In the 1800s a Portuguese man named Pedro Carolino gave a brave attempt to write a phrasebook for those learning the English language.
‘English as She Is Spoke’, or ‘O novo guia da conversação em portuguez e inglez’, was supposed to help those with Portuguese as a mother tongue to converse with English speakers. The only problem was that the writer spoke little English himself, and the end result of his clumsy translations was just a little strange…
(Image of original book cover from public domain)
It is assumed that the Pedro Carolino used two separate dictionaries to complete his book- first a Portuguese to French translator, then French to English. This would certainly explain why the language is a tad off-course. The translations were so poor and nonsensical that the book soon became famous, and instant cult classic, reaching as far as Mark Twain in the USA. Twain even wrote the introduction for the first English edition in 1883:
“Nobody can add to the absurdity of this book, nobody can imitate it successfully, nobody can hope to produce its fellow; it is perfect.”
Below are a list of some of the ever-so-slightly-not-perfect phrases within the book… Can you spot where he went wrong?
I wonder whether this now-infamous book was the inspiration behind the classic Monty Python’s Flying Circus “Dirty Hungarian Phrasebook” sketch?
Take a look and see for yourself…
So here are 28 jokes that will really make your day.
Sorry but you will have to get your own tea.
We can tell by the comments made on social media by our very own Reading Addicts, that good grammar is very important to them. If a meme or book quote is slightly off-kilter then all Hell can break loose!
We came across these awful mistakes on our weary web travels and knew instantly who would appreciate them (or not!)
See how many of these horrendous mistakes you can get through without scratching your eyes out.
The 2018 Oxford English Dictionary update is in, and this year there are 1,100 new entries, phrases and senses. Here are the ones we think you might be most surprised at. Read More
Here are some of our favourite contronyms in the English language.
Botnik is described as “augmented content creation” and one of its most hilarious algorithms is the Predictive Keyboard. Taking a chapter from J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, a group of clever clogs at Botnik have re-written it using the predictive bot… Be warned: this reimagining will make you either laugh or cry, Potterheads!