The Rhetorical Mediator: Understanding Agency in Indigenous Translation and Interpretation Through Indigenous Approaches to UX
In 2018, I became involved in a collaborative community-based project to co-organize an event with the purpose of collecting resources to help in the professionalization efforts of Indigenous translators and interpreters. Drawing on Indigenous and decolonial theories, this interdisciplinary study examines the work done during this event through a user experience (UX) research lens that analyzes the various ways in which Technical and Professional Communication (TPC) and Translation and Interpreting Studies (TIS) can better support Indigenous language practices. The colonization of the Americas brought a layer of issues that continue to affect the way in which Indigenous communities conduct their work because, as Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui (1987) and Anibal Quijano (2000) point out, Indigenous people continue to live under colonizing systems. Indigenous interpreters and translators work in legal, medical, and educational fields. Their primary job is to translate specialized information into more accessible information, to and from Indigenous languages, that can be understood by non-specialized audiences, all while negotiating the biases, power dynamics, values, loyalties, and emotions of the different users for whom they mediate, users who belong to very different worldviews. In this dissertation, I examine testimonios of Indigenous interpreters and translators through a design thinking process as a means to understanding agency in Indigenous interpretation and translation. The findings in this study emphasize the need of Indigenous interpreters and translators to contribute to their communities and to advocate for Indigenous linguistic rights. This study highlights how lack of awareness about Indigenous matters and discrimination have a strong effect on their profession, hence the importance of including Indigenous practices to UX research and placing equity rather than usability at the core of UX.
Technical Communication|Rhetoric|Translation studies
Rivera, Nora K, "The Rhetorical Mediator: Understanding Agency in Indigenous Translation and Interpretation Through Indigenous Approaches to UX" (2021). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI28495800.