Monday, January 2, 2017

A Handbook of Travel-talk

A Handbook of Travel-talk (1874) direct link
Open Library main page

For any travelling English speakers here's a phrase book for German, French and Italian.  Such books this old are fascinating glimpses into other worlds, not just different types of transportation but class and cultural ones.  Where else will you see how to arrange long-distance carriage rides or order gloves?  There aren't any pleasingly strange phrases as sometimes appear in these books though I do like ones such as "Do not drive so near the river - (the precipice - the ditch)" which I think could be conveyed non-verbally.  Or for lodgings "I want crockery, china and other necessaries for the table for twelve persons".  I think at some point it would be easier to hire a fixer (or whatever the 19th century equivalent term would have been).  The back has a section of contracts (were carriage drivers surprised to be given a written contract from a Briton?) and French cooking terms (including the original meaning of "entrĂ©e" as first dish, not main).  Apparently German and Italian cooking weren't worth the trouble.