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Translators' perspectives: the construction of the Peruvian Languages Act in indigenous languages

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 Presses de l'Université de Montréal (PUM), 2018.

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


An urgent need is emerging in contemporary Latin America for the translation of legal texts from the languages of former European colonial powers into the many indigenous languages spoken across the region. This article addresses the issue in relation to the rise of legislation that requires States to uphold the principle of linguistic human rights. It takes as a case study the translation of the Peruvian Languages Act (2011) from Spanish into five Amerindian languages, viewed as a postcolonial practice situated at the communicative interface between the State and the country's indigenous populations. Our specific interest is the strategic behavior of the indigenous translators, as described by themselves, when communicating to their peoples the State norms contained in the Languages Act. In order to analyze this behavior, we depart from text-analytical models and favor an approach based on the translators’ perceptions of their role and their rationales for the translation solutions adopted. The analysis combines theoretical strands from translation studies, legal studies and postcolonial studies so as to throw light on the translation of legal discourse from Spanish into the indigenous languages of Peru, as conducted, crucially, by bilingual translators situated on the cultural “inside”.

Publication metadata

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

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Meta: Journal des traducteurs / Meta: Translators' Journal

Year: 2018

Volume: 63

Issue: 1

Pages: 160-177

Print publication date: 01/04/2018

Online publication date: 11/07/2018

Acceptance date: 31/01/2017

Date deposited: 06/05/2017

ISSN (print): 0026-0452

ISSN (electronic): 1492-1421

Publisher: Presses de l'Université de Montréal (PUM)


DOI: 10.7202/1050519ar


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