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Swahili and English are the national lingua francas of Kenya—but that doesn’t mean they’re the main languages at the community level. In fact, most Swahili and English speakers in Kenya have learned the tongues as second languages, using them to communicate with compatriots from other regions, consume national-level media, or to receive education. At home, most Kenyans speak one of the 65+ indigenous languages that dot the East African country, with one example being Bukusu.


Bukusu is technically considered a dialect, not a fully fledged language, but with 1.4 million native speakers, it’s large and influential. It’s effectively the Kenyan dialect of the Masaba language, which is otherwise spoken in Uganda. Mutual intelligibility between Bukusu and other dialects of Masaba, particularly Gisu, is high. But unfortunately, it’s hard to find a translation agency willing to cover this minority African tongue. At TranslationServices.com, however, we’re proud to translate to and from Bukusu.


If you’re wondering how much our Bukusu translation services cost, why not request a free quote?


What is Bukusu—and how does it relate to Masaba?

Bukusu is spoken by nearly all members of the Bukusu tribe, a Bantu people who live in the Bungoma and Trans Nzoia counties of western Kenya. As a dialect of Masaba, it’s most closely related to the Gisu dialect in neighboring Uganda, with intermarriage between the tribes commonplace. Bukusu is broken into three primary varieties: one spoken north of Kimilili, one spoken west of Webuye, and one spoken east of Webuye. The variant spoken north of Kimilili is regarded as the “purest” because the others have been heavily influenced by other indigenous languages of the region. In fact, the variants are so different that speakers may not always understand each other.


Like many other languages in Africa, the Bukusu dialect is part of the massive Bantu subfamily. Zooming in further on its categorization, the dialect is classified in the Masaba–Luhya branch of Great Lake Bantu languages. It’s grammatically complex, with more than 15 noun classes, each coming with its own prefix that must be attached to verbs, adjectives, demonstratives, and possessives that modify the noun. Bukusu verbs also undergo significant inflection, with a great deal of nuance expressed through verbal affixes. But you don’t have to worry about the grammatical complexities, because our Bukusu translators are native speakers of the Masaba dialect.


Our diverse team can accommodate your specific Bukusu translation needs.

Do you need translation services from English to Bukusu? Or are you looking for translation services from Bukusu to English? No matter the direction, our translation team is equipped to help you. With specially trained native speakers of the Bukusu dialect, our team ensures accuracy and quality in every translation, regardless of the project. We cover the different variants of Bukusu, too, with translators who hail from all over the Bukusu-speaking region.


In addition to general translation services, we offer all sorts of specialized translation services for Bukusu, including academic translation, business translation, and literary translation. Our translators have experience in specific domains of translation, so if you’re an academic researcher, you can count on our academic translators to faithfully translate research survey into Bukusu so you can connect with locals. For anyone seeking business translation services to expand their business presence in western Kenya, you can rely on our business translators, who work with both corporate documents and marketing collateral. And those who have creative projects to translate—whether books, poems, short stories, movies, games, apps, or other media—our literary translators would love to help you grow a new audience in Kenya or all around the world. We cover projects on all subject matters, including technical content, since our Bukusu translation team includes experts from a wide variety of disciplines.


To take advantage of our specialized Bukusu translation services, reach out and place an order today!

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