Doing Justice to Court Interpreting
  • ISSN 1384-6647
  • E-ISSN: 1569-982X
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The Quichua of Ecuador, along with other indigenous peoples of Latin America, have been struggling to attain the right to use their ancestral language and their traditional ways of administering justice in an effort to gain greater autonomy in a variety of sociopolitical spheres of life. Based on interviews with 93 Ecuadorians — judges, magistrates, lawyers, justices of the peace, interpreters, translators, and local and national political leaders — the study finds an ideological splintering of views on this subject. Among the disparate Quichua communities and among State justice providers (largely comprising the hegemonic mestizo/blanco sector of society) there is a lack of agreement on how justice is to be carried out and what role the Quichua language should play in it. Despite the heterogeneity of views, however, there is tacit agreement on one de facto language policy, namely, the use of untrained, ad hoc interpreters in judicial settings.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): administration of justice; Ecuador; indigenous; language ideologies; Quichua
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