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English as she is spoke or, A jest in sober earnest   By:

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English as she is spoke or, A jest in sober earnest by Pedro Carolino, is an interesting linguistic curiosity that provides equal parts confusion and amusement to its readers. Originally published in the 19th century as a guide for Portuguese speakers learning English, this book has become an unintentional comedy goldmine.

The most striking feature of this book is the numerous linguistic errors and hilarious mistranslations it contains. Carolino's attempt at translating Portuguese phrases into English often results in nonsensical and bizarre sentences. One cannot help but giggle at phrases such as "He has spit in the eyes of the people" or "I have been found him above suspicion." These charming mistakes are made all the more entertaining by Carolino's serious intention to create a legitimate language guide.

While the book's primary purpose is to serve as a language learning tool, it inadvertently becomes a humorous commentary on the challenges of translation. Carolino's lack of understanding of English idioms and grammar rules is apparent throughout the entire book, leading to sentences that are both bewildering and comical. Reading English as she is spoke feels like stumbling upon a treasure trove of linguistic absurdities.

However, it is worth noting that the book's comedic value might wear thin after some time. The numerous errors and oddities can become repetitive, and the temptation to laugh at every page might diminish as the novelty wears off. It is best enjoyed in small doses, savoring each outlandish phrase before moving on to the next.

One might argue that English as she is spoke unintentionally sheds light on the complexities and challenges of language acquisition. Learning a new language can be a daunting task, and Carolino's efforts serve as a reminder that mistakes are an inevitable part of the learning process. It is comforting to realize that even expert guidance can go awry, and that even in the face of confusion, there is room for laughter.

In conclusion, English as she is spoke or, A jest in sober earnest is a unique and entertaining linguistic mishap that offers both laughter and insight. While it may not be the most conventional language learning tool, it certainly provides a memorable experience for those who dare to delve into its pages. So, grab a copy, brush up on your Portuguese, and prepare for a comical journey through the whimsical world of misinterpreted English phrases.

First Page:

English As She is Spoke:


A Jest in Sober Earnest.

No. I.

The Parchment Paper Series.

English As She is Spoke.

"EXCRUCIATINGLY FUNNY," says The World , is "English as she is Spoke, or a Jest in Sober thought."

"EVERY one who loves a laugh," says Fun , "should either buy, beg, borrow, or we had almost said steal this book; for in sober earnest we aver that it is not given to every one to 'jest so.'"

English As She is Spoke:


A Jest in Sober Earnest.

With an Introduction by


New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1, 3, & 5 Bond Street.



FROM the time of Shakspere downwards, wits and authors innumerable have made themselves and the public more or less merry at the expense of the earlier efforts of the student of a strange tongue; but it has been reserved to our own time for a soi disant instructor to perpetrate at his own expense the monstrous joke of publishing a Guide to Conversation in a language of which it is only too evident that every word is utterly strange to him. The Teutonic sage who evolved the ideal portrait of an elephant from his "inner consciousness" was a commonplace, matter of fact person compared with the daring visionary who conjures up a complete system of language from the same fertile but untrustworthy source... Continue reading book >>

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