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citation SPA Perú



According to the historian Raúl Porras Barrenechea, the name comes from the cacique of a Panama tribe called Birú, its use turned into Peru. By extension, in the Conquest, it was applied to this territory.


 other denominations  other names

The territory that today is part of the Republic of Peru, with great variants in its extension, has been called Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation (1837-1839), Viceroyalty of Peru (1542-1821), Governorate of New Castile and New Toledo (1534-1542) and Tawantinsuyu (until 1533).


summary  abstract

The territory encompassed by the Republic of Peru has been multilingual and multi-ethnic, therefore the work of translation and interpretation implies an encounter project among different cultures. This article highlights such linguistic plurality and its events throughout history. Tawantinsuyu encouraged the coexistence of languages ​​and multilingualism, something that surprised the Spanish conquerors who needed to have interpreters on hand. Later, during the Conquest, the evangelizing work played a key role in the castilianization and the consequent production of bilingual texts, despite the deep interpreting difficulties that created new versions of Andean languages​. With the Spanish Crown settled in these territories, the dissemination of Latin among the intellectuals and the castilianization among the population was encouraged. Many intellectuals became translators of literary texts. Although there were limits to cultural exchange with European countries other than Spain due to the censorship imposed, some creoles were able to travel to those countries and spread what they had learned upon their return. They translated texts from French and Portuguese. During the Republic, European humanists and scientists turned their interest to South America, many of them traveled to Peru and had an influence on the translations of the time in which dictionaries, literary magazines, among other texts, were issued. Although the work of the translator was hidden behind pseudonyms, it is known that many of these authors were writers, poets, or journalists. In the 21st century, great anthologies on foreign authors in Peru and a study in volumes on the history of translation (Silva Santiesteban 2007) were published, also the translation of Asian and Eastern European languages begins to develop to a greater extent. A special section has been written to describe the legislation that regulates the use of languages in Peru. Quechua acquired the status of an official language as late as 1975, and its dissemination and teaching continue to be set aside. Even so, bilingual books were published. There is a similar problem for the Amazonian languages whose dissemination has been mediated by private entities and has not been seen as a comprehensive cultural policy. However, the Ministry of Culture has created a Registry of Interpreters of Indigenous Languages, still with little participation. The teaching, research, and institutionalization of translation and interpretation began with the opening of Departments of Translation, the subsequent creation of the Association of Peruvian Translators, and the publication of specialized magazines and texts for professionals.

data sheet   credits

author Lydia Fossa
publication date 2022
reference (how to cite) Fossa, Lydia. 2022. "Peru - history of translation" @ ENTI (Encyclopedia of translation & interpreting). AIETI.
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