When you hear that Mexico has the most Spanish speakers of any country in the world, it’s easy to overlook the hundreds of other native languages spoken within the country’s borders, some by large communities. Mexico’s indigenous languages have prospered in the land for thousands of years, and while most are threatened by the prestige and ubiquity of Spanish, many still remain in vigorous use. This brings us to Isthmus Mixe, one of the many indigenous languages still thriving today in Mexico.
When you hear that Isthmus Mixe only has around 45,000 native speakers, it’s easy to brush it off in comparison to Spanish. But for Amerindian language standards, Isthmus Mixe is relatively large, and stands as one of the biggest variants of Mixe, a language cluster that collectively boasts around 140,000 speakers. Isthmus Mixe, which is also called Lowland Mixe, has few dedicated translation services that cater specifically to its nuances and idiosyncrasies—so we at TranslationServices.com decided to put together our own Isthmus Mixe translation team.
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Let’s take a closer look at Isthmus Mixe.
Isthmus Mixe is spoken in lower-lying areas of the broader Mixe-speaking area, as its alternative name suggests. More specifically, the language is spoken in the communities of Coatlán San José el Paraíso, Mazatlán, Guichicovi, and Camotlán in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, where many of the country’s indigenous languages today are found. However, Isthmus Mixe and other Mixe languages are unrelated to many of the other languages in Oaxaca, coming from the Mixe–Zoque family rather than the more dominant Oto–Manguean family.
Isthmus Mixe demonstrates the most common basic word order among the world’s languages: subject-object-verb. Like in English, adjectives, demonstratives, and numerals are placed before the noun and relative clauses after the noun, but the language features a mix of prepositions and postpositions. While Isthmus Mixe nouns generally don’t inflect other than for plural and possessive forms, verbs feature heavy inflection. Verbs are marked for either the subject or the object but not both simultaneously, determined by a noun hierarchy that places some types of nouns above others. Isthmus Mixe and its sister languages are also ergative languages, which means they place more emphasis on who is affected by an action rather than who is performing it. This results in the object of transitive sentences being marked grammatically the same as the subject of intransitive sentences, as both are the constituent being affected by the action. If you think this sounds hard to translate, you’re right—but that’s why it’s vital to work with native-speaking Isthmus Mixe translators like ours.
A flexible and diverse team for tailored Isthmus Mixe translation services
We’re committed to providing quality and accuracy in all our Isthmus Mixe translation services. That’s why we’ve hired native-speaking translators from across the different communities in Oaxaca that speak Isthmus Mixe, gathering a collection of translators representing different dialects. We’re here for you whether you want to translate to Isthmus Mixe or from the language: our translators are experienced and passionate, allowing you to access the translation services you want.
If you have any special requests, don’t hesitate to let us know. That includes requests for specific types of translation, such as academic translation, business translation, literary translation, and even localization. We have specialists in different domains and even translators who are experts in other fields, so if you’re working with a technical document and want your Isthmus Mixe translator to have some expertise in your field, make a request to us. Our translators would be happy to accommodate your specific needs.
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