The object of this volume is the study of missionary translation practices which occur within a colonial context of political domination and spiritual conquest. Missionary translation becomes especially manifest in bilingual ethnographic descriptions, in (bilingual) catechisms and in the missionaries’ lexicographic condensation of bilingual dictionaries. The study of these instances permits the analysis and interpretation of their guiding principles, their translation practice and underlying reasoning. It also permits the modern linguist to discern semantic changes that can be revealed in these missionary translations over certain periods.
Up to now there has hardly been any study available that focuses on translation in missionary sources, of the different traditions in the Americas or Asia. This book will fill this gap, addressing the legacy of missionary translation practices and theories, the role of translation in evangelization and its particular form in the context of colonialism, the creation of loans from Spanish or Latin or equivalents or paraphrases in the indigenous languages in texts and dictionaries as translation strategies followed in bilingual editions. The process of acculturation and transculturation imposed by European religious systems is noted. This volume presents research on languages such as Nahuatl, Tarascan (Pur’épecha), Zapotec, Tamil, Chinese, Japanese, Pangasinán, and other Austronesian languages from the Philippines.