this book 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. The humour appears to be a result of dictionary-aided literal translation, which causes many idiomatic expressions to be translated wildly inappropriately. Mark Twain said of English as She Is Spoke 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.
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English as She is Spoke based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Hilarious. The poor guy was really trying, but that doesn't make it any less funny. It's Google Translate fails before the internet. My friends and I made a bunch of motivational posters out of phrases from this book! It belongs on the shelf right next to Shakespeare's Insults.
As I read this book, which a review elsewhere had mentioned as worthy of rollicking laughter, I realized that it while the literal translations from Portuguese to English were awkward and sometimes could be viewed as ridiculous, linguistically it was a sincere attempt to provide foreign speakers with clues about how to manage in English--a distinctly difficult language which more often breaks grammatical rules than follows them and borrows vocabulary from every other tongue in the world. If you are a linguistics student, you could analyze this book with compassion. But don't buy it just to laugh at the sincere efforts of the authors--they were trying to do the best they could to parse a difficult language without, it seems, any help.