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International Journal of the Sociology of Language

Founded by Fishman, Joshua A.

Ed. by Garcia Otheguy, Ofelia / Duchêne, Alexandre / Coulmas, Florian

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Volume 2018, Issue 251


Translation policy and indigenous languages in Hispanic Latin America

Rosaleen Howard / Raquel De Pedro Ricoy / Luis Andrade Ciudad
Published Online: 2018-04-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl-2018-0002


This article examines the status of translation policy as it relates to public service interfaces between the dominant Spanish-speaking sectors of society and speakers of some of the many indigenous languages of Latin America. The article focuses on Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay, and Peru is used as a case study based on recent first-hand research. Translation policy is inherently bound up with language policy, where the latter exists. However, there is variation from state to state as to whether language rights legislation has been passed, whether it is implemented through policy, and the extent to which translation policy is part of the legislative framework. The case of Peru illustrates the need for translation and interpreting (T&I) services following conflicts and painful human rights infringements. Across the board, T&I have hitherto been ad hoc practices, giving rise to translation policy de facto. Formalized T&I training initiatives and legislative processes are now underway in Peru, and may give rise to explicit translation policies evolving there and elsewhere in the region in the future.

Keywords: language rights; indigenous peoples; translation and interpreting; translation policy; Latin America


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About the article

Published Online: 2018-04-12

Published in Print: 2018-04-25

Citation Information: International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Volume 2018, Issue 251, Pages 19–36, ISSN (Online) 1613-3668, ISSN (Print) 0165-2516, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl-2018-0002.

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