Today, the dominant language of the US is clearly English, while Spanish reigns supreme in neighboring Mexico. But that has only been the case for the last few hundred years—prior to the arrival of Europeans to the continent, thousands of indigenous languages were spoken in vibrant communities of various ethnic groups. Despite the ubiquity and dominance of English and Spanish today, the indigenous languages of the land are still spoken, although their continued vitality is threatened. One of these languages is Chiricahua.
Roughly 1,500 people are native speakers of Chiricahua today, and while that’s a far cry from the 200,000-odd native speakers of nearby Navajo, it still constitutes a major speaker community for an indigenous language in the United States. The Chiricahua tribe, which is split between the US and Mexico, has been undertaking revitalization efforts to foster the language, including by launching a language immersion school. At TranslationServices.com, we’re proud to aid in the revitalization efforts in the way we can: with a dedicated Chiricahua translation team.
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Chiricahua: Navajo’s southern cousin, split between the US and Mexico
So, where exactly will you find the world’s Chiricahua speakers? Most live in the Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua and the U.S. states of New Mexico and Oklahoma. In the US, they’re generally divided across three federally recognized tribes: the Fort Sill Apache Tribe, the Mescalero Apache Tribe, and the San Carlos Apache Tribe. As the names suggest, the Chiricahua people are related to the other Apache peoples, as well as the Navajo, and their languages also bear many similarities.
Chiricahua, like Navajo, is a Southern Athabaskan language hailing from the Na–Dene language family, which accounts for a plethora of languages in Alaska and northwestern Canada. Southern Athabaskan languages are notorious for their incredible complexity, classified as polysynthetic languages that incorporate a dizzying amount of inflection. The general word order in Chiricahua is subject-object-verb, but the language generally relies on prefixes rather than suffixes, which is unusual for subject-object-verb languages. Chiricahua also draws a grammatical distinction between animate and inanimate nouns as well as alienable and inalienable possession, describing nouns that are inherently part of someone, such as body parts or family members. Chiricahua is a complicated language indeed, but if you work with native-speaking translators like ours, you don’t have to worry about capturing all the subtle nuances.
A diverse and flexible Chiricahua translation team
Whatever your Chiricahua translation project is, our team of passionate translators is eager to assist you. If you’re looking for translation into Chiricahua, we can help with that, and if translation from Chiricahua is more your speed, we also offer that. The Chiricahua translators on our team are native speakers of this precious indigenous language, hailing from the different tribes registered in the US as well as various regions of northern Mexico, meaning that our team accommodates a variety of Chiricahua dialects.
Whether you’re an educator, business leader, author, language activist, or anyone else looking to connect with Chiricahua speakers or spread a Chiricahua-language message with outsiders, our diverse team is ready to help. We can translate educational content to Chiricahua to ensure native-speaking children have access to learning materials in their native language, or we can help you and your organization tailor your offerings to the Chiricahua community through native-language messaging. Anyone looking to share Chiricahua stories and folklore with people elsewhere in the US, Mexico, and the world can turn to our team for meticulous literary translation—or we can translate books, poems, games, apps, and more into Chiricahua to broaden the scope of the language and increase the available materials for speakers and learners alike. We work with projects of all types, genres, and subject matters, so don’t hesitate to reach out.
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