Three Howlers

English As She Is Spoke: Selections from The New Guide of the Conversation, in Portuguese and English, in Two Parts, José Da Fonseca & Pedro Carolino, edited by Paul Collines (McSweeney’s Books, 2002) [Originally published in Paris in 1855]

[Carolino] had a serious problem: he didn’t know any English.

Even worse, he didn’t own an English-to-Portuguese dictionary. What he did have, though, was a Portuguese-to-French phrasebook and a French-to-English dictionary. The bizarre linguistic train wreck that ensued […] became celebrated as a bizarre masterpiece of unintentional humour […]

Three of my favourite:

Está crivádo dê dividas.

He is drowned of debts.

[He is riddled with debts.]

* * *

Sínto rumôr.

I understand some noise.

[I hear rumour.]

* * *

Tómo ôu bêbo ún câldo tôdas ás manhãs.

I take a broth all morning.

[I drink broth every morning.]

And so for day 2657

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