In 1853, Jose de Fonseca wrote and published a Portugese to French phrasebook.
This was such a success that the publishers decided on a Portugese to English phrasebook.
They employed Pedro Carolino to write it.
The only problem was that Carolino didn’t speak English.
This didn’t seem a problem to Carolino, he would just translate Portugese phrases into French, using de Fonseca’s phrasebook, then translate the French phrases into English, using a French to English dictionary.
So in 1855, he wrote and published his Portugese to English phrasebook.
And he was oblivious to any disconnect between the three languages.
For instance, in the introductory pages, he describes his book like this:
“A choice of familiar dialogues, clean of gallicisms, and despoiled phrases, it was missing yet to studious Portugese and Brazilian youth.”
He tells his readers how to return an unsatisfactory horse in English:
“Here is a horse who have bad looks. Give me another, I will not that. He is not sall know to march, he is pursy, he is foundered. Don’t you are ashamed to give me a jade as like?
He is undershod, he is with nails up, it want to lead to the farrier.”
Later on, Carolino advises the best way to describe an English summer day:
“You hear the birds gurgling? Which pleasure. Which charm.”
He then gives a list of common phrases that may come in useful:
“A horse baared don’t look him in the tooth.”
“The stone as roll not heap up not foam.”
“To buy cat in pocket.”
“Nothing some money, nothing some Swiss.”
“To come back at their muttons.”
“To craunch the marmoset.”
Obviously this book wasn’t very useful for Portugese speakers learning English.
But it became very popular in the UK and the US, to see how amusingly their language had been mangled.
It was published in 1883 as: “English as She is Spoke”.
Mark Twain described it like this: “No one can add to the absurdity of this book, nobody can imitate it successfully, nobody can hope to produce its fellow; it is perfect.”
The way it was written has since become known as the Carolino effect.
How information ends up when it is passed along between disconnected parties.
For instance: planners in qualitative research, passing information to clients writing a brand purpose, passing a brief along to the creative department, passing advertising along to consumers to motivate them to purchase.
At each stage there is opportunity for an incremental error to occur or grow.
Which is why it makes more sense to involve the people who must actually DO the advertising throughout the whole process.
By involving copywriters and art directors at the beginning, we avoid the disconnect that leads to compounded mistakes and missed opportunities.
Common sense says we get a better result by going directly from Portugese to English, rather than from Portugese to French, and then from French to English.
Someone who is involved in the entire process must have a more intimate understanding of what is needed.
Instead of the current conveyor-belt process where everyone merely understands and attends to their own individual part of the process, then passes it along.
Advertising as She is Spoke.