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Latin American Authors ‘Help’ to Rescue Andean Indigenous Languages

Categories: Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay, Citizen Media, Ideas, Indigenous, Literature
Obras de Mario Vargas Llosa. Imagen de Flickr de la usuaria Laura (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Titles by Mario Vargas Llosa. Image by Laura [1] on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

An initiative of the Cusco Decentralized Directorate of Culture [2] (DDCC), a part of the Peruvian Ministry of Culture [3], is helping translate the works of several Latin American writers into Quechua, one of the Andean indigenous languages.

Now, Quechua-speaking readers will be able to enjoy books by Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa [4], Colombian Gabriel García Márquez [5], Uruguayan Juan Carlos Onetti [6], Argentinian Adolfo Bioy Casares [7], and Brazilian Clarice Lispector [8], all available in their native language.

Luis Nieto Degregori, Director of DDCC and a writer from Cusco, said [9]:

Con estas publicaciones en lenguas originarias se da mayor reconocimiento a Cusco y los hablantes, definitivamente estas traducciones otorgan un valor simbólico al quechua y los hablantes deben de dejar de tener vergüenza de expresarse en este idioma.

With these editions in indigenous languages, more acknowledgement is granted to Cusco and its speakers, as these translations definitely give Quechua a symbolic value, and its speakers should no longer be ashamed of expressing themselves in that language.

The titles are expected to be published by mid-November 2015.

According to current estimates, there are about eight to ten milion [10] Quechua language speakers living in South America.