2. Rizal, Leipzig, 16 August 1886

  Gift of two books from Blumentritt - At his service in regard to Tagalog- His knowledge can be of use to him as much as the grammars of the friars - He could send Blumen- tritt works of more value than those published by Spanish travelers - "He who does not know his own language. . . ."

  40, II, Albertstrasse
Leipzig, 16 August 1886
  Very esteemed Sir,

I received your letter together with the two books that I value very much. I read them with great pleasure and satis- faction. I appreciate your kindness and I shall not forget your courtesy in accepting my insignificant gift.

V could not answer you at once because I made a trip on the Rhine and I arrived at Leipzig only yesterday. I am at your service for everything concerning our language which I have studied since my early youth. My knowledge of it is not great but at least it may be useful to you as much as the grammars written by those ignorant friars. I could send you other works if I were at home. The friars do not know either foreign writers or those of their own nationality. One page alone of those books is worth more than all the Spanish travelers and the friars have written or will still write. He who does not know well his mother tongue will know much less others that he has not studied carefully. Their knowledge of Tagalog is like my knowledge of German. The traveling chroniclers remain only a short time in the Philippines and they spend this brief time among Spaniards. The majority of the friars never studied grammar and they talk only with uneducated Filipinos. For this reason these writers know as much Tagalog as I did of German six months after my arrival in Germany, and I don't dare write poetry or deliver sermons in German. For that same reason I hope you will pardon the errors of my "kitchen German ".

Pardon the delay of my reply.


  Yours very cordially,
Jose Rizal


[Rizal-Blumentritt Correspondence] [Culture and History]
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created: July 30, 1996
updated: March 20, 1998
APSIS Editor Johann Stockinger