English as She is Spoke

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(O Novo Guia da Conversacao em Portuguez e Inglez)


Jose da Fonseca and Pedro Carolino

Introduction to the British edition


James Millington

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. The piquancy of Senhor Pedro Carolino's New

Guide of the Conversation in Portuguese and English is enhanced by

the evident bona fides and careful compilation of "the little

book," or as Pedro himself gravely expresses it, "for the care

what we wrote him, and for her typographical correction."

In short, the New Guide of the Conversation in Portuguese and

English was written with serious intent, and for the purpose of

initiating Portuguese students into the mysteries of the English

language. The earlier portions of the book are divided into three

columns, the first giving the Portuguese; the second what, in the

opinion of the author, is the English equivalent; and the third

the English equivalent phonetically spelt, so that the tyro may at

the same time master our barbarous phraseology and the

pronunciation thereof. In the second part of the work the learner

is supposed to have sufficiently mastered the pronunciation of the

English language, to be left to his own devices.

A little consideration of the shaping of our author's English

phrases leads to the conclusion that the materials used have been

a Portuguese-French phrase-book and a French-English dictionary.

With these slight impedimenta has the daring Lusitanian ventured

upon the unknown deep of a strange language, and the result, to

quote again from the Preface, "May be worth the acceptation of the

studious persons, and especially of the Youth, at which we

dedicate him particularly," but will at all events contribute not

a little to the Youth's hilarity.

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