top of page
  • Judy Schulten

41. Read a chapter in Don Quixote.

Establish some credentials. Read one of the famous chapters. Read the one where Don Quixote attacks the windmills, thinking they are giants, while Sancho Panza keeps urging him to quit and telling him they are windmills.

Miguel Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote, is the Shakespeare of the Spanish language. I once said exactly this to a Spanish professor, who informed me coldly that it’s more accurate to say that Shakespeare is the Cervantes of the English language.

Spanish speakers are extremely proud of Cervantes. He lived at the same time as Shakespeare, and died on the same day, in fact. Don Quixote is said to be the first novel ever written. It’s considered to be the finest novel ever written, and not just by Spaniards. The Spanish of Cervantes is easier for us to read than the English of Shakespeare because it has changed less since the 17th century.

Reading a chapter will be fairly tough going, but you will be a literate citizen of the world when you do.

Recent Posts

See All

53. Take heart from other mediocre linguists.

It's fun to read about other people's struggles with a second language. Fun, and somehow comforting. I just read Monsieur Mediocre, by John von Sothen, an American married to a French woman, living in


bottom of page