Home » Uncategorized » Pedro Carolino, who knew no English, wrote a Portuguese-to-English phrasebook entitled *English as She Is Spoke*. He used a Portugese-French phrasebook and a French-English dictionary to write his work. It is a classic of unintentional humor.

Pedro Carolino, who knew no English, wrote a Portuguese-to-English phrasebook entitled *English as She Is Spoke*. He used a Portugese-French phrasebook and a French-English dictionary to write his work. It is a classic of unintentional humor.

How a Portuguese-to-English Phrasebook Became a Cult Comedy Sensation

Library of Congress/LC-DIG-ds-05448)

In the middle of the 19th century, a relatively unknown author named Pedro Carolino rapidly gained intercontinental popularity over a small Portuguese-to-English phrasebook. English as She Is Spoke (or O novo guia da conversação em portuguez e inglez) was originally intended to help Portuguese speakers dabble in the English tongue, but was penned by a man who spoke little to no English himself. And, instead of helping Portuguese speakers learn a second language, it became a cult classic for fans of inept and unintentional humor.

It quickly gained notoriety among English speakers, including author Mark Twain, who wrote the introduction for the first English edition, published in 1883. Twain endors… Continue Reading (4 minute read)

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