This following piece was written by my friend Mark Purkis, printed with his permission and for which I will accept full responsibility. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ By Mark Purkis The Human Language ------------------ Victor Cartez has written a Portuguese-English phrasebook the likes of which I have never seen. Somehow, this brave soul not only managed to have the book published, but has, as of last week, attained the rank of "best-seller". This remarkable feat is made all the more remarkable by the fact that Cartez has little or no command over the english language. His phrasebook, entitled " Right English As She Is Spoke ", is the best selling phrasebook in the history of print and the reasons, as we shall see, are far from obvious. His book begins with a dedication that begins as follows: Of this book, of which we give him assurance, utmost to themselves which travel, is especially of worth to him the youth of which may practice him to persuade this land to one. Cartez then stylistically translates from english some "familiar phrases" that travellers would find useful on their trips: Flat, hard eggs and pig strips for to eat Do to disturb us not How to the port of aeroplanes? Dress your hairs Do you cut the hairs? Do you taxi to the port of the aeroplanes? He then continues onward with some "familiar dialogue" which includes "for to wish the good morning" and "for to call the breakfast"... Dialogue 7- For to ride a taxi: "You man! The driver of taxis. Stop before me that may enter. Your ignorance to cause my wetness! No coins for your pocket, man. To my place does she travel?..." For the Portuguese traveller who likes to come across as a witty fellow, Cartez has included a delightful section on "Anecdotes". This one is guaranteed to leave you in stiches: A fellow there was, with thirst, crawling at the desert, who did meet on man of selling. Try to him a tie to sell. This fellow does refuse and to crawling he goes. At a time that is later a man of selling that appears to him a tie to sell. He say "No". To crawling he does return. A place of drinking he does find where he cannot for his tie of lacking. It really is hard to top that, but Cartez manages to out-do himself in his most useful section... "Idiotisms and Proverbs": The stone as roll not heap up of grass To hatch and the chickens not count The dog then bark not bite A bird with hand better than two bushes A horse he is given without into the teeth is looked This literary genius didn't even have an English-Portuguese dictionary on hand. He was, however able to get a hold of a Portuguese- German, German-French, and French-English dictionaries through which he mangled the "English speak". Where else could one find the expression: "To skritch a marmoset"
(From the "Rest" of RHF)