ENGLISH AS SHE IS SPOKE
(O Novo Guia da Conversacao em Portuguez e Inglez)
Jose da Fonseca and Pedro Carolino
Introduction to the British edition
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.