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Tongues of FireLanguage and Evangelization in Colonial Mexico$
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Nancy Farriss

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190884109

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190884109.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Tongues of Fire
Author(s):

Nancy Farriss

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190884109.003.0001

Language diversification is as old as the human capacity for speech and along with it the need for translation. In the Old World multilingual diasporas and centuries-long contact facilitated communication across language boundaries. The formerly isolated and linguistically fragmented Americas presented a new and severe challenge to the Europeans, especially the Christian missionaries. Relying on language to convert the indigenous populations, they regarded the extreme degree of language diversity as exemplifying the curse of Babel and saw their role as an extension of the early age of the apostles. Their efforts to translate the Christian message into indigenous languages highlights the interplay between language gaps and cultural gaps.

Keywords:   translation, language diversity, Babel, missionaries, Christianity, evangelization, culture change

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