English As She Is Spoke
||The lead section of this article may need to be rewritten. The reason given is: Too much unnecessary repetition is used. (February 2013)|
|English As She Is Spoke|
|Original title||O Novo Guia da Conversação em Portuguez e Inglez|
|Language||Portuguese and English|
|Publisher||Appleton & Co.|
English as She Is Spoke is the common name of a 19th-century book written by Pedro Carolino and falsely additionally credited to José da Fonseca, which was intended as a Portuguese-English conversational guide or phrase book, but is regarded as a classic source of unintentional humour, as the given English translations are generally completely incoherent. Carolino added Fonseca's name to the book without him knowing about it. Fonseca had written a successful Portuguese-French phrase book, which Carolino adapted.
The humour appears to be a result of dictionary-aided literal translation, which causes many idiomatic expressions to be translated wildly inappropriately. For example, the Portuguese phrase chover a cântaros is translated as raining in jars, whereas an idiomatic English translation would be raining buckets.
It is widely believed that Carolino could not speak English, and that a French-English dictionary was used to translate an earlier Portuguese-French phrase book O Novo guia da conversação em francês e português, written by José da Fonseca. Carolino added Fonseca's name to the book in an attempt to give it some credibility. The Portuguese-French phrase book is apparently a competent work, without the defects that characterise English as She Is Spoke.
In 2002, Alexander MacBride of the UCLA Department of Linguistics suggested that it is likely that the Portuguese-English book was an unauthorised translation by Pedro Carolino of the Portuguese-French book, without the involvement of José da Fonseca, rather than a joint effort by the two.
Stephen Pile mentions this work in The Book of Heroic Failures, and comments: "Is there anything in conventional English which could equal the vividness of 'to craunch a marmoset'?" The original has "to craunch the marmoset", an entry under the book's "Idiotisms and Proverbs." This is the author's attempt to translate the French slang idiomatic expression "croquer le marmot", used to indicate waiting patiently for someone to open a door, with "croquer" referring to the knocking or rapping sound and "marmot" a term for the grotesque door knockers in vogue at the time. The term is presumably inspired by the marmot's large teeth, as many of the grotesque door knockers were figures holding the knocker clasped in their teeth.
Publication history 
- 1853 - In Paris, J.-P. Aillaud, Monlon e Ca published a Portuguese-French phrase book entitled O Novo guia da conversação em francês e português by José da Fonseca. The Portuguese Biblioteca Nacional has a copy of this book with catalogue number L.686P. Another copy of this book is in the Bibliothèque nationale de France under the catalogue number FRBNF30446608.
- 1855 - In Paris, J.-P. Aillaud, Monlon e Ca published a Portuguese-English phrase book entitled O Novo Guia da Conversação, em Português e Inglês, em Duas Partes (literally, The new guide to conversation, in Portuguese and English, in two parts), with authorship attributed to José da Fonseca and Pedro Carolino. A copy of this book is in the Bibliothèque nationale de France under the catalogue number FRBNF30446609. Another copy is in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
- 1883 - The book was published in London as English as She is Spoke. The first American edition, published in Boston also came out this year, with an introduction by Mark Twain.
- 1969 - The book was re-published in New York by Dover Publications, under the title English as she is spoke; the new guide of the conversation in Portuguese and English (ISBN 0-486-22329-9).
- 2002 - A new edition edited by Paul Collins was published under the Collins Library imprint of McSweeney's (ISBN 0-9719047-4-X).
- 2002 - Brazilian edition of the copies of the 1855 edition held in the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the Bodleian Library, published by Casa da Palavra, Rio de Janeiro (ISBN 85-87220-56-X).
- 2004 - A revised paperback version of the above Collins Library edition was published (ISBN 1-932416-11-0).
Related titles 
The phrase inspired some other publications, notably:
- English as she is wrote (1883)
- English as she is taught (1887), also with introduction by Mark Twain
- Ingglish az she iz spelt (1885), by "Fritz Federheld" (pseud. of Frederick Atherton Fernald)
- Britain as she is visit, a spoof tourist guide in similar style to the original book. By Paul Jennings, British Life (M Joseph, 1976)
Contemporary allusions 
The phrase English as she is spoke is nowadays used allusively, in a form of linguistic play, as a stereotypical example of bad English grammar.
See also 
- Striking and Picturesque Delineations of the Grand, Beautiful, Wonderful, and Interesting Scenery Around Loch-Earn
- All your base are belong to us for a modern example of unintended humorous translation.
- Dirty Hungarian Phrasebook
- "The Collins Library: The Mystery of Pedro Carolino". Archived from the original on 2002-04-15. Retrieved 2009-01-15.
- "The Origins of English as She is Spoke". Archived from the original on 2003-02-02. Retrieved 2009-01-15.
- "The Evolution of "English as She is Spoke"". Archived from the original on 2002-12-07. Retrieved 2009-01-15.
- Mark Twain, English as she is taught: Being genuine answers to examination questions in our public schools, 1887
- "Scan of 1883 printed version; p.60". Retrieved 2009-06-14.
- A mistranslation of the French expression "croquer le marmot", to wait around (fruitlessly).
-  English as she is taught
- Sampson, Rodney; Smith, Colin (1997). And now for something completely different: Dictionary of allusions in British English. Hueber. p. 324. ISBN 3-19-002468-5.
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- English as She is Spoke; Or, A Jest in Sober Earnest: Full facsimile/ scan of the original book (1883)
- English as She is Spoke; Or, A Jest in Sober Earnest: full facsimile at Google Books (US Only)
- Plain text ebook of English as She is Spoke at Project Gutenberg
- English as she is spoke vs. Babelfish
- English as she is spoke: Idiotisms and Proverbs