Talk:Miguel de Cervantes

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"El que lee mucho y anda mucho, ve mucho y sabe mucho." Translation: "He who reads much and walks much sees much and knows much." the correct translation is:

"Who reads much and walks much sees much and knows much."

There are in spanish diferences between:

:El (the) :Él (he)

There is a correlation between this stuff

The pen is the tongue of the soul...[edit]

La pluma es la lengua del alma: cuales fueren los conceptos que en ella se engendraren, tales serán sus escritos.

I removed a somewhat literal translation of this for which I could find no published source: "The pen is the language of the soul; as the concepts that in it are generated, such will be its writings." I replaced this with the 1895 translation by Henry Edward Watts: "The pen is the tongue of the soul; as are the thoughts engendered there, so will be the things written." If I do come across a source for the other I might re-add it as a variant.

I will probably add a few translations from various sources for some quotes as I proceed to work on this, but expect to have time to do only a very limited amount of sourcing and addition within the next day. After that I will probably work on it at least a bit more, but probably only gradually. ~ Kalki 03:29, 29 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Which I have earned with the sweat of my brows[edit]

Perhaps I don't know what is meant by "Sourced", but "the sweat of my brows" is not original to Cervantes. He is very deliberately quoting from Genesis. -- 13:14, 29 November 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Don Quixote References[edit]

  • A source needs to be listed that correlates with these references. The only editions I found did not correlate with these references at all. So a correlating reference needs to be listed or all the references need to be changed to the most common editions found. (of course...there is always the possibility that I am a brainless idiot who simply can't find anything).Ebt66 (talk) 01:01, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Some editions number the chapters differently (e.g. beginning each book with chapter 1 vs. continuing sequentially from the previous book's last chapter number), which can be a little confusing, but this is not the main problem. The most important thing missing from the citations is to identify the translations. Many different translations have been produced over the years, and some of the translators were quite, um, liberal in substituting their own ideas for what Cervantes wrote.

    It would also be very helpful if someone with a good knowledge of Spanish could provide exact quotes from the original text that correspond the English translations, and indentify the interpolations that do not correspond to Cervantes at all. (For example, where the characters quote proverbial sayings that were familiar to Cervantes's original audience, some translators have substituted entirely different and unrelated proverbs that they though more apropos for their own audiences.) ~ Ningauble (talk) 16:36, 19 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    @Ningauble: well said, but how would you deal with the interpolations? (For example: "no encubriéndosela yo"→"I was so free with him as not to mince the matter"; "no yéndole nada en ello"→"They can expect nothing but their labour for their pains"?) And what about quotes that have no Spanish equivalent at all (e.g. "As ill-luck would have it")? ~ DanielTom (talk) 20:51, 18 November 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I am not sure what the best practice(s) should be. Here are a few things that come to mind as food for thought:
    1. If the translation is not cited or readily identified, and it does not appear to be widely quoted, then it might simply be removed as potentially bogus, on the grounds that "if it ain't cited it ain't a quote".(You can quote me on that.)
    2. If uncited translations are to be retained, perhaps provisionally or as variants if they seem reasonably plausible, it might be useful to have a new version of the {{source}} template specifically for uncited translations.
    3. If the source of translation can be found, and it has resulted in widespread misattribution, then it could be placed in a Misattributed section. This is what I did in a similar case involving Plato's Republic.
    4. If the only thing that is pithy about the quote is a pre-existing proverb or proverbial phrase inserted by the translator, and it has not resulted in widespread misattribution to Cervantes, I would consider deleting it for not being an original quote of Cervantes or the translator.
    5. If the original is perfectly quoteworthy without the translator's amendments, consider just replacing it with a better (cited) translation.
    6. If the source of translation is notoriously unreliable, as described, e.g., at w:Don Quixote#English editions in translation, a note to that effect might be included. I also did this in the case of Plato linked above.
    This list of ideas is not exhaustive. Some of these options might be controversial. ~ Ningauble (talk) 20:21, 19 November 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable, precise and verifiable source for any quote on this list please move it to Miguel de Cervantes. --Antiquary 18:49, 25 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Amistades que son ciertas nadie las puede turbar.
    • Nobody can disrupt true friendships.
  • Amor y deseo son dos cosas diferentes; que no todo lo que se ama se desea, ni todo lo que se desea se ama.
    • Love and desire are two different things; not everything that is loved is desired, and not everything that is desired is loved.
  • El que lee mucho y anda mucho, ve mucho y sabe mucho.
    • Who reads much and walks much sees much and knows much.
  • En los principios amorosos los desengaños prestos suelen ser remedios calificados.
    • In the loving principles the quick disappointments are usually described remedies.
  • Encomiéndate a Dios de todo corazón, que muchas veces suele llover sus misericordias en el tiempo que están más secas las esperanzas.
    • Commend yourself to God with all your heart; He often rains down His mercies when hope is at its driest.
  • La buena y verdadera amistad no debe ser sospechosa en nada.
    • True and good friendship must not be suspicious of anything.
  • Más vale la pena en el rostro que la mancha en el corazón.
    • Grief on the face is better than the stain in the heart.
  • Puede haber amor sin celos, pero no sin temores.
    • There may be love without jealousy, but there is none without fear.
  • The brave man carves out his fortune, and every man is the son of his own works.
    • Variant translation: Every man's the son of his own deeds.
  • He who loses wealth loses much, he who loses a friend loses more, but he that loses his honor loses all.
  • There is no greater folly in this world than for a man to despair.
  • A stout man's heart breaks bad luck.
  • Hunger, is the best sauce.

Wrong quote[edit]

"Those who'll play with cats must expect to be scratched" isn't from Cervantes. The original reads as "no ande buscando tres pies al gato". First occurrence I can find of "Those who'll play with cats must expect to be scratched" is in the 1803 English edition (translator is not acknowledged : "translated by several hands"). (Actually many websites mention this sentence as a Yiddish proverb, which is what I'm trying to confirm.)

There are probably many other wrongly attributed quotes, one probably wants to review this list of liberal translations. Skippy le Grand Gourou (talk) 21:03, 11 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Actually the "1803 edition" is a reedition of the 1700 edition by Peter Anthony Motteux, and is apparently reputed for the "liberality" (to be kind) of the translation. See also wikipedia:Don_Quixote#English_editions_in_translation. Skippy le Grand Gourou (talk) 21:50, 11 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Time ripens all things" is a widely repeated misquotation[edit]

"Time ripens all things", which used to be the epigraph of the leading photo in this article, is widely attributed to Cervantes. It appears in numerous quote collections. However, it does not appear in Don Quixote. The rest of the quote, "no man is born wise. Bishops are made of men and not of stones," is indeed said by the Duchess to Sancho in Chapter XXXIII of Don Quixote II. It would be interesting to know how "time ripens all things" got attributed to Cervantes so often to the point of becoming iconic in English.—This unsigned comment is by JordiGH (talkcontribs) .

It's important to keep in mind that old translations were often not literal, but free (paraphrastic). For example, Thomas d'Urfey in 1694 rendered it: "Ah, dear Sir, consider no man is born wise, a Bishop is no more than another Man without Grace, and good Breeding." (interpolations in italics). To answer your question, this 1771 translation has it: "You say well, Sancho, said the Duchess, for time ripens all things. No man is born wise; bishops are made of men, and not of stones." ~ DanielTom (talk) 01:25, 21 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Although I have not researched this particular phrase in detail, there is an important point that quoters of Don Quixote should bear in mind:

A large part of the wit and charm of dialogues between the Don and the Duchess lies in the way they speak to each other in proverbs. Cervantes achieved this using Spanish proverbs and proverbial phrases that were familiar to his Spanish audience. Close translation of many of the Spanish proverbs would tend to fall flat because English readers would not recognize them as proverbs, or would even find them meaningless. In order to achieve the same effect in English, several translators inserted entirely different English proverbs and proverbial phrases that would be familiar to an English audience. This can be very successful in capturing the spirit of the original work, but hardly qualifies as quotation of Cervantes. ~ Ningauble (talk) 15:06, 21 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Aha! I had heard of this translation, and not many good things. I had suspected that it was this translation that added that cheesy "time ripens all things" crap, but I couldn't find a copy of it online. Thanks for finding it! I still find this rendering of the original very cheesy. I think it's the only translation in which this appears. Can we attribute the quote to Motteaux instead of Cervantes? JordiGH (talk) 16:17, 22 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, Motteaux did not invent the proverb in his 1771 translation of Cervantes. It is a common proverb that can be found in print more than a century earlier [1]. The true origins of such proverbs are notoriously difficult to pin down. ~ Ningauble (talk) 20:23, 22 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
JordiGH, see the note I added. ~ DanielTom (talk) 21:35, 22 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Too much of a good thing[edit]

Comparing these quotes listed as belonging to book 1, chapter 6:

  • He had a face like a benediction.
  • Can we ever have too much of a good thing?

with Wikisource chapter 6 with and with this Spanish edition, I can't find either of them. Am I looking in the wrong place? These are the only two quotations I checked. Mathglot (talk) 03:55, 27 August 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Okay, found it in the Spanish: "...pero nunca lo bueno fue mucho". Mathglot (talk) 04:20, 27 August 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]