Dictionary, Translation and Chinese Language in Domingo Fernández de Navarrete


  • Anna Busquets Alemany




China, Chinese language, missionaries, Navarrete, Manila.


One of the essential elements of the much-admired accommodation of the Jesuits was their dedication to the study of the Chinese language. However, this orientation is not exclusively to the Jesuits. The other religious orders also showed the same orientation from the first moment. Although following the imperial guidelines of Nebrija evangelization should be done in Spanish, the friars who left for America and Asia were focused from the first moment to learn the
local languages. Following the line of sixteenthcentury
Mexican dictionaries and languages,
the translation of texts between Spanish and
Chinese already had a clear representation
in the Philippine Islands with the work of Juan
Cobo. Throughout the XVII several vocabularies,
grammars and language arts would appear while
the work of the Dominican Domingo Fernández de
Navarrete would include a very brief dictionary.
This interest of mendicants by the local languages
would culminate in the work of the Dominican
Francisco Varo. Starting from the original sources
—manuscripts and printed— of the seventeenth
century, this communication will analyze in detail
the linguistic accommodation of the mendicant
orders with special emphasis on the Franciscans
and the Dominicans.


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Author Biography

Anna Busquets Alemany

Open University of Catalonia
Arts and Humanities Department
08035 Barcelona (Spain)



How to Cite

Busquets Alemany, A. (2019). Dictionary, Translation and Chinese Language in Domingo Fernández de Navarrete. Sinología hispánica. China Studies Review, 8(1), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.18002/sin.v8i1.6062