If you thought Spanish was the only language spoken in Mexico, you’d be wrong. Obviously, Spanish is the biggest language in the country, accounting for the native language for the majority of the Mexican population—and even those who don’t speak Spanish natively generally learn it early in life. But the ubiquity of Spanish in Mexico can obscure the country’s rich and diverse linguistic landscape, which is dotted with hundreds of indigenous languages still spoken vigorously today. Indigenous languages are particularly common in Mexico’s south, where we find the Oto–Manguean family.
The Oto–Manguean family is quite diverse, with a number of different languages found within its branches, but today, we’re looking at the Chatino languages. Boasting roughly 52,000 native speakers among them, the Chatino languages are found along the Pacific coast in southern Oaxaca, a state known for its high indigenous population. As many as 50% of Oaxaca’s indigenous peoples don’t speak Spanish, but the imported language still poses a major threat to Chatino and its cousins, as its prestige and importance grows in the region. This means the majority of translation firms don’t touch Chatino—but we at TranslationServices.com have proudly dedicated ourselves to translating this group of precious Amerindian languages.
We provide quotes for our Chatino translation services for free. To see one, simply message us!
Let’s take a look at what makes the Chatino languages tick.
Chatino’s 52,000-odd native speakers are divided among four key varieties of Chatino, with varying degrees of mutual intelligibility. The largest Chatino language is Highland Chatino, which is divided into the three dialects of Eastern Highland Chatino, Western Chatino, and Nopala Chatino and accounts for about 17,800 native speakers. Zenzontepec Chatino is next, with 8,500 speakers and no mutual intelligibility with the other Chatino languages. Tataltepec Chatino and Zacatepec Chatino are the smallest varieties, both with fewer than 1000 speakers.
While the Chatino languages exhibit various differences from one another, they share the same general linguistic structure, including their predominant verb-subject-object word order, common among Mesoamerican languages. The verbs are perhaps the most complicated part of Chatino grammar, with many English verbs having two translations in Chatino to distinguish between the transitive and intransitive usages. Similar distinctions may be made to indicate causativity in verbs. Rather than tenses, the Chatino languages lean on aspect markers to communicate grammatical information about verbs, with separate aspect markers for habitual, continuative, completive, perfective, and other aspects.
Lean on our team’s passion and experience for high-quality Chatino translation services
Translating between Chatino and English is no easy task, but that’s why we’ve sought out the foremost Chatino translation talent in Oaxaca and beyond for our Chatino translation team. Having spoken Chatino since childhood, our translators are passionate about their native language and eager to translate your documents either to or from Chatino—whichever you prefer. We’ve hired translators from each Chatino dialect, particularly Highland Chatino and Zenzontepec Chatino, so all you have to do is let us know the type of Chatino you’d like to work with.
Flexibility is important to us when it comes to Chatino translation services. Whereas one client may like to translate their promotional materials into Chatino as a unique way of engaging the community, another may be looking to translate surveys into Chatino to conduct research in the region. Some clients want to translate traditional Chatino tales into English so the rest of the world can appreciate the beauty of this overlooked Mesoamerican culture, while others seek to translate English-language entertainment content, such as books, poems, websites, apps, or games, into Chatino languages as a way to boost literacy and help ensure that Chatino continues to thrive in the future. Our Chatino translation team can handle all these cases, since we’ve been careful to hire a diverse faction of translators ready to take on just about any Chatino translation challenge.
Ready to get started with your Chatino translation project? We’re ready, and we’re waiting for your message!