How much do you know about the linguistic landscape of Africa? Most people outside of the massive continent have only ever heard of a handful of African languages—for example, Swahili, Somali, or Zulu. But the linguistic world of Africa goes so much deeper than that. With more than 2000 languages spoken indigenously, Africa accounts for a huge chunk of the world’s languages, and while many of the continent’s native tongues face endangerment, many are still spoken vigorously by their core communities. We’re proud to work with countless African languages, including the relatively prominent Jola language.
The term “Jola” can cause confusion because it’s the name of not only a single language but also of a group of several related languages, of which Jola is by far the largest member. Here, we’re concentrating primarily on the individual language, also called Jola-Fonyi to avoid confusion, though we may be able to translate other Jola languages as well. Jola-Fonyi claims around 410,000 native speakers in West Africa—a huge number in the linguistic labyrinth of the area. Given its prestige in the region, it also boasts a large number of second-language speakers, though the exact figure is unknown.
Unfortunately, though, most translation companies don’t work with Jola. At TranslationServices.com, we do. We’re proud to present our new Jola translation team today—which you can see a free quote for if you just ask!
Read on for a deeper dive into Jola!
Jola (also known as Jola-Fonyi or Kujamataak) is native to the Casamance region of West Africa, specifically located in southern Senegal and the Gambia. Other Jola languages may spill further southward into Guinea-Bissau. Jola features a number of distinct dialects, such as Buluf, Fonyi, Kombo, Kalounaye, and Narang, which may be mutually intelligible with some of the other Jola languages.
Jola’s roots are noteworthy. It comes from the Niger–Congo language family, the largest language family in the world, featuring the expansive Bantu branch that dominants most of central and southern Africa. But in West Africa, a plethora of subfamilies thrive alongside each other, with the Jola languages found on the small and somewhat divergent branch of Bak languages. Unlike most Niger–Congo languages, Jola and its fellow Bak languages are non-tonal, which makes them more approachable for English native speakers—but the grammar is still enough to scare off a learner, with Jola making use of the notorious Niger–Congo noun class system, which is like a more complicated version of grammatical gender.
Jola is complicated—but not for our translators.
Jola is a unique language within the diverse landscape of Africa, and that can make the language tricky to translate. But don’t worry—our team is strictly composed of native Jola speakers with extensive experience translating their beloved tongue. We’ve made sure to hire translators who represent all Jola dialects, ensuring you always have access to the precise Jola translation services you need. We’re here to help whether you need translation services into Jola or out of Jola, since we have translators specializing in both translation directions.
With flexibility a key focus of our Jola translation offering, our team represents a wide array of translation specialities—everything from corporate and academic translation to literary translation and software localization. So, our team can help you expand your business to Casamance or from the region to the wider world. We can aid scholars who want to connect more closely with southern Senegalese peers or publish their work internationally. We’re ready to assist content creators looking to share their creative masterpieces with new audiences, whether that’s a targeted Jola-speaking audience in West Africa or a broad international audience eager to lap up work from a Jola perspective. No matter what your Jola translation project is, we have the right translator for you on our team.
We’re passionate about bridging the gap between the English- and Jola-speaking worlds. If you’d like to get started with your Jola translation project, simply shoot us a message!