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Translation policy and indigenous languages in Hispanic Latin America

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Rosaleen Howard, Luis Andrade



This is the final published version of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by De Gruyter, 2018.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


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.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Howard R, Pedro Ricoy R de, Andrade L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of the Sociology of Language

Year: 2018

Volume: 251

Pages: 19-36

Online publication date: 12/04/2018

Acceptance date: 20/02/2017

Date deposited: 06/05/2017

ISSN (print): 0165-2516

ISSN (electronic): 1613-3668

Publisher: De Gruyter


DOI: 10.1515/ijsl-2018-0002


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