Refutation of Bilbeny’s “conclusive proof” that Quijote was written in Catalan

The problem with Catalan “philologist” and “historian” Jordi Bilbeny being a 24-carrot burro is that when he occasionally says something half sensible no one listens. The conspiracy theory which rules Bilbeny’s life is that guys like Columbus and Cervantes were really Catalan, but that a powerful group destroyed all the evidence and then disappeared without trace. While his arguments might normally suggest to the cynical a better acquaintance with the Rif’s chief export product than with the evidence, he has at last found one interesting little thing–not half as interesting as he thinks, but interesting all the same–in Chap 71 of Don Quijote. Here‘s the 1998 Francisco Rico edition:

—Yo apostaré —dijo Sancho— que antes de mucho tiempo no ha de haber bodegón, venta ni mesón o tienda de barbero donde no ande pintada la historia de nuestras hazañas; pero querría yo que la pintasen manos de otro mejor pintor que el que ha pintado a estas.

—Tienes razón, Sancho —dijo don Quijote—, porque este pintor es como Orbaneja, un pintor que estaba en Úbeda, que cuando le preguntaban qué pintaba, respondía: «Lo que saliere»; y si por ventura pintaba un gallo, escribía debajo: «Este es gallo», porque no pensasen que era zorra. Desta manera me parece a mí, Sancho, que debe de ser el pintor o escritor, que todo es uno, que sacó a luz la historia deste nuevo don Quijote que ha salido: que pintó o escribió lo que saliere; o habrá sido como un poeta que andaba los años pasados en la corte, llamado Mauleón, el cual respondía de repente a cuanto le preguntaban, y preguntándole uno que qué quería decir «Deum de Deo», respondió: «Dé donde diere».

Here’s an uncredited translation:

“I’ll lay a bet,” said Sancho, “that before long there won’t be a tavern, roadside inn, hostelry, or barber’s shop where the story of our doings won’t be painted up; but I’d like it painted by the hand of a better painter than painted these.”

“Thou art right, Sancho,” said Don Quixote, “for this painter is like Orbaneja, a painter there was at Ubeda, who when they asked him what he was painting, used to say, ‘Whatever it may turn out [“Whatever it turns out as” would surely be better]; and if he chanced to paint a cock he would write under it, ‘This is a cock,’ for fear they might think it was a fox. The painter or writer, for it’s all the same, who published the history of this new Don Quixote that has come out, must have been one of this sort I think, Sancho, for he painted or wrote ‘whatever it might turn out;’ or perhaps he is like a poet called Mauleon that was about the Court some years ago, who used to answer at haphazard whatever he was asked, and on one asking him what Deum de Deo meant, he replied De donde diere.

Rico notes that “The phonetic translation of the words of the Credo was a traditional joke” and leaves it at that. Bilbeny, in a short piece modestly entitled Conclusive proof that Don Quijote was written in Catalan, points out that this is rubbish–“Deum de Deo” simply isn’t homophonic with “Dé donde diere.” He suggests that “De donde diere” is actually a wonky Spanish translation of “De unde deu,” but there are several problems with this.

Firstly, “unde”, whilst common in the period in other parts of Spain in the period, principally in the form “onde” (“o” -> “u” is common down south, inc, I believe, around Úbeda), is rare in Catalonia. If we were to try to create an artificial firewall between C16th “Spanish” and “Catalan”, “De onde” would probably fall on the “Spanish” side.

Secondly, Bilbeny says that “deu” is an abbreviation of “doneu”, but produces no evidence of why this would be found convincing or of it happening elsewhere.

So, what to do with “diere”, which remains a problem? I thought at first that Quijote might have chosen it to rhyme with “saliere” in the previous gag (cf “Yo tengo de pintar, dé donde diere, salga como saliere“), but that doesn’t work: the only source cited by Rico for his “traditional joke”, El coloquio de los perros, has two dogs repeat the gag in Valladolid without any obvious hanger of this type. (Valladolid is not noticeably in Catalonia, but it did house Cervantes for a while… although Bilbeny would probably dispute that as well.)

My own hypothesis is that “Dé (d)[o|u]nde diere” did originally resemble “Deum de Deo”, but that, while the association remained, the sound drifted. A vaguely analogous example would be in rhyming slang, where, for example, we still know that “butcher’s” means “look”, even though we no longer say “butcher’s hook”. I will study some regional verbs to see if I can figure something better.

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  1. I understand that you have already swalowed all of Bilbeny’s docs related to Servent. The “conclusive proof” that you translated by itself does not prove anything. I was exceptical at the begining but you ought to read it all=>

    Maybe Bilbeny hasn’t been able to explain himself clear enough, but what he intends to say is:
    1. Rico by saying it’s a joke takes the easy way..
    2. By no means in spanish “Deum de Deo” can give “De donde diere”
    3. If you know a little catalan as you say, it’s very easy for a “clever” person with sense of humor to tranlate it making a “play on words”, by “de ón deu” wich in spanish means “de donde diere”, that’s what Bilbeny tried to explain (forget the “unde”), and someone speaking so many languages (an accident common to people born hearing 2 languages, including catalan people) should understand.
    Manuel Capdevila

  2. The catalan born people does not need any proof (as you ask) that “doneu” gives “deu”, but if you want one here it is “donat pel sac” gives “dat pel sac” (do not take the meaning) exactly the same way as doneu => deu. I would never dear to argue with an english person about the variations of an english word, so let the catalan people interpret their own language.
    Manuel Capdevila

  3. No m’has convençut. Però és igual, et queda molta feina.
    Ara prova-ho amb: “Enderezar al tuerto”, “Quién es ese tonel” (per un llibre), “Pésetes y reniegos”, “Cuando don Quijote la sintió” (per escoltar), “Algún malferido”, el joc “Fili-hilo”, “Dormir bien mal”, “Traerse bien” (per portar-se bé), “No pidas de grado lo que puedas tomar por fuerza”, “Traía” (per portava, al llarg de tota l’obra), “se viniese con ellos” (anar per venir, al llarg de tota l’obra), “Se me da que me den ocho reales”, “Pasó graciosísimos cuentos” (per passar comptes), “Verdaderos y nonada apasionados”, “El gato al rato, el rato a la cuerda”, “Más vale algo que no nada”, “Hizo del ojo a los compañeros”, “Dieron la bienllegada” … i uns quants centenars més.

    Apa, ànims i endavant.

  4. @Manuel (1): Why, if Bilbeny’s hypothesis is so adequate, should we forget the “unde”? Why, if it is so typically Catalan, does Cervantes use the same gag in Valladolid in El coloquio de los perros?
    @Manuel (2): I look forward to your mounting a posthumous prosecution against Francesc de B Moll, a Mallorcan, for daring to publish a dictionary of Catalan and Valencian as well as Balearic.
    @ccbaxter: (1) “Enderezar al tuerto” is misquoted. It actually reads “enderezar al tuerto”, which usage is to be found in undubitably Castilian sources prior to Quijote eg the mid-14th century Fuero antiguo de Castilla: “ruego vos que gelo digades que me endereze el tuerto que me tiene”
    @ccbaxter (2): I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make. “Tonel” is unorthodox usage in both languages. The most surprising thing about that phrase is that Don Olivante de Laura isn’t a particularly big volume.
    @ccbaxter (3): “Pésetes y reniegos” is, of course, a misquote. If you want to tell me the correct version, I’ll try to help.
    @ccbaxter (4): Although it’s not that common nowadays, “sentir” for “listen” was once acceptable usage, eg Alfonso X, General estoria, “Agar cuando lo sintió que era preñada començó a seer loçana e a despreciar a su señora e desdeñar la su palabra”, Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo, Amadís de Gaula “Galaor tornó, mas echado el escudo a las espaldas, cuando lo sintió cerca de sí, sacó aína el cavallo de la carrera y apartóse”
    @ccbaxter (5): The problem with Bilbeny and by extension with you is that you know next to nothing of the literature and language of, and prior to, the time of Cervantes and have made no effort to investigate before making your wild claims. If I’ve got a lot of work to do, then I think you have rather more…

  5. El teu problema és que agafes com a fonts “indubtables” obres que tambés estan sota sospita de ser traduccions i personatges suposadament castellans que molt bé podrien ser catalans. No saps per exemple que el famós Alfonso X era familiar directe de Jaume I? I quina casualitat que apareix ell i hi comença a haver interès per la cultura on abans no hi havia res…

    També passes de llarg de les expressions que mai de la vida han tingut ni tenen cap sentit en castellà, t’hi posis com t’hi posis, com la de “El gato al rato, el rato a la cuerda”

    Oblida els prejudicis si vols avançar

  6. So the Castilian fuero is yet another bad translation of yet another mysteriously disappeared Catalan source? And Alfonso X was born in La Garriga but cunningly managed to hide this fact all his life? You’re deranged, mate. (If you want to keep on commenting, please do so in English so other people can understand you.)

  7. Is there censorship here?

    I said (in english!): “Who controls the past, controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

    George Orwell. ‘1984’

    Is too clear for this subject?

  8. Ah, so you do think Alfonso X was born in La Garriga. Keep taking the tablets and this heatwave will end eventually.

  9. I am a Catalan philologist who has had enough patience for reading J. Bilbeny’s essays at, and so I thing I am competent to assert his thesis that Quixote has been written in Catalan and after translated to Spanish by censorship is just a nonsense.
    The list of supposed catalanisms and translation mistakes adduced by Bilbeny as evidences only proves that this man does not know how to use a dictionary.
    Otherwise, in Quixote proverbs and sayings are frequently repeated and there are insert many poems of a perfect metrics that make difficult its translation. Can someone imagine a censor searching for paremiac equivalences or rhyming verses?
    And Bilbeny’s study is restricted to Quixote, but what about Galatea, Numancia, El trato de Argel, comedies and “entremeses”, Viaje al Parnaso, exemplar novels, Persiles…? All this, absolutely, prose and verses, is in Spanish.
    Bilbeny gives a lot of work to censorship in order to hide that Cervantes was a Catalan.

  10. Trevor,

    “dictionary of Catalan and Valencian as well as Balearic”?

    Have you read it? It’s a dictionary of one language with three names(Moll avoided the crontoversy of the name: català, llemosí, valencià, mallorquí, balear,…). Do you lie deliberately?

    And “dar” is an accepted word in catalan language and appears in most catalan dictionarys (including Alcover-Moll).

  11. 1) Depends who you ask, doesn’t it.
    2) So what if dar is also used in some Catalan variants?

  12. 1) In the reply you say that there are diferents opinions about if there are one or more languages (the opinion of Moll is obvious). But the dictionary was conceived, created and structured as if there was only one language, and the sentence referred in my reply (“dictionary of Catalan and Valencian as well as Balearic”) seems to mean that it was made thinking about three languages (if wasn’t, sorry).

    2)You said, “Secondly, Bilbeny says that “deu” is an abbreviation of “doneu”, but produces no evidence of why this would be found convincing or of it happening elsewhere” It is not just an abbreviation, some forms of verb dar were profusely used in the past, and are still used nowadays in some expressions. (It was just a comment)

  13. 1@Jordi: You are absolutely right; although I have read quite a lot of the dictionary (it’s one of my favourites in any language) I was dishonestly and shamefully trying to bluff you. On the other hand, Manuel’s point–“I would never dear to argue with an english person about the variations of an english word, so let the catalan people interpret their own language”–is so silly that I’m tempted to start a war about it this very second.
    2@Jordi: I kind of agree with you here too, but if Bilbeny is so sure of himself, why doesn’t he go into this point?

  14. 2) I think he just has not correctly explained this point. But the weak point, in my oppinion, of Bilbeny’s proof is “unde”, because although in colloquial language of some regions people say “unte vas”, “unte vius”, as he comments, there’s no documentary evidence that “unde” was used in the past. However, this is only one of Bilbeny reasons (not conclusive and not the better in my point of view).

  15. “stultorum infinitus est mumerus”

    Joan Miquel Servent (AKA Miguel de Cervantes)

  16. Some guy called Servent may have said that, but Cervantes could spell his Latin, dickbrain. (I hereby accuse you of being Jordi Bilbeny, since he’s the only person on the planet who thinks “numerus” is spelt “mumerus”.)

  17. Anaother sample between hundreds
    In the Virolai we sing: “Deu-nos abric dins vostre mantell blau..” would be the same using the verb donar=> Doneu-nos but we say “deu”..
    Manuel Capdevila

  18. In your stubburnness of not accepting the fact that the translation “De donde diere” it’s only possible using the catalan language, you have forgotten a very important fact, that excludes this sequence as a proof of the Quixot having been written in catalan…
    (I’ve told you from the very beggininig to discard “unte-unde” -as Jordi added, I do not argue/support that point, that does not prove anything & would leave it, as you say 50-50, at the most)
    Manuel Capdevila

  19. A proof that Quixote is not a translation has been found. Look here in the end, Jeipi’s article:

    It seems that the ancient Castilian named “verano” the intermediate sprint-summer time and “estío” the hottest summer time, but in modern Spanish both words are synonymes. Look at the Quixote, part two chapter LIII, and you will read that the “verano” is followed by the “estío”.

    However, in Catalan the only word meaning “summer” has always been “estiu”.

    Maybe it is not the “conclusive” one, but it is a good proof.

  20. ha,ha,ha,ha, I have just stumbled upon this page, what’s next then? Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins were Catalans and the evil castilians in collaboration with the CIA changed their names and erased all traces of their real identities to avoid the catalan flag being planted on the moon but the few geniuses being produced by this superior land investing their lifes on this quest , will prove to the world that yes the Universe is catalan and always has been…. they are and will always be whining victims mainly because they cannot be anything else…. by the way not only the catalans were the first to step on the moon but also the first ones to put together a mission to send an animal there too, the animal in question, for all of you ignorant foreigners who don’t know anything about catalonia and its language and therefore are banned from having a point of view , was the one representing them, the donkey… the russians , again in collaboration with the evil castilians swoped in the last minute the donkey for a dog, but the mission had been paid by catalonia.
    Get real mates!

  21. I have just stumbled upon this page. You should be ashamed of the nonsensical comments. Not to mention insults.

    When I read about Bilbeny’s claims I was skeptical, so I started to read El Quixote looking for translation errors. I found many, including some not pointed out by Bilbeny.

    The claim should be stated as this:
    El Quixote is a translated text. Original text was in catalan language. This can be seen only because the translation is very poor; should the translation have been a fine work we would not be discussing this issue.

    The claim can be proved through traslation errors, specially those that create nonsensical sentences, sometimes even ungrammatical, or completely out of context. They can ALWAYS be shown as an (often) word by word translation of a catalan text that makes perfect sense, is grammatical (in catalan), and fits the context fine. There are plenty of these errors in El Quixote and the translation-error-from-catalan is always an easily understandable error, such as confusing very similar words that have different meanings in each language, or literally translating (word by word) an idiom that only exists in catalan.

    Historically, the reason why this book was translated is that all books were. Nothing was published in catalan during the century since it was forbidden. This means that there are lots of books with similar translation symptoms. This in turn creates the problem that they are quoted as a “proof” that some words or expressions were common in that time spanish, when in fact they are just the repetition of a similar translation problem. Another common rebuttal is saying that this is “old spanish that has been lost”, contrary to the equivalent catalan that has been preserved. Maybe, but such a claim should be backed in some way, and I have not seen any of these quotes with the exceptions mentioned before.

    I’ll use exaggeration to clarify this point. Take ANY catalan or portuguese language sentence. Claim that this is old spanish. The claim is nonsense unless you can show those words used in spanish texts somewhere else NOT including other catalan or portuguese text nonsensically claimed as spanish too. See “mysterious authors” below to see what I mean.

    Also, taking one of these unique words appearing in El Quixote and inserting it into the official (academic) dictionary of the spanish language, is not a proof that it is a spanish language word. This has happened often. These words are, since then, part of modern spanish and are (seldom) used in educated written texts.

    One common sign of translated works at that time is anonymous (author not mentioned) books or books by a misterious author. The latter is the case of Cervantes: No one knows who he was, where he was born, where he lived, where he died, etc. Too much mystery about an author in that century most often points to a translation. If a comparison with contemporaneous castilian (spanish) language is to be made, only non-misterious authors are acceptable as a reference.

    Other works by Cervantes can have been written directly in spanish or can just have been better translated. Conclusions from El Quixote are not necessarily extensible to other books nor the other way arround.

    Now, it’s true that Bilbeny makes a poor job at explaining himself.

  22. Squared claims that publishing in Catalan was prohibited in the 16th and 17th centuries. It wasn’t.

    Regarding Bilbeny’s list of errata….if one looks at the texts of Shakespeare, many things that dont make sense, and many seemingly out of context sentences can be found.

    Part of the problem may be low editorial and proof reading standards in the 17th centuries, the rest is language change. It may also be true that Cervantes spoke Catalan as a second language, and used expressions that he liked in his writing.

    My favorite Bilbeny moment: A portrait of Columbus’s captain Juan de la Cosa wearing a hat, captioned “En joan cossa o de la cossa, esdevingut Juan de la cossa, cofat amb barretina.”

    Later in the same book he explains over 4 pages how Columbus’s captain Martin Alsono Pinzon was actually a pirate called Alfons Yanez , mentioned in a document putporting to be from Palos de la Frontera, but actually, Bilbeny “proves”, from Pals de Emporda. He then explains, based on one line in a chronicle written 90 years after the discovery, which mentions a pair of brothers, Martin Hernandez Pinzon and Alonso Pinzon, that these 2 men (or 1 man, it is not clear how many Pinzons and Yanezes en Bilbeny believes in) were portuguese pro-catalan freedom fighters stationed in Catalunya, and that the real name of the captin was Martin Alfonso Yanez Pinzon.

    He then hilariously quotes a document in which the pirate Yanez is given the full name “Alfonso Yanez BANGUAS” not even mentioning the fact that this would seem to contradict his theory that the man’s second surname was actually Pinzon.

  23. Printing in catalan was not forbidden….
    Books originally written in catalan with compulsory translation into castilian

    Pere Antoni Beuter, prologue to the Castilian edition of the Historia de Valencia (1546), Vg. Renaixement a la Carta, p. 134-136: “It was printed in the Valencian language, as I wrote it”, but the book “had to be presented in the Castilian language so that it could be understood in the places where the Valencian tongue could not be comprehended”. He excuses himself for having the book translated given that “as I am a Valencian and writing from València to the city’s aldermen [in Valencian, now] I write in Castilian, a language alien to València”, because having the various kingdoms of Spain come under “a general and only authority, excepting the Kingdom of Portugal, it seems that at the same time they shall all now have to share a common language”.

    Jeroni Pujades, prologue to the Crònica Universal del Principat de Catalunya (1606): he did not translate the book into Castilian, as some wanted him to, Vg. Renaix. a la Carta, p. 139-141: “Some wished this work to be written in Castilian, given that this language is more spread and understood in foreign nations. But it was not possible to do otherwise”. That is to say, that he published the first volume in Catalan, but all the remaining ones in Castilian, even if he wants it stated that he writes in Catalan “in order not to be ungrateful to my country and nation” and also because “the prelates, doctors, teachers and writers must conform themselves to the benefit and advantage of the subjects, listeners, pupils or readers, even if they are scorned, despised and, as Saint Paul says, excomunicated and anathematized” and not act as others do who use the Castilian language.

    Onofre Manescal, Sermó (1603), he does not want it to be printed in Castilian, “as some thought necessary, understanding that in the Castilian language it would be more commonly (understood) and easier”. Ídem, p. 138. The following sermons are already in Castilian, though.

    Lluís Ponç d’Icard, prologue to the Castilian edition of the Llibre de les Grandeses de Tarragona (1572), p.136-37: “this book I had composed, discreet and wise reader, in the Catalan language”, but “knowing the harm I did to this city, that my book would be addressed only to Catalonia […] I have thought of translating it into Castilian, even though I am not very well endowed for it, not because I think this language better than the Catalan one or than others, but that as I am a subject of the most invincible king Philip, our lord, it is the more used in all his kingdoms”. And, especially, because “he does not want to incur the danger of being blamed and badly considered”. He insists with the reader to forgive him for writing in an alien tongue, “since I could not serve you in any other way, nor fulfil my obligation to my country, for which, according to Cicero, we must fear no danger”.

    Francesc Tarafa had published, in 1552 the book Dels pobles, rius y montanyes de Espanya. It was translated into Latin, but “we know nothing of the original Catalan text”, “Prologue” by Alexandre d’Armengol i de Pereyra to Francesc Tarafa’s book Crònica de Cavallers Catalans, Asociación de Bibliófilos, Barcelona, 1952, vol. I, p. xvj. [Quadern meu, 1].

    Martí de Viciana. In the Dedication to the Alabanzas de las Lengua Hebrea, Griega, Castellana y Valenciana (València, Joan Navarro, 1574) he asks the Senate to “forgive him for having translated this work from Valencian into Castilian; for the same reason I had to translate the Chronica de Valencia, and the Llibre de la Noblesa, Armes y Blasons, and the Llibre de Recració dels dies calorosos de juliol, and, after having compiled them, I had to work as much in translating them all only to render them known to many other provinces”, even though I had written them in Catalan in order that all those (Catalans) who speak Castilian “return to their natural tongue, the one they sucked from their mother’s teats, and they do not leave it for any other in the world, since it exceeds many others in its properties”. As Joan Fuster says, “he composed the originals in Catalan and then had to translate them in order to have them published”, Hª del País Valencià, III, p. 294. – Cf. Vicente Ximeno, Escritores del Reyno de Valencia, vol. I, p. 168 and Martín de Viciana, Alabanzas de las lenguas; Francisco Aguilar, València, 1877, p. 18.

    According to DIEGO ROMERO LUCAS, concerning the Catalan editions of the XVIth century: “It is quite remarkable that the literary works printed in this [Catalan] language have disappeared almost completely, save for those regarding a few poetry contests dedicated to Our Lady or to some saint”. “moreover, neither were the great works by Valencian authors of the end of the XVth century and the beginning of the XVIth reprinted, even if they had been massively present at the origins of the printing press in Valencia: Joan Roís de Corella, sor Isabel de Villena, Jaume Roig o el Tirant lo Blanc”; «La Impremta a València a la fi del segle XVI», DelTirant al Don Quixote. La imatge del Cavaller; p. 99.

  24. Respondin to the issue about de Pinçon of boynamedsue a I can add that the two official names of those captains were:

    Vicente Yanes Pinçon
    Martin Alonso Pinçon

    Letter “z” (lizp) arrived to castillian a bit later..

    People familiar with portuguese culture, is aware that father’s name (to the contrair of spanish cuscom) goes at the end (from that english definition: “last name”), well, the Pinçon were known by this name, why two captains would use their mothers name in 1490’s? (Luis de Requesens did it when he inherited her mother’s properties)
    Being portuguese would explain why (father Pinçon & two different mothers Yanes & Alonso )

  25. Sorry, but your quotes indicate that translation into Catalan was not as you say compulsory, but simply necessary in order to reach a wider market.

  26. Manuel, even if this were true (the factual existence and relationship of these men I mean) a close reading of passage linked above reveals that Bilbeny is either an absolute fool, or he is an out and out liar.

    Its four pages of tosh built on circular arguments and logical errors. Occam’s razor would leave him looking like Freddy Kruger. I urge you to read it.

    As for the Catalan publishing, I agree with Maqii Simonos.

  27. Trevor (July 21st, 2006 at 16:50), about the “one language with three names” argument (català, valencià, balear -> which actually people from ses Illes break down into mallorquí, menorquí, eivissenc and formenterenc, depending on the island they are from), you say that it depends on who you ask. Yes, it depends on whether you ask a well-intentioned or informed person or an ill-intentioned or uninformed person. Please, do not be another ignorant (or ill-intentioned person).

    Both the Spanish Supreme Court and Constitutional Court have ruled that Catalan and Valencian are the same language, and so has done, 13 times!, the Superior Justice Court of Valencia. I tackle this issue on my book 500 preguntas al nacionalismo español (Ediciones Martínez-Roca; Madrid, 2006), chapter 6, section “Valenciano y secesionismo lingüístico: divide y vencerás” (pages 127-131). The arguments for Valencian as a different language are pure nonsense.

    For your reference, news piece by, “El TSJ equipara de nou valencià i català,” January 7, 2008:
    “El Tribunal Superior de Justícia de la Comunitat Valenciana ha dictat una sentència que obliga la Generalitat Valenciana a acceptar la titulació de filologia catalana per acreditar el coneixement del valencià en les oposicions als cossos docents no universitaris, tal com havia demanat la Universitat de València i la d’Alacant. … La sentència que ha dictat el TSJ dóna validesa jurídica a l’ús tant del terme valencià com el de català per denominar la llengua. El tribunal considera que el terme valencià és el que està oficialment reconegut a l’estatut, mentre que en l’àmbit acadèmic s’anomena català. És la tretzena sentència del Tribunal Superior de Justícia valencià que equipara el valencià amb el català, sense comptar la del Tribunal Constitucional espanyol i la del Suprem.”

    And here’s the sentence if you want to read it:

  28. The discussion as to whether or not Valencian is a separate language or dialect is Balkan in its absurdity, and I’m not going to waste time reading the arguments of those in favour or those against. The Catalan philology business in Valencia was essentially about finding ways of preventing outsiders getting jobs, just as is the use of Catalan C by the Catalan local authorities.

  29. Thank you for your answer, Trevor.

    There might be an aspect that has to do about protecting jobs, but the Valencian secessionist argument has to do, above all, with the principle I mentioned, known as divide et impera or divide and conquer (and I’m referring to a Castilian sort of conquest, obviously). Eduardo Zaplana (former president of the Valencian Autonomous Government), for instance, has no intention of defending “the Valencian language,” that much is clear.

    My paternal grandfather’s family is from Valencia city (I still have family there) and I agree that the discussion could not be more absurd, but alas, it is sometimes necessary to confront absurdity! My Valencian family members and I never thought we spoke different languages just because we had different accents.

  30. Two nations divided by a common language, or whatever. I’ve never met any Valencian imperialists, while Catalan imperialists are quite common vocal here in Barcelona.

  31. I would say that the main Catalan argument pro independence (and I am also from BCN, although I live in Phoenix, Arizona) is “Catalonia should get its independence, and then, if Valencians or Balearics get theirs and decide to knock on our door, we might consider the possibility of forming a confederation, as in the good old 13th century” (at least, that’s my argument). I think the pan-Catalanist argument is presented from Madrid, but Valencians should not be concerned about it because it’s a minority (and an inconsistent) one.

    I would like to remind people that when king James I conquered el País Valencià and el Regne de Mallorca in the 13th century he did not impose the Catalan blueprint on them in the same way that Philip V of Spain imposed the Castilian blueprint on the four territories of the Aragon Crown in the 18th century, with his Nueva Planta decrees.

    In any case, I agree that any notion that Valencians should follow what Catalans do is ridiculous, and whoever sustains it is indeed an imperialist, but as you said, these elements are vocal but not common (thanks for correcting yourself).

    By the way, I totally concur with Manuel Capdevila on the dar/donar issue. I often use “dat pel sac”, for instance. Another problem you guys should consider is that Cervantes/Sirvent might have been Catalan, but could have been perfectly familiar with Castilian customs and expressions, so the fact that he showed knowledge of those does not prove he was Castilian. I have always found amazing that so little is known about Cervantes, and some of the Catalanisms he uses are mind-boggling. I have not studied Bilbeny’s arguments in depth (although I did see the movie and thought he could have done a much better job) but I remember he quotes a passage of el Quixote in which the writer is clearly implying that he is not using his own name. Puzzling…

  32. Just let me clarify one thing, Trevor. You talk about Valencian linguistic secessionism as being “essentially about finding ways of preventing outsiders getting jobs, just as is the use of Catalan [certificate] C by the Catalan local authorities”.

    The Catalan Autonomous Government does recognize the lingusitic certificates that the Valencian Autonomous Government issues, but not the other way around, so you are not being precise nor fair on that. Generalitat de Catalunya does not prevent “Valencian outsiders” from getting jobs in Catalonia; Generalitat Valenciana does prevent “Catalan outsiders” from getting jobs in the Valencian Autonomous Community.

  33. I’m pretty good at tossing off French phrases, but I doubt anyone’s going to claim me as a native of Alesia. There may be other reasons for that.

    The Valencian government is being almost as hard on Catalan jobseekers as the Catalan government is on jobseekers from the rest of Spain. The only sensible answer is to go and live in somewhere normal, like Madrid, Albacete, or Phoenix.

  34. Trevor ap Simon, if you believe yourself so brilliant, answer this: Why does Cervantes forget to mention the first edition of El Quijote? He mentions the rest of editions but the most important one; the one that gave him success an glory. Not even now a writer would forget to mention that when making THE list of editions of his masterpiece.

  35. Why is El Quijote only edited in those countries where people was against Castilla?

    Why the edition of Madrid is edited by Juan de la Cuesta, when this man wasn’t in Spain at that time and he had no license to edit? Why all the editions made in Europe are based on the edition of Valencia and not Madrid?

    Okham says: Isn’t that weird. The edition of Madrid never existed.

    Mais… Here comes the best one:

    There are different references to the Quixote in 1604 from different authors. How could they know that book if it wasn’t even printed?

  36. Ah, mr. Swallow, don’t let your unionist prejudices blind your mind (I’m only being objective, if you were born in Belfast and your name’s Trevor, you’re probably unionist).

  37. Ah! Per cert! No entenc perquè poses “philologist” entre cometes, car en Bilbeny és filòleg titulat.

  38. Xevi. What have you taken? Was it the drugs?

    Your questions all ammount to one thing:

    Why can’t we account for every second of the lives of people who are 400 years in their graves?

    You don’t understand the process of historical investigation. You start from the evidence then draw conclusions, you don’t start from the conclusion then interpret any supposed inconsistency between sources as positive evidence for your theory.

    Bilbeny is not a philologist in a any practical sense of the word, he has no expertise in medieval castillian, as evidenced by his frequent atrocious gaffs when writing about this subject. He is no historian for the reasons outlined above. He is, in fact, a twat.

    And by the way, the first part of Don Quijote came out in 1604. Try wikipedia for confirmation.

  39. Don Quixote, 2nd Part, Chapter III, 5th paragaraph:

    “Hízole levantar don Quijote, y dijo:
    —¿Desa manera, ¿verdad es que hay historia mía, y que fue moro y sabio el que la compuso?
    —Es tan verdad, señor —dijo Sansón— que tengo para mí, que el día de hoy están impresos más de doce mil libros de la tal historia; si no, dígalo Portugal, Barcelona y Valencia, donde se han impreso, y aun hay fama que se está imprimiendo en Amberes, y a mí se me trasluce que no ha de haber nación ni lengua donde no se traduzga.”

    Here is the proof that Madrid edition of 1605 did not exist at the time of the writing of the second part (1614), so is a fake.. How Cervantes could forget about it? and even more, make a citation of the Barcelona edition never founded? (the first extant edition being of 1617), the Ockham razor points to the disappeared 1604 edition, mentioned on 6 different documents, as being the also disappeared Barcelona edition…
    You can even apply the Chapman-Kolmogorov statistics law to it “the probability of two independent random facts happenning at the same time is infinitessimal”, it ought to be the very same fact…

  40. In what way is it proof?

    It seems to say the story WAS published in those places, not that it WASNT in Madrid.

    That is proof of sweet fek all.

  41. Obviously in a trial a document can be used to proof what it says… not what it does not say.

    But you forget that Cervantes in that sequence is trying to proof the importance of Don Quixote, and he enumerates all the official editions existing at the moment of writing (there are no others known today!), he hasn’t enough with that, and he mentions an unfinished one, it is impossible that he forgets the most valued one the “princeps edition” of Juan de la Cuesta, beeing him the printer of the second part (1615). The people who made the fake printing of 1605 did no realize that fact. “se coje antes a un mentiroso que a un cojo”.The same way the one who made dissapear the Columbus letter written in catalan, did not take to account, what it was written in Fernando’s index: “documento nº xxxxx: carta de mi padre Cristóbal Colón escrita al secretario de ración , en catalán…”

    Felipe V did worst things with Valencia: the original name of Tierra de Fuego was “Illa de Xàtiva” given by his discoverer Ramírez de Arellano who was from Xàtiva (vide: López Piñero Ajuntament de València 2007), Felipe V “forced” the new name! after puting Xàtiva on fire…At least now we know the origin of the valencian “che” used in Argentina (my grandmother was valencian as well…)

    I saw the senyera of Valencia on Texeira’s map 30 years ago and thought “a flag like ours” Bilbeny told me.. no, you’re wrong.. it’s our flag, and 10 years later Lopez Piñero has proven it… not underestimate Bilbeny’s intuition,in a few occassion’s time has proven how right he was.. The same thing he told me about Cortès and then I’ve found the Aragon’s senyera (from Extremadura de Aragón)on a painting in a London’s exhibition of the “Environement`s Department”, painted by Miguel González in 1550 in Mexico.It’s from a colection of 12 paintings, from those are extant, the ones that are in Mexico & London kept the senyera, on those left in Spain the flag has a Virgin instead…

    Felipe V died dement so did his son Luis I de España 8 months after being crowned, facts hidden from history books by the Royal family (but Juan Carlos makes periodical cheks just in case some gen is left).

    And about the 1714 issue, I have a few friends in England they reckon that all it was a tactical move, not helping their catalan allies and giving the crown to Felipe, in the mean time our archiduke Charles had become emperor of Austria, and England didn’t want Austria-Spain under one crown, they were right because at this moment started the “Brittannia rules the waves” at Utrecht they were given the exclusivity of black’s transport to America (bringing goods on the back trip)…

  42. Man, you are a paranoid idiot. Your claims about Tierra del Fuego are just as stupid and unfounded as those about Cervantes. Tierra del Fuego was named by Magellan, who passed it 100 years before Ramírez de Arellano. The latter was cartographer on the expedition that Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego was an island, but if Felipe had really been determined to rid all traces of this from the region, why do we still have the Diego Ramírez islands?

  43. “Por la boca muere el pez”, unwise people uses the insult when their limited intelligence can’t find real arguments…

    About the “Illa de Xàtiva” issue, you will have to argue with Dr. Piñero a renown investigator (I admire him & his work), who found documents proving it, here is the Press note:

    R.V.M., Valencia.

    El historiador José María López Piñero se hace una pregunta retórica : «¿Quién sabe quién es Diego Ramírez de Arellano ¿Cuantos en Xàtiva saben la vida de este piloto y geógrafo » .Y en su libro La tecnología de la navegación en la España renacentista , que publica el Ayuntamiento de Valencia, da la respuesta. Este hombre publicó en 1620 el libro El reconocimiento del estrecho de Magallanes y San Vicente . Y dio nombre a la Isla de Xativa -lo que en la actualidad se conoce como Tierra de Fuego-, allá al sur de la Patagonia, en el límite con el Polo Sur o Antártida(abajo sólo está la Tierra de Juan Fernández).

    Era el resultado de su viaje en 1618-1619 al hemisferio sur, recorriendo desde Madeira a Río de Janeiro, y el Estrecho de Magallanes. Según Piñero este gran geógrafo, fue capaz de reconocer las islas, cabos, y de medir latitudes y longitudes. «E incluye un mapa sobre el estrecho de Magallanes donde figura la Tierra de Fuego con el nombre de Ísla de Xativa» . Esta denominación se mantuvo hasta que terminó la Guerra de Sucesión y toda la tierra «ardió». Incluida la Isla de Xativa que vio su nombre borrado por algo más caliente. No así el extremo del sur o Cabo de San Vicente Mártir, que sigue en todas las cartas y mapas. El nombre de Diego Ramírez de Arellano también parece borrado, aunque en 1852 Fernández de Navarrete le consideraba uno de los cosmógrafos con mayor preparación científica.
    El libro que el Ayuntamiento de Valencia ha publicado tenía un antecedente en un trabajo anterior del historiador, en 1979 una síntesis divulgativa. En ese caso tal vez la laguna quede colmada y la memoria del ilustre valenciano vea reconocida su aportación y valía.

  44. Magellan went there in 1520, long before any of your guys were born, and named the whole lot Tierra del Fuego. Ramírez de Arellano went there 100 years later, determined that the bit at the end was an island and on a draft suggested the name of his home town. This did not make it into the final revision, which is often the case. This has nothing to do with the War of the Spanish Succession, which was long afterwards. Ramírez de Arellano is mentioned regularly in Spanish geographical treatises in the 18th and 19th centuries. You are a loony and an ignoramus.

  45. 2.

    “Por la boca muere el pez”, unwise people use the insult when their limited intelligence can’t find real arguments…

    About the “Illa de Xàtiva” issue, you will have to argue with Dr. Piñero a renown investigator (I admire him & his work), who found documents proving it, here is the Press note:
    Tierra de Fuego, antes «Isla de Xativa»
    El navegante y geógrafo de Xàtiva Ramírez de Arellano la bautizó y cartografió en el siglo XVII. Felipe V decidió que se cambiara el nombre y pasara a llamarse «Tierra de Fuego»
    R.V.M., Valencia.
    El historiador José María López Piñero se hace una pregunta retórica : «¿Quién sabe quién es Diego Ramírez de Arellano ¿Cuantos en Xàtiva saben la vida de este piloto y geógrafo » .Y en su libro La tecnología de la navegación en la España renacentista……..
    Era el resultado de su viaje en 1618-1619 al hemisferio sur, recorriendo desde Madeira a Río de Janeiro, y el Estrecho de Magallanes. Según Piñero este gran geógrafo, fue capaz de reconocer las islas, cabos, y de medir latitudes y longitudes. «E incluye un mapa sobre el estrecho de Magallanes donde figura la Tierra de Fuego con el nombre de Ísla de Xativa»

  46. Since I’m a pedant, please let me note that the first name given to the land to the west of the Le Maire Strait was Maurits van Nassau, this by Dutch merchants who were the first to sail through the strait in 1616. If you can find C17th maps that call it Játiva Island, feel free to post them here or mail them to me. Meanwhile, to refute the notion that Philip V was responsible for a name change, here are several examples of the conventional namings–referring to fire or to Magellan–from long before Philip’s time:

    (Blaeu, 1646)

    (Sanson/Mariette, 1668)

    I sincerely doubt that you or your professor will produce any better evidence than this (if his evidence is so convincing, why doesn’t he make it available to others?), or that either of you will be able to explain why, if there was such a determination to remove him from history, the Diego Ramírez islands were left as they were and Diego Ramírez turns up regularly in C18th Spanish texts.

    You & yours may for some reason be pissed that the French burnt down Játiva in 1706, but that’s not sufficient excuse to invent history.

    It is for all these reasons that, respectfully, I believe that you are an ignoramus and a loony.

  47. por la boca muere el pez

    “the original name of Tierra de Fuego was “Illa de Xàtiva” given by his discoverer Ramírez de Arellano who was from Xàtiva”

    Now when was Ramirez Arellano born?

    “¿Cuantos en Xàtiva saben la vida de este piloto y geógrafo » .Y en su libro La tecnología de la navegación en la España renacentista……..
    Era el resultado de su viaje en 1618-1619 ”

    But surely Magellan was dead, and Tierra del Fuego named, by this point?

  48. Being a sucker for this kind of shit, I took issue elsewhere with some pinhead who claimed that the big winner of WWII was the Soviet Union. When I pointed put to him that it was stretching the definition of the word to include an entity that went out of business 18 years ago. The response was…

    – The Soviet Union has, indeed, ceased to exist. However, some sort of collectivism – functional, if not classical socialism – is now dominant in evey western European country and in the United States. Marxism has lost a battle but seems well along the way to winning its war –

    What the fuck. Even if I’m wrong I’m right.

  49. The distinction between the transmission of knowledge and fireside entertainments is that the former reveals the denouement at the beginning, the latter forcing you to cling to the edge of your seat to the final chapter, when the inevitability of the whole thing renders null your faculty of judgement.

    Good point, Trev. The horse got in the gate in ’04, though. Calling him Karl is a lovely and reassuring conceit, similarly reducing certain amoral ‘geographic’ realities to, well, right and wrong. Come sit around the hearth, kids. Daddy’s gonna tell you a story.

  50. bwahahaha… OMG, Mr. Jordi Bilbeny would say any bullshit to popularise his own land, Arenys de Mar. Sure, Don Quijote, Columbus, Hitler, Bush, Brad Pitt, Davy Crockett, Walt Disney, Sarkozy, Allah, Mao, Godzilla etc. are from Catalunya, lol :-)))
    Agree with you, Trevor.

  51. To trevor:

    Are you a Philologist? Spanish philologist?
    Did you study Latin?

    Let me dude.

    To analise a work from the 17th century influenced with the works of the 16th century without knowing as deep as a philologist the language used in that work is showing to the people that you hadn’t understood the book, the reasons explained in some research…

    So… Are you a Philologist? Spanish philologist?
    Did you study Latin?

  52. I’ll let you dude. So what was your point? (I read Latin and I’ve got a pretty good knowledge of Spanish, but I haven’t got any diplomas. I think that’s what you mean. I’m also a reasonable pastry cook, despite being completely unqualified.)

  53. It´s a pity that this discussions end up in personal fights. I read interesting opinions in both parts, but having a prefixed target in mind drives it to nowhere. In most cases there are arguments clear enough to demonstrate that something is white or black, the problem is when nobody really wants to find out if it is really white or black.

    És una pena que aquestes discussions acabin sempre en baralles personals. Veig opinions interessants a ambdues parts, però tenir un objectiu prefixat no porta enlloc. En molts casos hi ha arguments prou clars per a demostrar que una cosa és blanca o negra, el problema ve quan realment ningú no vol saber si és realment blanca o negra…

  54. Reading Don Quijote, I believe that there are translated catalan idioms and a general flair in his language that doesn’t seem to me to be ordinary literate castillian of his time at all, aswell as, on the other hand, well written poems that seem to have been obviously composed in Spanish, and some sentences with double meaning that make sense in spanish but wouldn’t make that much sense in an hipothetycall catalan original. (example: in chapter VIII, in the second part, when Don Quijote is telling Sancho about fame, the Pantheon in Rome and Caesar, etc…Sancho answers: “—Dígame, señor —prosiguió Sancho—: esos Julios o Agostos, y todos esos caballeros hazañosos que ha dicho, que ya son muertos, ¿dónde están agora?” This ONLY makes sense in spanish, or at least makes MUCH MORE sense in spanish: Julio y Agosto for Julio y Augusto….not juliol i agost..(agost would make much sense, but Juliol doesn’t make that much sense…) My possible explanaition for that is that maybe Cervantes was catalan speaking and translated himself or directly wrote “el Quijote” in spanish, ironically reflecting this and playing with his own “foreigner’s” spanish language, a thing that is always hilarating to the public and may have allowed him to subtly denounce the fact that in order to publish you had to do so in castilian, and that he himself was “Hamete Benengeli” .

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