Monday, 31 October 2011

English as she is spoke...

Readers might have heard of a classic of unintentional humour, 'English as she is Spoke' - a disastrous Portuguese - English dictionary from 1855.  Supposedly the writer had a Portuguese - French dictionary and a French - English dictionary, but no English per se.  More of the story can be found here, along with links to vanilla texts. The classic is 'Esperar horas e horas',  rendered as 'to craunch the marmoset'.  A google translation of the Portuguese give 'expect hours and hours', but the writer has half converted the French phrase, 'croquer le marmot' - an idiom for waiting around.

Anyway, all of this came to mind when looking at a hotel site the other day, which gave out these gems (all very, very sic):

"Zakia, our Head Chef initiated her journey in the midst of savours at a tender age surrounded by the soft odours in the kitchen of her mother and her grandmother, large cooks at the La Mamounia".

Coiled up in the deep club armchairs or pt your feet up on the majestic cushions laid on marrow, pleasing settees. 

"True echo with the thousand exhaled scents, grabbed with the liking of a dawdling in the varied succession of the universes landscapes".

"In the centre of the corridor hang enormous antique wrought iron lamps suspended by pompous silk strings".

"Lampions in finely engraved and studded border the alleys. The spectacle improvised by the fine north wind, plunges the house in a velvety atmosphere of unfathomed magic, where fairyhood becomes only protagonist of a roundly carried out scenario".


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