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page 1 from Minsheu
Pleasant and delightful dialogues... (Euing Bg51-a.13)

John Minsheu A dictionarie in Spanish and English and A Spanish grammar and Pleasant and delightful dialogues in Spanish and English
London: Edmund Bollifant, 1599
Euing BG51-a.13

Minsheu was a lexicographer who lived chiefly in London and made his living as a teacher of languages. He was a poor man with a large family and had difficulty in finding money to finance his linguistic projects. His Dictionarie and Grammar are both founded on a work by Richard Perceval: Bibliotheca Hispanica, containing a grammar with a dictionarie in Spanish, English and Latin, published in London in 1591.



title-page: Varo Arte de la lengua Mandarina (Ef.1.8)


Francisco Varo Arte de la lengua Mandarina
Canton: 1703
Hunterian Ef.1.8

Varo, a Spanish Dominican, completed the manuscript of this work at Fzhōu in Fjin Province in 1682, but it was not until 1703 that it was printed with editorial alterations by the Mexican Franciscan, Pedro de la Piuela at Canton.

Despite its place of publication, it is not a grammar of Cantonese, but rather, as the title indicates, Mandarin, which as the dialect of Chinese spoken in and around the capital Bĕjīng, gradually came to establish itself as the official form of the language throughout China during the the early part of the Qīng Dynasty (1644-1721). It constitutes an important contribution by the mendicant orders to a field dominated by the Jesuits.

Printed in oriental fashion on Chinese paper from woodcut blocks, this is one of only fourteen recorded copies.


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