not apprehend you, the french language is not difficult.
I know it, and she have great deal of agreeableness. Who I would be. If I was know it!
It must to study for to learn it. How long there is it what you learn it?
It is not yet a month.
How is called your master?33
It is called N***
I know him it is long; he has teached a many of my friends. Don’t he tell you that it must to speak french?
Anthony, go to accompany they gentilsmen, do they see the town.
We won’t to see all that is it remarquable here.
Admire this master piece gothic architecture’s.
The chasing of all they figures is astonishing indeed.
The streets are very layed out by line and too paved.
There is it also hospitals here?
It not fail them.
What are then the edifices the worthest to have seen?
It is the arsnehal, the spectacle’s hall, the cusiom-house and the Purse.34
We are going too see the others monuments such that the public pawnbroker’s office, the plants garden’s the money office’s, the library.
How is that gentilman who you did speak by and by.
Is a German.
Tongh 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 belie ve him Spanishing, and the Englishes, Englisman.
It is difficult to enjoy well so much several langages.
Here is a horse who have a bad looks. Give me another; I will not that. He not sall 35 know to march, he is pursy, he is foundered. Don’t you are ashamed to give me a jade as like? he is undshoed, he is with nails up; it want to lead to the farrier.
Your pistols are its loads?
No; I forgot to buy gun-powder and balls. Let us prick. Go us more fast never I was seen a so much bad beast; she will not nor to bring forward neither put back.
Strek him the bridle, hold him the reins sharters. Pique stron gly, make to marsh him.
I have pricked him enough. But I can’t to make march him.
Go down, I shall make march.
Take care that he not give you a foot kick’s.
Then he kicks for that I look? Sook here if I knew to tame hix.
I bring you a watch that want to be ordered.
I had the misfortune to leave fall down the instant 36 where I did mounted, it must to put again a glass.
I want not a pendulum? I have them here some very good.
Don’t you live me her proof againts? I shall not accept that this condition.
How have you passed the night?
Very bad. I have not sleeped; I have had the fever during all night. I fell some pain every where body.
Live me see your tongue. Have you pain to the heart?
Are you altered?
Yes, I have thursty often.
Your stat have nothing from lrouble some.
What I may to eat?
You can take a broth.
Can I to get up my self?
Yes, during a hour or two.37
Let me have another thing to do?
Take care to hold you warme ly, and in two or three days you shall be cured.
Where you go so?
I am going to Cadiz.
Have you already arrested a coach?
Yes, sir, and very cheap.
There is it some danger on the highway?
It is not spoken that.
They speak not that may have some robbers on the woods?
It have nothing to fear, or in day neither the night.
Don’t we does pass for a***?
No, sir, they leave it to left.
Let us take patience, still some o’clock, and we shall be in the end of our voyage.38
What you give us for to take supper.
Gentlemen, what you will have.
Give us a pigeon couple, a piece of ham and a salad.
What have us expended?
The accout mount in little the supper, the bed and the breakfast, shall get up at thirty franks.
I don’t know more what I won’t with they servants.
I tell the same, it is not more some good servants. Any one take care to sweep neither to make fire at what I may be up.
How the times are changed! Anciently I had some servants who were divine my thought. The duty was done at the instant, all things were cleanly hold one may look on the furnitures now as you do see. It is too different, 39 whole is covered from dust; the pier-glasses side-boards, the pantries, the chests of drawers, the walls selves, are changed of colours.
Believe me, send again whole the people; I take upon my self to find you some good servants for to succeed them.
Ah! what I shall be oblige to you of it!
Were you go to the theatre yesterday?
Yes, sir; I won’t to see the new play in which did owed to play and actress which has not appeared on any theatre.
How you think her?
She has very much grace in the deeds great deal of exactness on the declamation, a constitution very agreable, and a delightful voice.
What you say of the comedy? Have her succeded? It was a drama; it was whistted to the third scene of the last act.40
It whant the vehicle, and the intrigue it was bad conducted.
So that they won’t waited even the upshot?
No, it was divined. In the mean time them did diliver justice to the players which generaly have play very well.
At the exception by a one’s self, who had land very much hir’s part.
It want to have not any indulgence towards the bat buffoons.
Have you seen already the new tragedy? They praise her very much.
It is multitude already.
Never I had seen the parlour so full.
This actor he make very well her part.
That piece is full of interest.
It have wondered the spectadors.
The curtains let down.
Go out us.41
There is it some game in this wood?
Another time there was plenty some black beasts and thin game, but the poachers have killed almost all.
Look a hare who run! let do him to pursue for the hounds! it go one’s self in the ploughed land.
Here that it rouse. Let aim it! let make fire him!
I have put down killed.
Me, I have failed it; my gun have miss fixe.
I see a hind.
Let leave to pass away, don’t disturte it.
I have heard that it is plenty pardridges this year.
Have you killed also some thrushes.
Here certainly a very good hunting.
That pond it seems me many multiplied of fishes. Let us amuse rather to the fishing.42
I do like-it too much.
Here, there is a wand and some hooks.
Silence! there is a superb perch! Give me quick the rod. Ah! there is, it is a lamprey.
You mistake you, it is a frog! dip again it in the water.
It seems no me new.
Pardon me, it comes workman’s hands.
Which hightness want you its?
I want almost four feet six thumbs wide’s, over seven of long.
Don’t you fear the privateers!
I jest of them; my vessel is armed in man of war, I have a vigilant and courageous equipage, and the ammunitions don’t want me its.
Never have you not done wreck?
That it is arrived me twice.43
Shall I eat some plums soon?
It is not the season yet; but here is some peaches what does ripen at the eye sight.
It delay me to eat some wal nuts-kernels; take care not leave to pass the season.
Be tranquil, I shall throw you any nuts during the shell is green yet.
The artichoks grow its?
I have a particular care of its, because I know you like the bottoms.
It must to cup the trees.
It should pull the bad grasses up.
Do you like the reading good deal too many which seem me?
That is to me a amusement.44
All the fields that you see thither were been neglected; it must I shall grub up and to plough its.
The ground seems me a little scour with sand and yet it may one make it bring up; I want be fumed time by time.
Your pens have any notches, and its spit.
How do you like its? will you its are fine or broad?
I won’t me also a wafer or some sealing wax and a seal.
In this drawer, there is all that, falding stick, rule, scraper, saud, etc.
There is the postman I go to put it him again.
What is there in new’s litterature?
Little or almost nothing, it not appears any thing of note.45
And yet one imprint many deal.
But why, you and another book seller, you does not to imprint some good wooks?
There is a reason for that, it is that you cannot to sell its. The actual-liking of the public is depraved they does not read who for to amuse one’s self ant but to instruct one’s.
But the letter’s men who cultivate the arts and the sciences they can’t to pass without the books.
A little learneds are happies enough for to may to satisfy their fancies on the literature.
Have you found the Buffon who I had call for?
I have only been able to procure the octo-decimo edition, which is embellished with plates beautifully coloured.
I have the teetht-ache.
Is it a fluxion, or have you a bad tooth?
I think that is a bad tooth; please you to examine my mouth?46
You have a bad tooth; will you pull out this tooth?
I can’t to decide me it, that make me many great deal pain.
Your tooth is absolutely roted; if you leave it; shall spoil the others.
In such case draw it.
I shall you neat also your mouth, and you could care entertain it clean, for to preserve the mamel of the teeth; I could give you a 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.
Who lhat be too washed, too many soaped, and the shirts put through the buck.
You may be sure; never I do else.
I row upon the belly on the back and between two waters.47
I am not so dexte rous that you.
Nothing is more easy than to swim; it do not what don’t to be afraid of.
Do you study?
Yes, sir, I attempts to translate of french by portuguese.
Do you know already the principal grammars rules?
I am appleed my self at to learn its by heart.
Do speak french alwais?
Some times; though I flay it yet.
You jest, you does express you self very well.
|For make a visit in the morning.|
|I had gained ten lewis.||Eu ganhêi mâis dê trinta mil rêis|
|Yet another hint that our Pedro didn’t really know French. His Novo Guia includes the section of Fonseca’s book that lists different countries’ currencies, so he could perfectly well have expressed the French sum in pounds and shillings. But it doesn’t seem to have occurred to him that louis are money—even though the Portuguese is right under his nose—so instead he just Anglicizes to “lewis”.|
|we swill dine togetter.|
|Now we know what happened to the missing s in “sweep” (page 19).|
|For to dress him self.|
|Make its a point||Dá-lhe ûm pônto|
|It is light moon’s.|
|Could this be anything but clair de lune (Pt. luár)?|
|do me the goodness to scal this packet|
|I thought this might be an error for “scale”, involving some weighing process. But the Portuguese is fêche, so it’s just a mechanical error—either a typo or misread handwriting—for “seal”.|
|With the tailor.|
|I believe to you that|
|The final . is missing, but the sentence is otherwise complete as printed.|
|The rather that be possible.||Quânto ântes|
|For to breakfast.|
|we will cup a steak||cortár-lhê-hêmos ûma talhâda|
|In other words, it’s just a typo for “cut”.|
|For to ask some news.|
|The noise run that is by to have given a box on the ear to a of them.|
|The next two lines in the Novo Guia are, unsurprisingly, “I believe not it.” “Nor i either.”|
|For to speak french.|
|There are not one but two dialogues involving the French language. Again, it doesn’t enter our Pedro’s mind to replace “French” with “English” throughout.|
|For to see the town.|
|Mark Twain’s representative page begins here and covers about a page and a half of the 2nd edition.|
|It is the arsnehal|
|Surprisingly, this is not because the Portuguese word has an h; it’s simply ô arsenál.|
|the Purse||â práça-dô-commércio|
|Crystal ball says the French had la Bourse.|
|the public pawnbroker’s office||ô Mónte-pío|
|For to ride a horse.|
|Strek him the bridle||Alárgue-lhê a rédea|
|Sook here if I knew to tame hix.||Ôlhe cômo êu ô súbe domár|
|Did an S get into the L bin, or were they indistinguishable in Pedro Carolino’s handwriting?|
|With a watch maker.|
|I want not a pendulum?|
|The watchmaker isn’t offering our customer a pendulum for his pocket watch; he’s trying to interest him in a clock (Fr. pendule).|
|For to visit a sick.|
|Are you altered?||Está Vm. sequiôso?|
|The Dictionary Dance—three-step version—tells me that one French term for “thirsty” is altéré|
|Your stat have nothing from lrouble some.||Â súa situação não é dê cuidádo|
|I was afraid the sick friend’s condition had worsened, requiring emergency intervention—stat. But it’s just a typo for “state”.|
|For to travel.|
|Don’t we does pass for a***?||Não passâmos pôr A***?|
|still some o’clock||d’aqui â algúmas hôras|
|For the comedy.|
|File under: Most Accurate Heading.|
|Have her succeded? It was a drama|
|The 2nd edition of the Novo Guia has the expected paragraph break between these two lines. There’s also a bit of extra dialogue on the Portuguese side: Não éra comédia, éra ûm drâma.|
|it was whistted||levôu pateáda|
|Considering how often t is printed as l, it seems only fair that sometimes a mistake is made in the opposite direction.|
|So that they won’t waited even the upshot?||Vísto ísso ô público não quíz esperár ô desfêcho?|
|This is the rare case where “won’t” really does mean “won’t”—for a given definition of “really mean”—rather than “want”.|
|Another time there was plenty some black beasts|
|Thanks to Brillat-Savarin, I know this one. Black beasts (viandes noires) = game (veação).|
|With a gardener.|
|It must to cup the trees.||Ê necessário podár âs árvores|
|With a bookseller.|
|good wooks||bôas óbras|
|Not a typo for “books” but for “works”; in fact the 2nd edition spells it right.|
|I have only been able to procure the octo-decimo edition||Só achêi â edição êm desóito|
|I have a hard time working “octodecimo” and “plates beautifully coloured” into the same sentence, since you rarely meet color plates in anything smaller than a quarto. Possibly he means the eighteenth edition.|
|With a dentist.|
|the mamel of the teeth||ô esmálte dôs dêntes|
|a opiate||ûma opiáta|
|The French word is opiacé, masculine, where un is once again translated a.|
|For to swim.|
|I row upon the belly|
|The Portuguese uses the verb nadár throughout. How this ended up as two different French verbs—one of which is translated “row”—must remain a mystery.|
|The french language.|
|I flay it yet|
|In addition to its literal meaning of “flay”, the French écorcher can also be rendered as “to murder (a language)”. Pedro, you never spoke a truer word.|
My uncle what will to treat her beshop in a great sumptuouness, he was go Avignon for to buy what one not should find there, and he had leave me the charge to provide all things. I have excellent business, as you see, and I know some thing more than to eat my soup, since I know do to prepare it. I did learn that it must give to the first, to second, and to the third service, by dishes that want to join, and yet some thing more; because we does pretend make a feast at four services without to account the dessert.
Good bye, my dear sir, etc.49
My lady, I have a complaint to present you. So much happy that might be one’s self, one have not all theirs eases in this world. Your letters are shortest. You have plaied wonderfully all sentiments; less her prattle, etc.
Allow me, my dear abbot, who I remind me of your friendship. I recommend you 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.
Do you suppose any of our Pedro’s students thought to ask why all the letters are to and from famous French people? Several of the omitted letters—the original has twelve in all, spanning 7 pages—are from women: “Madam of Maintenon”, “Madam of Sevigné” and so on.
Cuttler, a very rich man too many avaricious, commonly he was travel at a horse, and single for to avoid all expenses. In the evening at to arrive at the inn did feign to be indispose, to the end that one bring him the supper. He did ordered to the stable knave to bring in their room some straw, for to put in their boots he made to warm her bed and was go lo sleep. When the servant was draw again, he come up again, and with the straw of their boots, and the candle what was leave him he 51 made a small fire where he was roast a herring what he did keep of her pocket. He was always the precaution one to provide him self of a small of bread and one bring up a water bottle, and thus with a little money.
A blind did hide five hundred crowns in a corner of their garden; but a neighbour, which was perceive it, did dig up and took its. The blind not finding more her money, was suspect that might be the robed, but one work for take again it? He was going find the neighbour, and told him that he came to get him a council; than he was a thousand crowns which the half was hided into a sure part and I don’t know if want, if to put the remains to the same part. The neighbour was council him so and was hasten to carry back that sum, in the hope soon to draw out a thousand. But the blind 52 having finded the money, was seized it, having called her neighbour, he told him: “Gossip, the blind saw clearer than this that may have two eyes.”
A man one’s was presented at a magistrate which had a considerable library. “What you make?” beg him the magistrate. “I do some books,” he was answered. “But any of your books I did not seen its.—I believe it so, was answered the author; I mak nothing for Paris. From a of my works is imprinted, I send the edition for America; I don’t compose what to colonies.”
One eyed was laied against a man which had good eyes that he saw better than him. The party was accepted. “I had gain, over said the one eyed; why I see you two eyes, and you not look me who one.”
A english lord was in their bed tormented, cruelly of the gout, when was announced him a pretended physician, which had a remedy sure against that illness. “That doctor came in coach or on foot?” was request the lord. “On foot,” was answered him the servant. “Well, was replied the sick, go tell to the knave what go back one’s self, because if he was the remedy, which he exalt him self, he should roll a coach at six horses, and I would be send for him my self and to offer him the half part of my lands for to be delivered of my sickness.”
A duchess accused of magic being interrogated for a commissary extremely unhandsome, this was beg him selve one she had look the devil. “Yes, sir, I did see him, was answer the duchess, and he was like you as two water’s drops.”
A Lady, which was to dine, chid to her servant that she not had used butter enough. This girl, for to excuse him selve, was bing a little cat on the hand, and told that she came to take him in the crime, finishing to eat the two pounds from butter who remain. The Lady took immediately the cat, was put into the balances it had not weighted that one an half pound.
A countryman which came through to Paris upon the bridge to the change, not had perceived merchandises in several shops. The curiosity take him, he come near of a exchange desk:—“Sir, had he beg from a look simple, tell me what you sell.” The loader though that he may to divert of the personage:—“I sell, was answered him asse’s heads.”—“Indeed, reply to him the countryman, you make of it a great sale, because it not remains more but one in your shop.”
The commander Forbin of Janson, being at a repast with a celebrated Boileau, had undertaken to pun him upon her name:—“What name, told him, carry you thither? Boileau: I would wish better to call me Drink wine.” The poet was answered him in the same tune:—“And you, sir, what name have you choice? Janson: I should prefer to be named John-Meal. The meal don’t is valuable better than the furfur?”
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 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.”
A countryman was confessed to the parson to have robbed a mutton at a farmer of her neighbourhood. “My friend, told him the confessor, it must to return, or you shall not have the absolution.—But repply the villager, I had eated him.—So much worse, told him the pastor; you vill be the devil sharing; because in the wide vale where me ought to appear we before God every one shall spoken against you, even the mutton. How! repply the countryman, the mutton will find in that part? I am very glad of that; then the restitution shall be easy, since I shall not have to tell to the farmer: “Neighbour take your mutton again.”
Plato walking one’s self a day to the field with some of their friends. They were to see him Diogenes who was in to water untill the chin. The superficies of the water was snowed, for the reserve of the hole that Diogenes was 57 made. “Don’t look it more told them Plato, and he shall get out soon.”
A day came a man consult this philosopher for to know at o’clock it was owe to eat. If thou art rich, told him eat when you shall wish; if you are poor, when you may do.
At the middle of a night very dark, a blind was walk in the streets 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 and that the giddie swhich seem to you do not come to run against me, and make to break my jar.”
The English reader gets off easy. In the original, this section covers 20 pages of small print.
|he told him: “Gossip||. . . compadre|
|This is the same dictionary entry that gave us “The gossip” and “The gossip mistress” near the beginning of the Vocabulary section.|
|The party was accepted.||A aposta . . .|
|The French for “bet” is pari, which the author must have misread as parti.|
|being interrogated for a commissary extremely unhandsome||sendo interrogada por ûm commissario cuja cara era horrendissina|
|Our Pedro would have done better to leave the French alone and translate the Portuguese word for word.|
|was bing a little cat on the hand||trazendo-lhe um gatinho|
|Rendering “bring” as “bing” I understand, but where did “on the hand” come from?|
|had undertaken to pun him upon her name|
|A better man than Pedro Carolino would have realized that a pun, of all things, cannot be translated. What a good thing our Pedro was not a better man!|
|the giddie swhich seem to you||esturdios, qual tu és.|
|Once you know that the French for “giddy” is étourdi, it all falls into place: one giddy, two giddies. Antonio Vieyra’s Portuguese-English dictionary from 1851 further explains that esturdio is “a jocose word”; a slightly later writer might have rendered the phrase as “jokers like you”.|
The necessity don’t know the low.
Few, few the bird make her nest.
He is not valuable to breat that he eat.
Its are some blu stories.
Nothing some money, nothing of Swiss.
He sin in trouble water.
A bad arrangement is better than a process.
He has a good beak.
In the country of blinds, the one eyed men are kings.
To build castles in Espagnish.59
Cat scalded fear the cold water.
To do the fine spirit.
With a tongue one go to Roma.
There is not any rnler without a exception.
Take out the live coals with the hand of the cat.
A horse baared don’t look him the tooth.
Take the occasion for the hairs.
To do a wink to some body.
So many go the jar to spring, than at last rest there.
He eat untill to can’t more.
Which like Bertram, love hir dog.
It want to beat the iron during it is hot.
He is not so devil as he is black.
It is better be single as a bad company.
The stone as roll not heap up not foam.
They shurt him the doar in face.
He has fond the knuckle of the business.
He turns as a weath turcocl.
There is not better sauce who the appetite.60
The pains come at horse and turn one’s self at foot.
He is beggar as a church rat.
So much go the jar to spring that at last it break there.
To force to forge, becomes smith.
Keep the chestnut of the fire with the cat foot.
Friendship of a child is water into a basket.
At some thing the misforte is good.
Burn the politeness.
Tell me whom thou frequent, I will tell you which you are.
After the paunch comes the dance.
Of the hand to mouth, one lose often the soup.
To look for a needle in a hay bundle.
To craunch the marmoset.
To buy cat in pocket.
To be as a fish into the water.
To make paps for the cats.
To fatten the foot.
To come back at their muttons.
Sadly, Pedro Carolino did not have access to—or chose not to avail himself of—the useful book The Idioms of the French and English Languages (Lewis Chamband, 1793). If nothing else, it would have enabled him to say “idioms” instead of “idiotisms”.
|A bad arrangement is better than a process.||Mais vale um ruim concêrto, que uma boa demanda.|
|To build castles in Espagnish.||Fazer tôrres de vento.|
|This is a consistent error. In the appendix listing different countries’ currencies, Spain is again rendered “Espagnish”.|
|Cat scalded fear the cold water.|
Mark Twain would have appreciated this, since he once wrote:
“We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it—and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again—and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.”
|He turns as a weath turcocl.||Muda-se como grimpa.|
|Once you learn that a grimpa is a weathervane, it is safe to guess that the cryptic words “weath turcocl” started out as “weathercock”. When you are writing in a language you don’t know, legibility is a definite asset.|
|To come back at their muttons.||Voltar á vaca fria|
|If you opened the book to the last page, and read this final line before anything else, you would immediately know that you were dealing with a literal translation from French. Revenons à nos moutons is a uniquely French expression, originating in the 15th-century play La Farce de Maître Pathelin.|
At the end of the Vocabulary section, before proceeding to Familiar Phrases, O Novo Guia has a table headed “Diphtongs” (spelled like that). The author seems to have picked this word at random from a pronunciation table that begins with simple vowels and ends with consonants, covering diphthongs along the way. Since it obviously wasn’t present in Fonseca’s book—which would have given the pronunciation of French letters—Carolino must have lifted it from his French-English dictionary. In fact it may be the only part of the book that is not a word-for-word translation from French (or Portuguese, in the case of the Preface).
All errors—“ave four sounds”, “Veoman”, “Fœutus” and so on—are in the original (2nd edition). I especially like the French printer’s rendering of “oe” as “œ”, giving us the common English words “fœ” and “shœ”.
|(A) have three sounds.||e||(Fate) fete.|
|(E) have four sounds.||i||(Me) mi.|
|(I) have four sounds.||a’i||(Pine) pain.|
|(O) have three sounds.||o||(For) for.|
|(U) have two sounds.||u||(Bull) Bul.|
|(Y) have two sounds.||ai||(Fly) flai.|
|(Ai) have two sounds.||e||(Said) sede.|
|(Au) have one sound.||a||(Aunt) ant.|
|(Aw) have one sound.||a||(Awe) â.|
|(Ay) have one sound.||e||(Aye) e-i.|
|(Ea) have three sounds.||i||(Appeal) appil.|
|(Ee) have one sound.||i|
|(Eo) have four sound.||i||People) pipl’.|
|(Eu) (ew) (ewe) have the sound of yu|
|(Ei) ave four sounds.||e||(Feign) féne.|
|(Ie) have three sounds.||i||(Grieve) grive.|
|(Io) have the sound of||eu||(Question) kues’-txeune.|
|(Oa) have the sound of||o||(Coal) kol.|
|(Oe) have the sound of||i||(Fœutus) fi’-teuces.|
|(oo) have the sound of||u||(Food) fud.|
|(Ch) have the pronunciation of||tx||(Child) txaild.|
|(J) have the pronunciation of||dj||(Jig) djigue.|
|(Sh) have the pronunciation of||x||(Shall) xall.|
|(T) on the termination of tion
have the sound of
|(W) have the sound of||u||(Wag) uague.|
|(Z) have the sound of zed in general.||(Zephyr) ze-fer.|
Edward Gould Buffum (1820–1867) is best known for Six Months in the Gold Mines (1850), written in California. He ended up working in Paris, where he died in late 1867. Although he was officially a correspondent for the New York Herald, he must not have been on an exclusive contract; “Parisian English” appeared in The Galaxy (Vol. 4, pgs. 45-52) in May 1867. I’ve given the whole thing, since it isn’t long. But the first two pages are clearly just a lead-in to the Novo Guia, which takes up more than half the article.
All errors—a ’l eau de vie, “suflicient times . . . one can take” and so on—are in the original. Some details: Where Buffum has “a herring what he did keep of her pochet”, English As She is Spoke has “her pocket”—but the 2nd (1855) edition of the Novo Guia spells it “pochet”. Is this another case of English or American editors accidentally correcting an error, as they did with “i” for “I”? Buffum also quotes “So much go the jar to spring, than at last rest there”. This “idiotism” actually occurs twice in the Novo Guia, reproduced by English As She is Spoke: once as “So many go the jar to spring, than at last rest there”, and once more as “So much go the jar to spring that at last it break there.”
During a long residence in Paris the writer has been frequently and exceedingly amused at the translations which are made for the benefit of the English and Americans who visit the French capital, and whose stock of funds is supposed to be considerably greater than their knowledge of the French language.
In many of the Parisian restaurants, the bills of fare are printed upon one side in French, and on the other a translation is made, into what the “expert,” who is employed for the purpose, fondly supposes to be English of the most elegant description, but which is usually as comprehensible as so much Chinese, Hottentot, or Timbuctoo; not nearly so much so as the French itself, which the non-French-speaking tourist might possibly, with the aid of a dictionary and a phrase-book, render into English for himself.
What amount of information as to the character or composition of the dishes themselves would, for instance, be derived from such titles as “karitz at Indian,” or “quenelle of Armanciere,” or “quenelle German manner,” or a “mutton chop at Soubise,” a “pinion at financiere,” a “fie of wood-cock at Mancel,” a “red of river,” an “epigram of veal,” or a “small dab;” all of which figure largely on the English side of the bills of fare at many of the Parisian restaurants. Timbale de riz a l’ancienne is rendered “a cup of rice at oldness,” and Deux Chinois a ’l eau de vie, which are simply a couple of Chinese fruits preserved in brandy, is translated, “two Chinese in spirits,” but whether in good spirits or bad, or with their tails on or off, are matters left to the imagination of the customer. A friend whose love of a joke sometimes overcomes his strict regard for truth, has informed the writer, who gives it on his friend’s and not on his own authority, that he has seen in a Parisian bill of fare ris de veau a la financiere, rendered by some genius who evidently was “nothing if not” literal, into “the smile of the calf to the female capitalist.” He can vouch, however, for the fact that another restaurant proprietor has, perhaps unconsciously, stumbled into the truth in rendering his statement that Les vins ne laissent à desirer, into “The wines leave nothing to be hoped for.”
Some of the translations of shop signs are equally singular with the restaurant bills. Gants de peau de nice, over the door of a glove shop in the Boulevards, is Anglicized into “Nice Skin’s gloves.” For apartments and rooms to be rented one is constantly encountering the request to apply at the porter. A shopman in the Rue de Rivoli informs the passers by that he keeps a “speciality of bottles to make one’s self, seltzer water, soda water and all other sorts of effervescing drinks.” The ridiculousness of the error here, as will be seen, simply arises from the too literal rendering of pour faire soi-meme. Quite as literal, and perhaps quite as ridiculous is the sign of a tailor on the Boulevards, who, in French, informs all who pass that he was Ci-devant No. 12 Place de la Bourse, and in corresponding English, that he was “formerly No. 12 Exchange Place.” Now, although a stranger in Paris would have not the slightest ditliculty in finding the Place de la Bourse, he would, doubtless, encounter a considerable amount of it in his searches after Exchange Place.
The efforts of the proprietors of Parisian restaurants in behalf of the corruption of the Queen’s English were, however, entirely eclipsed by an individual who, some two years since, established in Paris an advertising sheet, making its appearance semi-occasionally, and in the prospectus of which, the proprietor set forth that for the benefit and convenience of the numerous foreigners passing through and sojourning for a time in the capital, he purposed publishing his advertisements in five different languages—French, English, German, Spanish and Italian. The writer has not made a critical examination of the style of the translations in the other tongues, but if they are as plain to the comprehension, and in as strict accordance with the genius of the several languages, as are those which are supposed to be rendered into the very best English, they must have afforded very edifying and satisfactory reading to the “travellers and sojourners” who consulted for information the lucid columns of the “Times International,” a journal now unfortunately defunct, but some of whose gems are well worth preserving. Here are a few, taken at random:
A Belgian manufacturer, having a practise of large sale in mercery and quincallery is desirous to have the deposite of flited articles to this place or to be commissionatcd by important houses for these articles.
A late provincial trader joung and married, desires to obtain an employment, or gerance in a commercial house in Paris or outskirt—he would give if wanted a bailling.
To give up for professions changement a grocers stock with spirits and wines sale at Versailles—in a populous neighborhood business 40000 fr. credit. none price: 7000 fr. rent 170 fr. on account of second hand lettin: beautiful local. lease five years: apply etc.
Neiderbrons Bath.-The mineral waters of Nciderbron in wards kept heg to themselves the purgative qualities which we need for the treatment of the deccases of stomach intestines and other, or womans deceases irritation of skin obstruction and all deceases of lymphatic and scrofulous nature.
Introduction on the Use and Effect of the Pine Tree Needle Oil.—One employ it for the internal use with very goodt success applied, against the rheumat’isme the gout, the dropsy, the stene of the bile and the belly nerve sickn‘ees. Dosis: 10 till 25 drops 8 till 6 times the day: into honey, sugar watter but because the taste of this oil might con’trary some persons the director of the establishment has therefore for that reason it wraping ub into gelly capsule; every capsule wrapes ub off 5 drops which are easy to gulp: the use of these capsules has been recommended already long times by the physicians on the coasts of North and East.
The putting the oil into capsules containing 5 drops is easy to gulp dissolved himself into the stomach and produced the wished effect without to let the smallest taste.
Introduction on the Use and Power of the Sirop of Pine Tree Needle.—This sirop contained the parts of the powerfullest of the preparation of the pine tree needles for the internal use: he operated against the catarrhe, the scaly state of the lungs sleine skin into the diverse periods of the skin’s of the’s organ the spitting of blood etc. By his power dispersed one’s selfe’s the obstinate cough, the pain of the breast, the fever disappeared the appetite appeared again, the digestion facilitated himself, finally the patient perceive unto few times one perceptible improvement into their state.
The use of this sirop is not littless important against the haunch-ache, the stone the cramp of the urinal bubble, the irritations of the internal slime skin. This remedy has moreover the advantage to be of one delightful taste and the invaluable quality to be safer by the most feebles and the most sensible’s stomach’s.
This sirop must to be employed suflicient times if one wand obtain of that one permanent effect. one can take him 8 times to-day gradating of that the dose of 4—6 spoonful daily. For the children 2—3 spoonful suflice ordinary. This sirop is particularly one anodyne against the nocturnal paroxysm who the asthmatics are so often exposed. One diminished the dose by degr’ees of the amendment.
But as is the smallest star which twinkles among the nebulæ of the milky way to the brightest meridian sun, as is the jet of a penny syringe to Niagara, as is a wart to Ossa, so are all the foregoing specimens of English run mad, to those contained in a “little book,” accidently picked up by the writer in one of his peregrinations among the old book-stands of the quay. This is a work published in Paris in 1855, entitled “The New Guide of the Conversation in Portuguese and English, in two parts.” Though attention has been called before to this remarkable book, and it must be known to some of the readers of The Galaxy, it is probable that it is new to very many of them; and even those who have already laughed over its pages will enjoy reading again some choice extracts from it. The character and object of the work are clearly and succinctly set forth in the preface, which is as follows:
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, composing and divising the present little work in two parts. The first includes a greatest vocabulary proper names by alphabetical order; and the second fourty three Dialogues adapted to the usual precisions of the life. For that reason we did put, with a scrupulous exactness, a great variety own expressions to english and portuguese idioms; without to attach us selves (as make some others) almost at a literal translation; translation what only will be for to accustom the portuguese pupils, or-foreign, to speak very bad any of the mentioned idioms.
We were increasing this second edition with a phraseology, in the first part, and some familiar letters, anecdotes, idiotisms, proverbs, and to second a coin‘s index.
The Works which we were confering for this labour, fond use us for nothing; but those what were publishing to Portugal, or out, they were almost all composed for some foreign, or for some national little aquainted in the spirit of both languages. It was resulting from that corelessness to rest these Works fill of imperfections, and anomalies of style; in spite of the infinite typographical faults which some times invert the sense of the periods. If increase not to contain any of those Works the figured pronunciation of the english words, nor the prosodical accent in the portuguese: indispensable object whom wish to speak the english and portuguese languages correctly.
We expect then, who the little book (for the care what we wrote him, and for her typgraphical correction) that may be worth the aoceptation of the studious persons, and especialy of the Youth, at which we dedicate him particularly.
After so promising a preface, one might reasonably expect much from the succeeding pages of the “little book,” and in this case, expectation is fully realized. Upon a cursory examination when first he found it, the writer was inclined to believe that it had been compiled as a joke, with the object of deliciously hoaxing the “studious youth,” who should consult its pages. After an interview, however, with the publishers, a highly respectable Portuguese firm in Paris, and upon a more thorough examination of the volume itself, he became convinced that it was compiled and published in perfect good faith, and doubtless purchased and carefully studied in faith as good, by many of the “Portuguese and Brazilian youth at which” the author dedicated “him particularly.” The best evidence of the genuine character and honesty of the work is perhaps to be found in the fact that it would be, humanly speaking, utterly impossible for any one, deliberately and with “malice aforethought,” to lead the English language over such rough roads and through such labyrinthine mazes as those into which the compilers of this work have unconsciously stumbled.
The “Guide,” contains one hundred and eighty-two pages, printed in double columns, the Portuguese on the left, and the “English” upon the right-hand side of the page. The first fifty-six pages are devoted to definitions of single words, which, as they have been simply culled from a dictionary, are usually correct, and offer no remarkable peculiarities. After these commences a series of “familiar phrases,” many of which are certainly anything but “familiar” to the ear accustomed to hearing the English language spoken with even tolerable purity, and of which the following are a few specimens, gathered at random from thirty-five pages of similar choice and intelligible phrases for the inquiring Portuguese youth, to which this portion of the work is devoted:
This trees make a beauty shade.
Let us go on ours feet.
She are both very fine.
At which believe you be business?
Have him some children?
At what o’clock dine him?
The weather is to the rain.
That are the dishes whose you must be and to abstain.
We had whole things into abundance.
I am going to congratulate him of her marryage.
I have leted him my house.
I dead myself in envy to see her.
This girl have a beauty edge.
He burns one‘s self the brains.
I am catched cold.
I not make what to cough and spit.
I am stronger which him.
The Spring have not had this year.
This wood is fill of thief’s.
Sing an area.
He is falled in the dirt.
Put your confidence at my.
Apply you to the study during that you are young.
This meat ist not too overdo.
This room is filed of bugs.
Have you some good milk newly get out?
There is it two years what my father is dead.
He has pull me the book by hands.
He laughs at my nose, he jest by me.
He has spit in my cost.
He has take out my hairs.
He does me some kicks.
He has scratch the face with her’s nails.
The “phrases” are followed by a number of “familiar dialogues” of which these are fair specimens:
Here is a horse who have a bad looks. Give mi another; i will not that. He not sall know to march, he is pursy, he is foundered. Don’t you are ashamed to give me a jade as like? he is undshoed, he is with nails up; it want to lead to the farrier. He go limp, he is disable, he is blind. That saddle shall hurt me. The stirrups are too long, very shorts. stretch out the stirrups, shorten the stirrups. The saddles girths are roted, what bat bridle? Give me my whip. Fasten the cloak-bag and my cloak.
Your pistols are its loads?
No; i forgot to buy gun-powder and balls. Let us prick. Go us more fast never i was seen a so much bad beast; she will not nor to bring forward neither put back.
Strek him the bridle, hold him the reins sharters. Pique stron gly, make to marsh him.
I have pricked him enough. But i can’t to make march him.
Go down, i shall make march.
Take care that he not give you a foot kick’s.
Then he kicks for that i look? Sook here if i knew to tame hix.
I don‘t know more what i won’t with they servants.
I tell the same, it is not more some good servants. Any one take care to sweep neither to make fire at what i may be up.
For me, i sweep usually my room my self.
It all right; the means to be served well is to serve himself.
How the times are changed! Anciently i had some servants who were divine my thought. The duty was done at the instant, all things were cleanly hold one may look on the furnitures now as you do see. It is too different, whole is covered from dust; the pier-glasses, side-boards, the pantries, the cheats of drawers, the walls selves, are changed of colours.
Believe me, send again whole the people; i take upon my self to find you some good servants for to succeed them.
Ah! what i shall be oblige to you of it?
Next in turn are a number of “anecdotes.” The narration of these, requiring a certain degree of consecutiveness of idea, and a certain knowledge of the relations between the different parts of speech, and their varied forms, as might be expected, offers insurmountable obstacles to the instructors of the “Portuguese and Brazilian youth;” and past, present and future tenses, masculine, feminine and neuter genders, all the moods, and singulars, and plurals, are misplaced and jumbled together in most admirable confusion. Peruse, reader dear, for your edification, the story of “Cuttler:”
Cuttler, a very rich man too many avaricious, commonly he was travel at a horse, and single for to avoid all expenses. In the evening at to arrive at the inn did feign to be indispose. to the end that one bring him the supper. He did ordered to the stable knave to bring in their room some straw. for to put in their boots he made to warm her bed and was go to sleep. When the servant was draw again, he come up again, and with the straw of their boots, and the candle what was leave him he made a small fire where he was roast a herring what he did keep of her pochet. He was always the precaution one to provide him self of a small of bread and one bring up a water bottle and thus with a little money.
The following is probably one of the best specimens of a spoiled joke in the “English” or any other language:
The commander Forbin of Janson, being at a repast with a celebrated Boileau, had undertaken to pun him upon her name:—“What name, told-him, carry you thither? Boileau; i would wish better to call me Drink wine.” The poet was answered him in the same tune:—“And you, sir, what name have you choice? Janson; i should prefer to be named John-Meal. The meal don’t is valuable better than the furfur?“
Now, in French, this is a very good story, and those who understand French will readily observe the point of it. The name of Boileau may be tortured, for punning purposes, into “Drink-water;” and “son” in French means “bran.” Of course the pun is utterly untranslatable, and is rendered none the clearer by the statement that “the meal don’t is valuable better than the furfur.” Here is another story from the depths of which, with a little study, the point may be extracted:
A Lady, which was to dine, chid to her servant that she not had used butter enough. This girl, for to excuse him selve, was bing a little cat on the hand, and told that she came to take him in the crime, finishing to eat the two pounds from butter who remain. The Lady took immediately the cat, was put into the balances it had not weighed that one an half pound.
A young man to which Cornelius made agreeded her daughte rin marriage, being obliged for the state of theirs business to renounce that, come in the morning to the fatter for draw out her wood go till her cabinet, and expose him the motives of her conduit. “Ah! gentleman, reply Cornelius, don’t you can without interrup me, to talk of that at my wife? Go up to the her room, i not unterstand at all these affairs.”
A protestant minister, very choleric, was explained to the children the Pentateuco; but arriving at the article Balaam. A young boy commence to laugh. The minister with indignation, chide, threaten, and endeavour one’s to prove that a ass was can speak espeeeally when he saws before him a angel armed from a sword. The little boy continue to laungh more strong. The minister had flied into passion, and gave a kick the child, which told him weeping: “Ah! i admit that the ass of Balaam did spoken, but he not did kicks.”
Diogenes was meeting him self in a magnificent palace where the gold and the marble were in wery much great. After have considering all the beauties, he began to cough, he made two or three efforts, and did spit against a Phrygian faces which show him hir palace. “My friend, told him, i have not see a place more dirty where i can to spit."
Two friends who from long they not were seen meet one’s selves for hazard. “How do is thou? told one of the two.—No very well, told the other, and i am married from that i saw thee.” Good news!—“Not quit, because i had married with a bad woman.”—So much worse!—“Not so much great deal worse; because her dower was from two thousand lewis.”—Well, that confort.—“Not absolutely; why i had emploied this sum for to buy some muttons, which are all deads of the rot.”—That is indeed very sorry!—“Not so sorry, because the selling of hers hide have bring me above the price of the muttons.”—So you are then indemnified?—“Not quit, because my house where I was deposed my money, finish to be consumed by the flames."—Oh! here is a great misfortune!—“Not so great nor i either, because my wife and my house are burned together."
The work closes with a quantity of “Idiotisms and Proverbs,” among which the reader will recognize some familiar “saws,” even under their deep disguise:
The necessity don’t know the low.
To meet any-one nose at nose.
Few, few the bird make her nest.
To come back to their muttons.
Belly famished has no ears.
To good appetite, it not want any sauce.
So much go the jar to spring, than at last rest there.
He is not so devil as he is black.
Every one for him and God for all.
Which not risk nothing, has anything.
A horse baared don’t look him the tooth.
Take the occasion for the hairs. (Take time by the foreiock.)
A take is better than two you shall have.
Take out the live coals with the hand of the eat.
It want to beat the iron during it is hot.
To build castles in Espagnish.
in the country of blinds, the one eyed men are kings.
Fortunately for the Portuguese and Brazilian youth, who shall hereafter come to Paris to pursue their studies, this tempting bait to add “English” to their accomplishments will no longer allure them. The entire edition of the “little book” is exhausted. Curiosity-hunters, and lovers of rare specimens of literature, have finally purchased it, down to the last copy, and it is by no means probable that the publishers will issue a new edition. A greater curiosity than the work itself, would perhaps be a “studious youth,” who, in the pursuit of the English language, had followed this “Guide” through the tangled pathways and tortuous mazes into which it must have led him. Let us hope, for his sake, and for the sake of our offended mother tongue, that over his memory, and the memories of all his unfortunate companions, beguiled by the promises made in the preface of this book, some good genius or fairy will pour from the bucket, dipped fresh in Lethe, water enough to wash out effectually all knowledge of the “English language” which they may have acquired from the “little book,” whose pages we have been thus hastily scanning.
—Edward Gould Buffum.
The American edition (Osgood, 1883) of English As She is Spoke, published at about the same time as the English edition, is unfortunately much harder to find. I say “unfortunately” because, unlike the English edition, the American version apparently gave Carolino’s full text in all its glory. But at least Mark Twain’s introduction is widely available, since it tends to be included in his collected works. Deservedly so; the line “his ostensible English” deserves a place alongside “The Alleged Car”.
Note the exchange “What is the circuit of this town? Two leagues.” The 2nd edition of O Novo Guia has “Ten leagues”, but the Portuguese has duas. Introduced error on one side, or accidental correction on the other?
In this world of uncertainties, there is, at any rate, one thing which may be pretty confidently set down as a certainty: and that is, that this celebrated little phrase-book will never die while the English language lasts. Its delicious unconscious ridiculousness, and its enchanting naïveté, are as supreme and unapproachable, in their way, as are Shakespeare’s sublimities. Whatsoever is perfect in its kind, in literature, is imperishable: nobody can add to the absurdity of this book, nobody can imitate it successfully, nobody can hope to produce its fellow; it is perfect, it must and will stand alone: its immortality is secure.
It is one of the smallest books in the world, but few big books have received such wide attention, and been so much pondered by the grave and the learned, and so much discussed and written about by the thoughtful, the thoughtless, the wise, and the foolish. Long notices of it have appeared, from time to time, in the great English reviews, and in erudite and authoritative philological periodicals; and it has been laughed at, danced upon, and tossed in a blanket by nearly every newspaper and magazine in the English-speaking world. Every scribbler, almost, has had his little fling at it, at one time or another; I had mine fifteen years ago. The book gets out of print, every now and then, and one ceases to hear of it for a season; but presently the nations and near and far colonies of our tongue and lineage call for it once more, and once more it issues from some London or Continental or American press, and runs a new course around the globe, wafted on its way by the wind of a world’s laughter.
Many persons have believed that this book’s miraculous stupidities were studied and disingenuous; but no one can read the volume carefully through and keep that opinion. It was written in serious good faith and deep earnestness, by an honest and upright idiot who believed he knew something of the English language, and could impart his knowledge to others. The amplest proof of this crops out somewhere or other upon each and every page. There are sentences in the book which could have been manufactured by a man in his right mind, and with an intelligent and deliberate purpose to seem innocently ignorant; but there are other sentences, and paragraphs, which no mere pretended ignorance could ever achieve—nor yet even the most genuine and comprehensive ignorance, when unbacked by inspiration.
It is not a fraud who speaks in the following paragraph of the author’s Preface, but a good man, an honest man, a man whose conscience is at rest, a man who believes he has done a high and worthy work for his nation and his generation, and is well pleased with his performance:
“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.”
One cannot open this book anywhere and not find richness. To prove that this is true, I will open it at random and copy the page I happen to stumble upon. Here is the result:
“Anthony, go to accompany they gentilsmen, do they see the town.
“We won’t to see all that is it remarquable here.
“Come with me, if you please. I shall not folget 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 oudside, 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 youder?
“It is the town hall.
“And this tower here at this side?
“It is the Observatory.
“The bridge is very fine, it have ten archs, and is constructed of free stone.
“The streets are very layed out by line and too paved.
“What is the circuit of this town?
“There is it also hospitals here?
“It not fail them.
“What are then the edifices the worthest to have seen?
“It is the arsnehal, the spectacle’s hall, the Custom-house, and the Purse.
“We are going too see the others monuments such that the public pawnbroker’s office, the plants garden’s, the money office’s, the library.
“That it shall be for another day; we are tired.”
“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, Englisman. It is difficult to enjoy well so much several langages.”
The last remark contains a general truth; but it ceases to be a truth when one contracts it and applies it to an individual—provided that that individual is the author of this book, Senhor Pedro Carolino. I am sure I should not find it difficult “to enjoy well so much several langages”—or even a thousand of them—if he did the translating for me from the originals into his ostensible English.
The original of this text has been in the public domain for years
in the U.S. and most other parts of the world.
All I’ve done is put it online.