This article works from the premise that translation, given its hybrid nature, plays a decisive role in constructing discourses of otherness and identity. Orientalist translation is an excellent source for studying the discourse of otherness, whether of an ideological nature or not, while also providing a wealth of information of how ‘Self’ is perceived and represented. In the case of Spanish orientalism, the construction of such discourses is particularly complex due to the nature of the topic under study: al-Andalus, the Arabic name given to those parts of the Iberian Peninsula governed by Muslims at various times in the period between 711 and 1492. According to Martínez Montávez, al-Andalus has always had two facets: the real and historical which ended in 1492, the other figurative and symbolic which has survived until today. This article analyses the peritexts in the translation of a famous Andalusian treatise on geography carried out by José Antonio Conde, one of the first prominent figures in Spanish Arabism. My analysis applies the semiotic construction model of otherness proposed by Carbonell (2003, 2004), a model which I have adapted to Foucault’s notions of discourse, discursive structure and statement (ennoncé) (1990 (1969), 2001 (1966), 2002 (1971)), Widdowson’s notions of text, context and pretext (2004) and Genette’s (1987) notion of peritext. © 2009 Taylor & Francis.