English As She Is Spoke

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Being a comprehensive phrasebook of the English language, written by men whom English was entirely unknown.

English As She Is Spoke

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  • English As She Is Spoke


In 1855, Jose da Fonseca and Pedro Carolino sat down to write an English phrasebook for Portuguese students. There was just one problem: they didn't know English. Even worse, they didn't own an English-to-Portuguese dictionary. What they did have, though, was a Portuguese-to-French dictionary and a French-to-English dictionary. Perhaps the worst foreign phrasebook ever written, the resulting linguistic train wreck was first published in 1855 and became a classic of unintentional humor. Mark Twain, prefacing an American edition, marveled of its 'miraculous stupidities' that 'Nobody can add to the absurdity of this book, nobody can imitate it successfully, nobody can hope to produce its fellow; it is perfect.'

Additional Information

Author Jose Da Fonesca / Pedro Carolino
Publisher McSweeney's Books
Page Count 133pp
Publication Size 5.5 x 8
Publication Notes Softcover
Publication Date 2004
ISBN 978-1932416114

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