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Heritage Languages

Dark coral reefs under aquamarine ocean water
Coral reefs in McBean Lagoon, off the coast of Providencia. Photo by Felviper, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Kriol Soldier
By Emiliana Bernard-Stephenson
These days Kriol is a song many people do not want to sing
Translated from San Andrés–Providencia Creole by the author
A game of hopscotch on asphalt
FranHogan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via WikiMedia Commons
Writing in Mother Tongue and an Other Tongue
By Pratishtha Pandya
Every time I write something in English, I’ve been left feeling guilty, as if I had betrayed someone.
Spanish-language Writing in New York, Then and Now: An Interview with Esther Allen & Ulises Gonzales
By Words Without Borders
While many Latinx writers work in English, there is a longstanding tradition of writers born or raised in this country who work in Spanish.
This Language Called Kaaps: An Introduction
By Olivia M. Coetzee
Language is more than just a method of communication. It is about the ability to lay down roots, to settle into an identity, to have a place in history, in the present, and in the future. Language is…
By Martin SIEP Muller
Watch the music video for “Affirm” performed by SIEP, in the original Kaaps.This rap performance by SIEP uplifts and speaks truth.I affirm the soul in each personI affirm the soul in each…
Translated from Kaaps by Andre Trantraal
The Voices of Contact Languages in Asia: An Introduction
By Stefanie Shamila Pillai
For multilingual writers, choosing to write in their heritage languages can be seen as an expression of agency, an active choice to communicate in a nondominant language.
Who Translates?
By the Editors of Words Without Borders
In the wake of 2020’s racist violence, and subsequent organizing by the Black Lives Matter movement and others to combat white supremacy, literary magazines and publishers everywhere have, to differing…
The Great White Canceling
By Anton Hur
Translator Anton Hur takes a wry look at race and translation in this essay.You’re a white translator. I come into your home office and break your computer. I run a bath and drown all your…
Privilege, Race, and Translation
By Corine Tachtiris
Scholar and translator Corine Tachtiris reflects on the inherent privilege of translating while White in this essay.And if there are few Black translators, there are few representatives of the possibility…
Barriers, Privileges, and Invisible Labor: A Sino Diaspora Translator’s Perspective
By Yilin Wang
Translator Yilin Wang addresses various forms of bias in translation from Asian Languages in this essay.“You must teach yourself how to carry loan words,tiny seeds gift-wrapped like hand-me-down heirlooms…
A Swiss Army knife
Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash
Translating to and from a Native Language
By Alexei Bayer
In this essay, Alexei Bayer writes about his first and second languages, translating into English, and being translated into his native Russian.