¿Could you imagine, what would it be of that language created in the 11th century among the walls of the Monastery of Yuso in San Millán de la Cogolla -where it first appeared- if it would had not cohabited with Arabic, Hebrew, Basque or Catalan?


I do. I imagine a death precious language that we would not know. However, luckily that mixture of languages did not die. That language is today Spanish, a plural and rich language thanks to all the ‘borrowing’ of other languages. A wonderful instrument of social use. Nor it is property of a country or an academy and its attempts to control it. To control its nature. ¿How would it be if all those academies let the language loose living its own will?

We all could imagine that answer. However, language is not a matter of politics, because language is a living organism.

No language is pure. Because among other things, nothing in life is pure. Life is a mixture of processes as language is a mixture of other languages. No record exists to probe the purity of Latin or Greek, for instance. Languages are the expressions of those things that we see or experience, things that need to be named.

I’m wearing my pj’s now and think, where is the word pj’ deriving from? it’s traced back to Persia: to pijama. Every time a language acquires a word from another or when a word is transferred as a loan to another, contrary to what some people think, what this does, is enriching it. Only those narrow minds see this natural process as a danger for the survival of this beautiful substance that is speech.

It is strange to see in our times, that some intellectuals, particularly known Spanish language writers, who wake up early in the morning with their ‘ego’ aside, swallow the ‘politicking’ bait of Mr. Fernandez Savater and affix their signatures in support of the “Manifest in defense of Castellano as a common language”. Have they read Article 3.1 of the Spanish Constitution and paragraphs 2 and 3?

The fact of launching a manifest in writing, shows Spain’s efforts of trying to own a language, that is made by its ancestors who come from different parts of the world. It seems a lack of respect for the human rights. An attitude as arbitrary, unfair and intolerant just like that, as when Berlin’s wall was erected to keep the “intruders” away.

Languages, with less or more speakers, are not to be considered the heritage of a few, but of all humans. ¿Isn’t the fanaticism, intolerance, demagoguery, opportunism, and false intellectualism, the heritage of willfuls? Well, some academics show these symptoms.


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Text and photo: Art of Words © MMIX-MMX

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