A 19th Century Portuguese man named Pedro Carolino took it upon himself to compose a Portuguse-English phrasebook, despite the fact that he knew no English and didn't even own a Portuguese-English dictionary.
He did know French and he believed that was enough. He thought he could simply filter a French-Portuguese phrasebook through a French-English dictionary and voila -- he would have a Portuguese-English phrasebook for the ages.
Instead, his laughably terrible English As She Is Spoke has gone down in publishing history as one of the greatest of all unintentionally hilarious works, a compendium of terribly translated idioms, misconjugated verbs, and unnecessary apostrophes by the boatload.
As The Room is becoming to cinema, so this was to 19th Century printing. Mark Twain was such a fan he wrote the introduction to the U.S. edition, and therein he claimed that "Nobody can add to the absurdity of this book, nobody can imitate it successfully, nobody can hope to produce its fellow; it is perfect."
Maybe not with the tools available in Twain's time, but now we have the Internet. Today, thanks to online translation services, such inter-linguistic hilarity abounds.
Just this morning we stumbled on a local English As She Is Spoke-worthy real estate ad on a Russia-based website called Stockmarketsreview.com.
"Owning a Conroe real estate is straightforward using Magnolia realty," the ad begins, and then goes on to tell us just how. "When you are capable to get hold of the right realtor, half your livelihood is performed," it continues.
Well, that sucks. I was hoping there was more to the mystery of life than that. And maybe there is, because the pitch is really just starting to kick in to high gear.
"If you're a nature-loving backyard human being, Conroe happens when to suit your needs," we read next, before the ad paints a picture of Conroe's Piney Woods locale:
"Nestling within the pine hardwoods of Japanese Texas, Conroe has got the appropriate mixture of characteristics, background disciplines to help regale your sensory faculties... Devote your current breaks backpacking by the lake, as well as go for a walking....Trekking, riding a bike, reef fishing, sailing along with cats will be the ways you can spend your holiday seasons with Conroe."
Ah yes. Conroe. Come for the walkings, stay for the Yuletide cat-sailings. Just watch out for the freshwater coral reefs and the notorious Piney Woods yakuza.
"Particles' having a property or home anywhere in the world requires a few appropriate details that might demand owner's energy," the ad continues. Wow. Particles.
"Magnolia realty tends to make existence much easier, wonderful types of products agreed to it's buyers," we read next. Alright! An unnecessary apostrophe! Carolino is smiling somewhere.
"Beginning from authorized thank yours, tax support along with city and county approval for you to design as well as redecorating of the present residence according to owner's vision, things are taken care of that has a smile."
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That, my friends, is the Conroe Code.
So after reading all of that, as a nature-loving backyard human being, you are no doubt slavering to plunk down the purchase price on a Conroe real estate, perhaps somewhere on the shores of "body of water Conroe."
If so, you'd better act fast:
"A Conroe real estate is definitely coveted by quite a few, possessed by simply several."