Garifuna may just be one of the most interesting languages among the 7000-odd languages spoken around the world. There’s no single country where Garifuna is spoken—rather, it’s a minority language along the Caribbean coast in Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, and Nicaragua, as well as by minority communities in New York City. In total, Garifuna has around 200,000 speakers worldwide, but as a transnational minority language, it’s still considered endangered.
Garifuna is the only surviving relic of a language spoken in the Caribbean prior to European colonization, having descended partially from the now extinct Carib language. However, it is technically classified as an Arawakan language and can be considered a perfect blend of the two. The modern-day Garifuna people are descended equally from the Carib people, the Arawak people, and West and Central African people, and their language exhibits this diverse ancestry. It’s not easy to find translation services for this unique language, however, given its endangerment status. TranslationServices.com is here to pick up the slack, proudly offering our professional Garifuna translation services to anyone who needs them.
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Garifuna: a language of anomalies
The Garifuna people get their African ancestry from captives removed from their homelands in West and Central Africa and brought to the Caribbean. They mingled with the native Carib people, influencing their language and giving way to an entirely new ethnic group and language. The Caribs had previously taken over the islands from the earlier Arawakan people, with Carib men marrying Arawakan women. This led to children learning Arawak from their mother but boys then learning Carib from their father when they came of age, resulting in entirely different vocabulary used between the genders. Today, both men and women largely use more Arawak-based vocabulary, with gender differences minimal.
Garifuna is most famous for its strong gender-based diglossia, with men and women speaking almost entirely different languages, even though modern-day Garifuna has largely lost this distinction. Nonetheless, men and women use different singular pronouns for all persons, and the grammatical gender of many inanimate or abstract nouns can differ depending on the gender of the speaker. In other grammar, Garifuna uses a mixture of prefixes and suffixes attached to nouns and verbs to express grammatical concepts.
Our Garifuna translators are proud of their unique language, and they’re excited to translate it for you.
We’re here to satisfy your Garifuna translation needs.
Our Garifuna translation team is diverse, filled with Garifuna translators from the different countries in which the language is spoken. We have both male and female translators, allowing us to easily address Garifuna’s famous gender-based diglossia—which means we can easily translate historical documents from periods where the distinction was stronger. We can also translate literature, academic notes, and other content from Garifuna, allowing Garifuna speakers to spread their ideas to the wider world. Our translators are also ready to provide translation services for English-language business documents, academic content, educational material, books, games, websites, and more. Translating such content into Garifuna helps this unique language thrive despite the challenges it faces in the modern world.
Our translators are ready to start on your Garifuna translation project—so what are you waiting for? Contact us today to discuss your project.