Publication details [#10610]

Edson Alves Filho, Paulo and John Milton. 2005. Inculturation and acculturation in the translation of religious texts: the translations of Jesuit priest José de Anchieta into Tupi in 16th century Brazil. Target 17 (2) : 257–278.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language
Target language
Person as a subject
Journal DOI


This article examines the translation of religious texts by the Jesuit missionary José de Anchieta in Brazil in the 16th century. The article shows that Anchieta used a large amount of inculturation, a readiness to mix Catholic and native Indian terms, in order to achieve the catechism of the Indians, their acculturation into Catholicism. However, this inculturation always remained at a superficial level as Anchieta used terms from the spiritual world of the Tupi Indians but made no attempt to understand the deeper meaning of these terms. The article describes the background of Spanish and Portuguese colonizers in Latin America, lists the characteristics of the Tupi Indian language and analyzes a number of Anchieta’s writings in Tupi in which he translated certain important Christian concepts into Tupi.
Source : Based on abstract in journal