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In 1855 a Portuguese chap named Senhor Pedro Carolino took it upon himself to write a Portuguese-English conversational guide or phrase book for his fellow countrymen/women filled with common sayings and descriptions of the English and listing some of their occupations and the daily objects they used. He called the book – ‘New Guide of the Conversations in Portuguese and English’. It was written with the serious intent of initiating people into the mysteries of the English language. A noble mission I’m sure you’d agree. The only hiccup being the fact that his translations are mostly incoherent, nay tosh. He was making it up as went along! Mostly anyway. Corolino later, falsely credited the work to José da Fonseca who had written a real and useful version himself of the book that Carolino, ahem, ‘adapted’.

The first Portuguese-English version was titled  –  ‘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’).

In 1883 it was re- published under the title –

English As She is Spoke (or A Jest in Sober Earnest).’

The 1883 American version has this quote from Mark Twain at the beginning; “Whatsoever is perfect in its kind, in literature, is imperishable: 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. … One cannot open this book anywhere and not find richness.” – Hahahahaha. True enough.

Here are some gems from within;

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The American Publication 1884

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Esme’s own copy of the English publication from the same year, a small treat she bought herself this very year.

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Of the Man – ‘The inferior lip’! Hahahaha

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Kindred – ‘The gossip mistress.’  – *falls about*

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For the table – ‘Some crumb’. Eatings – ‘Some wigs’. (I’m not going to his house for tea I can tell you.)

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Do dress your hairs, they’re all over the show dear.

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‘He has spit in my coat’ – Dirty sod.
He has me take out my hairs’ – *passes out*

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‘He do the devil at four’ – He do doe don’t he doe?

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‘Have you forgeted me?’ – Eh?! Have you?!! EH?!!!  – *slams the door*

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‘Take attention to dirt you self’ – It’s a Saturday night, go wild.

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‘Is it up?’ – A tad forward for a morning visit I’d say.

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‘I have particular care of its, because I know you like bottoms’ – Hahahahaha

Idioms now.

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‘With a tongue one go to Roma’ – And get chucked out of the Basilica quick-smart I imagine.

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‘After the paunch comes the dance’ – The dance of the fat bastards presumably.

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The reviews.

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An advert at the back of the book – ‘with a new chapter addressed expressly to women’ – as ever it has been tsk.

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The last page of my edition which isn’t in the American one. Lovely bit of typesetting there sir/misses.

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Esme’s tome. Highly chuffed with it she is too.

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