Everyone knows that the official language of Mexico is Spanish, but below the surface is an incredible degree of linguistic diversity that most people aren’t aware of. In fact, Mexico is the sixth-most linguistically diverse country in the world, beaten by only Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Nigeria, India, and China. Most of Mexico’s languages are indigenous, having been spoken in the land for millennia before the arrival of the Spaniards, and many are still spoken today, with varying degrees of vitality. One of Mexico’s bigger indigenous languages is Tarahumara, one of two members of the Tarahumaran language family.
Tarahumara and Huarijio comprise the sole two members of the Tarahumaran language family, which itself is part of the Uto–Aztecan macrofamily widespread in northern Mexico and the southwest United States. Together, they’re spoken by about 94,000 people, with 92,000 of those people speaking Tarahumara, including roughly 10,000 monolinguals. While Huarijio is only spoken by 2,100 people, most are monolingual. Thus, despite the low number of speakers, the Tarahumara languages enjoy relatively vigorous usage, but of course, they’re nonetheless threatened by the prominence of Spanish in the region. This situation has prompted us at TranslationServices.com to put together a translation team for the Tarahumaran languages, and we’re proud to introduce it today.
How much do our translation services for the Tarahumaran languages cost? Just send us a message for a free quote!
Discovering the identity of Tarahumara and Huarijio
Tarahumara (also called Rarámuri or Rarámuri ra’ícha) and Huarijio (also known as Guarijío, Varijío, or Warihío) are spoken in the northern Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora. A breakdown of Tarahumara dialects reveals that most people speak Western Tarahumara (approx. 40,000) and Central Tarahumara (approx. 55,000). The grammar of the language is complicated, as is typical for indigenous languages of the Americas, featuring a rich system of inflection mostly realized through suffixes.
Tarahumara’s basic word order is subject-object-verb, but indirect objects, temporal markers, and locative markets come after the verb. Word order is also subject to change through topicalization, which requires the addition of “emphatic” words. In narratives, object-verb-subject is the most common word order. In yes-or-no questions, Tarahumara speakers place a question particle at the beginning of the sentence, and relative clauses may come before or after the noun they modify. In some cases, the modified noun may even appear before and after the relative clause. While Tarahumara only features two cases, nominative and accusative, nouns with no other suffixes are marked with a separate absolutive suffix.
Professional translation services to and from Tarahumara and Huarijio
At TranslationServices.com, we believe in offering resources for every language possible. There aren’t many translation services available for the Tarahumaran languages, so we scouted out the best Tarahumara translation talent in Chihuahua and Sonora and created our own translation team. We serve both clients translating into Tarahumara and those translating from the language, so no matter what you need, we’re here for you. Here are a few of the things we can translate:
Literary texts. Great stories can tie even the most distant cultures together. Our translators can convert traditional Tarahumara and Huarijio stories to seamless English and highlight these precious cultures abroad. We can also bring interesting literary content to Tarahumara speakers with meticulous translation into Tarahumara.
Pedagogical materials. As it stands, most Tarahumara children are educated in Spanish, and this poses a threat to the continued vitality of Tarahumara. Our translators are passionate about helping educators translate learning materials from English to Tarahumara to provide Tarahumara-speaking youth with a solid education and strong literacy in their native language.
Digital content. Today, the internet takes up a large chunk of our lives, but a lot of languages have little to no coverage in this new, digital world. Our team is proud to help clients digitalize the Tarahumara language, translating websites, apps, games, and whatever other digital content you might have.
So, what do you need translated to or from Tarahumara or Huarijio? Our team is ready to help—simply reach out to us!