Translation in Hispanic America

Authored by: Álvaro Echeverri , Georges L. Bastin

The Routledge Handbook of Spanish Translation Studies

Print publication date:  May  2019
Online publication date:  May  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138698017
eBook ISBN: 9781315520131
Adobe ISBN:


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“Uniform and diverse”, just like Hispanic America itself, is a most fitting definition for translation in the Hispanic subcontinent. Reflecting a basic linguistic and cultural unity built on the essential and paradoxical relation between Hispanism and Indigenism, Hispanic American translation unsurprisingly finds its ideal symbiosis in the real-magic figure of Malinalli Tenépal. This Aztec Indian, better known as la Malinche, symbol of the métissage of cultures, was the first American interpreter to stamp her controversial mark on the polemic process of universal history through which the hitherto unknown continent became the ‘New World’ of men and ideas, notwithstanding its millenary tradition. According to Valdeón’s reading of Octavio Paz, the latter “referred to the paradox of La Malinche as being at the root of the Mexican identity vis-à-vis the European conqueror” (2013, 102). Paz (1997, 110–12) also concluded that the Mexican people were unable to come to terms with their own mixed identity because of their inability to accept their own historical predicament (as quoted in Valdeón 2013).

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