Translation and interpreting in the early modern Philippines: A preliminary survey

Marlon James Sales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article explores the nature, process and agents of translation in the early modern Philippines. It argues that while translation is often glossed over in the historical records of the Spanish colonial enterprise on the islands, it is, in fact, an underlying procedure through which the linguistic intricacies of the colonial encounter can be explained. The article further contends that given the exigencies of colonization, where the knowledge of languages is often framed within the parameters of religion and polity, the role of colonial translators should be examined in relation to other roles not associated conventionally with their office. It is through such an interrogation that translation is moved from its purported secondariness in the historical discourse into a place of heuristic primacy in narrating the early history of colonialism in the Philippines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-68
Number of pages15
JournalPerspectives: Studies in Translation Theory and Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • colonial history
  • History of translation
  • missionary linguistics
  • Philippines
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog

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