Interpreting for the Inquisition

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One of the singularities of the Spanish Inquisition was its multilingualism. Thischapter looks at mediation in this institution, which carried out its activitiesthroughout practically the whole of the Spanish Empire over three and a halfcenturies (1478–1834). After the initial delimitation of the historical, geographicaland social areas in which it was active, the most common situations in whichinterpreters were needed are presented, together with the most relevant aspectsof their work, including references to the regulations that governed their interventions.Although this is a first approach to this area of the history of linguisticmediation, we can conclude that the Inquisition involved a considerable amountof interpreting, most of which was of a legal nature.


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