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Fawlty Towers - Please Excuse Him He's from Barcelona
One of the running jokes within Faulty Towers is that Manuel the porter can't speak English very well which causes no end of fun and frolicks. Basil overcomes this by speaking broken Spanish to him, which adds to the confusion, In one episode Basil is heard to remark "Please excuse him he's from Barcelona" actual fact Basil would have fun trying to get through to anyone from Barcelona speaking Spanish because in actual fact the language they speak there is Catalan which is a hybrid of French and Spanish but neither mother tongue is understood by Catalonians.......
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Anonymous on 03-31-2000
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Todd writes:
Not really true. Though most people from Catalunya/Barcelona do speak Catalan, they virtually all are also fluent in Castillian (what most of the world calls just plain "Spanish"). In fact, until the end of the Franco years in the mid 1970s, it was basically illegal to use Catalan in Spain. Also, due to rural-urban migration, a not-insignificant number of the population of Barcelona is originally from other parts of Spain where Castillian Spanish is the primary language. In any case, give Cleese et al the artistic license to use more commonly understood references to "Spanish" -- not many people in the world would make the connection to Catalan vocabulary, though it is a beautiful language....
43 of 45 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
DarkManuva writes:
I come from Spain and have many friends from Barcelona, and they all have normal Spanish names like Manuel.
14 of 21 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Gary Lynch writes:
Barcelona is effectively a Spanish island in Catalunya. The majority of the population are Catalan, but a huge minority are Castilian, drawn there by its economic success. MOst of these would not understand Catalan well.
3 of 4 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
Gary Lynch writes:
Now I'm reminded of it, there was one episode where Basil was trying to get through to Manuel, and somebody suggested that he wasn't making much headway, and Basil said that the problem was that Manuel's dialect was the problem.
3 of 5 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes
andrew writes:
Actually the more important slip up would be that he is called Manuel than that he speaks Spanish. Manuel is not a Catalan name, the Catalan version is Manel.
7 of 18 people found this comment helpful. Did you? Yes

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