Skip to comments.Don Quixote gets the Spanglish treatment
Posted on 12/30/2005 11:22:16 PM PST by martin_fierro
Don Quixote gets the Spanglish treatment
Fri Dec 30, 1:22 PM ET
MADRID (AFP) - With Spain having spent 2005 celebrating four centuries since its most celebrated author Cervantes wrote his emblematic work Don Quixote, it was only a matter of time before linguistic trends caught up with the work.
So popular that it has already been translated into Esperanto, Braille and Gaelic, as well as three dozen other languages, a version in Spanglish is now to hit the bookshelves.
Mexican author Ilan Stavans is behind the work in a mixture of Spanish and English which would frighten linguistic traditionalists -- and doubtless confuse at least some readers.
Cervantes' opus begins: "Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place which name I don't want to remember, a gentleman lived not so long ago, once of those gentlemen with a lance and ancient shield in the rack and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing".
In Stavans' incarnation, this becomes: "In un palacete de La Mancha of which nombre no quiero remembrearme, vivia not so long ago uno de esos gentlemen who always tienen una lanza in the rack, una buckler antigua, a skinny caballo y un grayhound para la chaze."
Spanglish is gaining currency among 38 millions of people of Hispanic origin in places such as Puerto Rico and Mexico.
Last year, the general secretary of the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language, Humberto Lopez Morales -- himself a Puerto Rican -- said it was time to "put a brake on the rise of English" usage within Spanish.
But Stavans, a professor at Amherst College in Massachussetts and also a television presenter, is not of that view.
"Many say Cervantes would turn in his grave if he knew of this version but I think he would be proud as this means the novel is still alive," Stavans said earlier this week in Seville, defending his book.
For the 44-year-old, Spanglish is a language which "comes from the suburbs and it is for erudite people to analyse it and not control it."
According to UNESCO, Cervantes' work, full title "Don Quijote de la Mancha," is one of the world's most translated works after the Bible and the complete works of Lenin.
Stavans opined at a Seville cultural festival that Spanglish would eventually become a fully-fledged language.
However, he did recognise that his work might well "scandalise conservatives and purists."
Contaminated languages are not a sign of destruction but of creation," said Stavans.
Spain's Royal Linguistic Academy describes Spanglish as Spanish which uses "an abundance of anglicisms."
ebonix for latinos
Oh, por favor.
That is an insult to two great languages.
Aye aye aye!
Spanglish floats in the no man's land between cultures. It's a creole whose time has unfortunately come.
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