The social order of pre-Columbian Mexico that Europeans encountered in the 16th century originated from a long process of linguistic and cultural diversification, initiated approximately 21,000 years ago. Until Independence (1821), Mexican territory, which then included part of the present-day United States, was known as New Spain and represented one of the main cultural centers of the Spanish colonies in the Americas. The 19th and 20th centuries, periods of nation-building, set the scene for tensions between national identity and cultural diversity. Aside from Spanish, there are 68 languages and 365 linguistic variants currently spoken in Mexico.
This overview focuses on translation from a dual perspective: the history of ideas and the history of texts and their agents, including missionaries, printers, booksellers, editors, writers, poets, and diplomats. These translations and their producers intervened in political and cultural movements that were decisive for Mexican cultural identity. In the 16th-18th centuries, translation played a fundamental role in the religious and administrative colonial order. It later went hand in hand with the independence movement and was widely used by the Republican elites in 19th-century Mexico. In the first half of the 20th century, translation was key for political and cultural reconstruction following the Mexican Revolution. Finally, toward the middle of the 20th century, for some intellectuals, translation was a tool in projects aimed at revitalizing indigenous languages and consolidating higher education. Throughout Mexican history, translations have helped represent and mediate between alterities, construct social discourses, disseminate or censor ideologies, and strengthen a national literature. Translators, as social actors inevitably committed to these functions, have increasingly gained visibility through institutional recognition, which has contributed to raising awareness about the importance of translation and fostering academic research on the topic.
|Nayelli Castro, Tania Hernández, Danielle Zaslavsky y Gertrudis Payàs|
|Castro, Nayelli; Tania Hernández; Danielle Zaslavsky & Gertrudis Payàs. 2022. "México" @ ENTI (Encyclopedia of translation & interpreting). AIETI.|