The first bilingual electoral experience

Versión en castellano aquí

For the first time, for last Sunday’s elections, some indigenous communities had access to instructive material translated to their own languages:

Inhabitants from the provinces of Formosa, Chaco, Santa Fe, Buenos Aires and Capital Federal lived today their first bilingual electoral experience, with materials translated by the Electoral National Chamber to languages such as Quechua, Mapuche, Mocoví, Qom and Pilagá. This measure aims a better integration of the native peoples in the elections, “was a success” and “the better word to describe it is genious”, said Juan Namuncurá, member of the National Council of Indigenous Policies.

However, this initiative still doesn’t fully satisfy the needs presented by the cultural and linguistic plurality of Argentina. The flyers are translated to the Quechua, Mapuche, Mocoví, Qom and Pilagá languages, but not to the several dialects of each one of these languages.

eleccionesFor instance, in this picture we can see one of the flyers translated to Qom language, to a dialect spoken in the province of Chaco. The differences with the Qom spoken in the community Potae Napocná Navogoh in Formosa are important and affect the comprehension of the text.

But, even if it is insufficient for the moment, the translation of the electoral materials is still an excellent initiative towards the native peoples.

For the civil servant and great-grand-son of Ceferino Namuncurá, ‘it is a great step so the native peoples and communities can get out of the margination layed out by the electoral system as they don’t know the language spoken there”. “We had a high level of Mapuche, Qom and Mocoví participation, and also from the communities in the interior, we’re so happy”, said Namuncurá, who assured that yesterday’s procces “surpassed all expectations”.

Let’s hope that, for the next elections, the translations will be even richer, and that this step ahead in indigenous rights will be extended to other matters as urgent as this.

Source: La República

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