Translating rights: the Peruvian Indigenous Languages Act in Quechua and Aymara

AMERINDIA 40: 219-245, 2018

Rosaleen HOWARD, Luis ANDRADE CIUDAD & Raquel de PEDRO RICOY
Newcastle University, UK/ Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú
& University of Stirling, UK

Abstract: New language rights legislation in Peru has triggered State training of indigenous
translator-interpreters to work in public service and prior consultation settings. A spin-off of
the training has been the translation of the text of the 2011 Indigenous Languages Act from
Spanish into a range of indigenous languages. This article focuses on the challenges of the
translating process to Quechua and Aymara. These challenges were presented by the
structural differences between source and target languages, the divergent conceptual systems
that embed the original text and its translations, and the different trade-offs between orality
and literacy of the cultural systems involved. Finally, issues concerning the relationship
between the translators’ cultural identities and the translation process arose; these are also
addressed.