Edited by Yves Gambier and Ubaldo Stecconi
[Benjamins Translation Library 145] 2019
► pp. 375–394
Chapter 18. Hispanic South America
Polysystems theory teaches us that the selection of texts to be translated is influenced by the conditions of the target culture. This idea can be corroborated throughout the different historical periods identified for the study of translation and translations in Hispanic South America. In the colony, translations of religious texts into the indigenous languages aimed at cultural assimilation. By the end of the colony, “American Spaniards” or criollos used translation as a matrix for both textual and aesthetical forms. This resulted in the creation of the first bodies of political texts and the appropriation of literary themes and values both from Europe and North America. After independence, translation was instrumental in the education of the new citizens, and in more recent times thanks to the ideas about translation conveyed by authors such as Octavio Paz and Jorge Luis Borges, translation in the region has been often associated to the irreverent concept of creative infidelity. This chapter leads to the conclusion that while recreation is the “translation norm” in Hispanic South America it is false to pretend that everything the region has created has been copied.