Africa is a wealth of linguistic diversity, with more than an estimated 2,000 of the world’s 7,000 or so languages spoken across the vast continent. Bantu languages dominate much of sub-Saharan Africa, with the exception of the Nilo–Saharan family, which stretches from Libya to Tanzania, and the collection of indigenous Khoi–San languages native to the Kalahari Desert. But in West Africa, while most languages come from the Niger–Congo language family, like just Bantu languages do, there’s far more diversity, with dozens of subfamilies co-existing across the various countries in the region.
One notable language of West Africa is Fon, which claims 2.2 million speakers primarily in Benin but also in Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, and even Gabon. The only official language of Benin is French, which is used as a lingua franca to facilitate interethnic communication among the various ethnic groups that inhabit Benin, but the Beninese government classifies most of the country’s indigenous languages as national languages. Fon is the most widely spoken indigenous language in Benin, with 24% of the population speaking it (17% as a native language)—but still, most translation agencies don’t bother to offer Fon translation services. TranslationServices.com is different.
We’re proud to present our Fon translation team for translation both to and from Fon. Want to see a free quote? Just reach out and inquire!
Let’s take a little tour through the Fon language.
Fon, alongside Yoruba, a major language also spoken in Nigeria, dominates the south of Benin, while Bariba, Fula, and a number of other languages occupy the north. More specifically, Fon is spoken in the Atlantique, Littoral, Collines, and Zou Departments, lining the coast of the West African nation. The language comes from the Gbe subfamily, whose several languages straddle the coasts of Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria. Fon is usually written in the Latin alphabet, although traditional religious publications may be written in N’Ko, a script designed for the Mande languages.
Fon uses a subject-verb-object word order, just like English, but other word orders are possible by moving elements to the beginning to a sentence for topicalization or emphasis. Fon is an isolating language, meaning it demonstrates grammatical relationships through word order and particles instead of conjugation and inflection. The language only features one verbal tense—future—with other tenses expressed through time adverbs, such as “today” or “yesterday,” or simply inferred from context.
Our Fon translation team is eager to help you with your Fon translation project.
Fon is the biggest indigenous language in Benin, which makes it an important African language. Our Fon translators are proud of their language and excited to help fellow Fon speakers and members of the international community alike bridge the language barrier between Fon and English—indeed, our translation services are available both from Fon to English and from English to Fon. We’ve searched far and wide all over Benin, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, and Gabon to bring the best in Fon translation talent right to your fingertips, so feel free to request translation services for a specific Fon dialect—we’ll match you to the right translator.
Our Fon translation services are flexible not only in direction and dialect but also in the type of translation. With translators specialized in business translation, academic translation, literary translation, localization, and more, we’re confident that we can help you with your Fon translation needs—no matter what they are! And if your content is riddled with technical jargon, don’t worry—just let us know the field, and we’ll set you up with a translator who has expertise in your discipline. From white papers and employment contracts, to academic papers and research surveys, to literary masterpieces and cutting-edge software programs, our Fon translators can handle it all.
Contact us today to get started with your Fon translation project!