When most people think of Native American or indigenous languages, Cherokee and Navajo are probably some of the first names that come to mind.
However, there is another indigenous language that archaeologists believe has been around since 600 BC.
This language is referred to as Mapuche, and TranslationServices.com is pleased to offer high-quality translations of Mapuche texts.
So what is Mapuche?
Mapuche, also known as Mapudungun, is a rich language spoken by the indigenous Mapuche people of Southern Chile and Argentina. The Mapuche population numbered around 1.4 million at the beginning of the 21st century and is the largest group of natives in South America, comprising many different indigenous groups.
Formally known as an Araucanian language, a name given by the Spaniards, Mapuche is closely related to the Huilliche language used in south-central Chile and west-central Argentina. Some linguists believe that religion played a role in the formation of this language. Mapuche has had Chilean Spanish influences and may even be related to the Mayan and Penutian languages of North America. There are two main dialects still spoken today, both of which we have experience translating.
While Mapuche has never been recognized as an official language, there are still over 150,000 native speakers of Mapuche living throughout Chile and west-central Argentina. The language is also used for communication by over 300,000 people, most of whom are older. Many of the younger users of Mapuche are not competent in the language, and some fear that when the older generation of speakers is gone, the language may be lost.
Keeping Mapuche Alive
Revitalization of the language will help promote the culture and societal values of the Mapuche people. Translation services can help keep this language alive by opening a line of communication with precise translations of Mapuche.