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If asked about indigenous languages in Mexico, you might think of the well-known Mayan language family or Nahuatl, the modern-day language of Aztec descendants and the most-widely spoken indigenous language in Mexico. These languages indeed constitute an important part of Mexico’s linguistic past, and millions of people still speak these languages today. But Mexico’s linguistic diversity is even richer than that. More than 65 recognized indigenous languages from 11 families (including isolates) span the prominent Latin American nation, with many of these languages boasting hundreds of thousands of speakers. That’s what brings us to Mazatec today.


Though most people outside of Mexico have never heard of Mazatec, the language boasts around 240,000 native speakers, making it a fairly large language in southern Mexico. Rather than a single tongue, Mazatec is often considered a group of related and mutually intelligible languages, but the Mexican government has grouped them all together under the moniker of “Mazatec.” Mazatec-language programming is broadcast on an indigenous radio station in Oaxaca, and many Mazatec children understand little to no Spanish when they first enter school, meaning Mazatec is healthy and vigorously spoken in the community. But unfortunately, that doesn’t translate into representation on the global stage.


Here at TranslationServices.com, we’re passionate about Mazatec—which is why we set up our own Mazatec translation team. To see a free quote, just shoot us a message and ask!


Mazatec: an important and prominent language from southern Mexico

The Mazatecan languages are native to three states in the south of Mexico—Oaxaca, Puebla, and Veracruz—with the majority of speakers residing in northern Oaxaca. They’re divided into nine main languages: Huaulta Mazatec, Eloxochitlán Mazatec, Puebla and Northeastern Mazatec, Soyaltepec Mazatec, Jalapa Mazatec, Mazatlán Mazatec, Ixcatlán Mazatec, Ayaulta Mazatec, and Chiquihuitlán Mazatec. Huaulta Mazatec, spoken in Huautla de Jiménez, is the prestige variety, boasting around 50,000 speakers.


Mazatec is not related to Nahuatl or the Mayan languages—rather, it hails from the Oto–Manguean family confined entirely to southern Mexico. The language exhibits grammatical complexity in its verbal morphology, with verbs always marked for person, number, and aspect. Indeed, rather than tense, Mazatec relies on aspect, with four main verbal aspects: completive, continuative, incompletive, and neutral. Aspect prefixes can roughly communicate the tense of a verb even without explicit tense markers like in English. In pronouns, Mazatec has two different words for “we” (one that includes the listener and one that doesn’t), and the third person is distinguished by definiteness rather than number.


We’re ready to translate to and from Mazatec for you.

As the above paragraph makes clear, Mazatec isn’t anything like English, and that can pose challenges in translation. But don’t worry—that’s why we’re careful to hire skilled native speakers of Mazatec, as they can easily navigate the challenges of this precious language. We’ve chosen Mazatec translators from different areas of Oaxaca, Pueblo, and Veracruz, which ensures we have expert translators for each of the Mazatec languages—allowing you to access the precise Mazatec translation services you need.


Our Mazatec translators love their language, so they pour their heart and soul into delivering high-quality translations for all sorts of content. For example, they’re eager to work with businesspeople who want to set up shop in the region—translating your marketing content into Mazatec is sure to resonate with the proud locals. Our translators are also excited to work with educational content, such as pedagogical materials that you’re translating into Mazatecan languages so local kids can learn in their own language. Anyone who has historical or literary documents in Mazatec is invited to work with us to translate them into English, and similarly, if you want to convert your literary or digital media into Mazatec, engaging a new audience and helping to preserve a proud indigenous language, our Mazatec translators would be thrilled to help.


Why not start your Mazatec translation journey today? It’s as simple as sending us a message with the details of your project!

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