“IN un placete de La Mancha of which nombre no quiero remembrearme, vivía, not so long ago, uno de esos gentlemen who always tienen una lanza in the rack, una buckler antigua, a skinny caballo y un greyhound para el chase.”
So reads the first sentence of the first chapter of the Spanglish translation of “Don Quixote,” published this year by Ilan Stavans, a Mexican-born academic and professor at Amherst College in the U.S. state of Massachusetts, the daily La Nación reported.
The classic picaresque novel, written in Spanish by Miguel de Cervantes in 15th-century Spain, is one of the most translated texts of all time. “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 during a visit to Andalucía, Spain.
Many purists have criticized the translation, La Nación reported. Spanglish, a combination of English and Spanish born from the crossing of cultures along the border of Mexico and the United States, has been alternately called a language and a contamination of languages by different critics.