It’s hard to imagine more than 700 languages being spoken indigenously in a single country, but that’s precisely the situation in Indonesia, the world’s second-most linguistically diverse country. Only a fraction of Indonesians speak the national language, Indonesian, as a mother tongue, with most learning it as a second language to communicate with compatriots from other regions. Most Indonesians instead learn a local indigenous language as their first one. Among the 700+ languages spoken across Indonesia’s many islands is Batak Karo, part of the prominent Batak language group of North Sumatra.
As of 1991, around 600,000 people in Indonesia spoke Batak Karo, which is sometimes just called Karo (however, “Karo” could also refer to five other languages across three continents, so we’re calling the language Batak Karo for clarity). Batak Karo is divided into several dialects across a continuum, with pronunciation changing across dialects. The Karo people are proud of their native language, but as Indonesian gains more and more prominence and prestige, Batak Karo is under increasingly more threat. That’s why we at TranslationServices.com want to do what we can to help preserve this language by offering professional Batak Karo translation services.
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Discovering the identity of Batak Karo
Like all the other Batak languages, Batak Karo is native to the northern part of Sumatra Island, in particular the province of North Sumatra. Batak Karo is spoken specifically in Karo Regency, as well as southern parts of Deli Serdang Regency and northern parts of Dairi Regency. It’s closely related to Batak Dairi (or Pakpak) and Batak Alas but is mutually unintelligible with the southern Batak languages, such as Toba Batak. The traditional Batak script used for all Batak languages is now rarely used, with most Batak Karo speakers using the Latin alphabet.
Batak Karo has a basic word order of subject-verb-object, just like English, and constitutes an affix-heavy language that makes use of prefixes, suffixes, infixes, and circumfixes. Like in many other Malayic languages, including Indonesian, Batak Karo has a verbal prefix that denotes the active voice, indicating emphasis on the agent, as well as a corresponding passive prefix that triggers the passive voice. The passive voice is the “default” in Batak Karo, so the passive prefix may sometimes be omitted, with the active prefix obligatory.
Translation services to or from Batak Karo—we offer both
Flexibility is an important feature of a translation company, so we’re proud to announce that we offer translation services both to and from Batak Karo. Our team is diverse and highly experienced, so we have translators capable of handling specialized translation, such as historical translation of Batak Karo documents written in the Batak script. We can also translate literary works from the language, capturing all the same nuances to the extent possible. In the opposite direction, when we translate into Batak Karo, we take care to translate naturally and faithfully, whether it’s promotional business content, educational material, or entertainment like books, poetry, games, websites, or apps. We’re passionate about translation into Batak Karo because it allows speakers to use their language more and helps learners acquire the language, strengthening the language for future generations.
If you’d like to take advantage of our Batak Karo translation services, just reach out with a message now!