Indonesia is the world’s fourth-most populated country, with around 270 million people who speak more than 700 different languages. To ensure smooth interethnic communication, the Indonesian government has designated Indonesian as the official language and lingua franca, and most Indonesians do speak it, but not as a native language. Most languages in Indonesia are spoken by only a small number of people, but the bigger ones, like Minangkabau, are spoken by millions.
To be precise, Minangkabau is spoken by 5.5 million people, primarily in West Sumatra, a province of Indonesia’s westernmost main island. Since Minangkabau is bigger than most other local languages in the region, it even functions as a lingua franca along the western coast of North Sumatra. Minangkabau contains several dialects, with the Agam-Tanah Datar dialect standing as a de facto standard. Unfortunately, translation agencies tend to ignore Indonesia, despite its linguistic diversity, and usually only work with Indonesian and Javanese, the biggest native language in the country. TranslationServices.com is different, however, and we’re proud to translate Minangkabau alongside the typical Indonesian languages.
Want to discover our rates for Minangkabau translation? Just contact us and ask about a free quote today.
Minangkabau: the biggest indigenous language of Sumatra
The homeland of the Minangkabau people is primarily the province of West Sumatra, although speakers also reside in the neighboring provinces of Riau, Jambi, Bengkulu, North Sumatra, and Aceh. Malaysia, Singapore, and the Netherlands also recognize Minangkabau as a minority language. Minangkabau is related to Indonesian, as are most indigenous languages in Indonesia, since most come from the Malayo–Polynesian branch of the Austronesian language family. However, the languages have stark enough differences that monolingual speakers cannot understand one another.
Like many Austronesian languages, Minangkabau makes use of reduplication, using it both to produce the plural form of nouns and add a continuous aspect to verbs. The language also exhibits numerical classifiers, a feature of numerous East and Southeast Asian languages, even if they’re not related. Minangkabau speakers add nuance to verbs through a variety of tense and aspect markers, but these are added as adverbial particles rather than inflection. Negation markers can take different forms in Minangkabau, with separate words used with verbs as opposed to nouns. The language also has a separate prohibitive form used for negative imperative sentences (i.e., to tell someone not to do something).
Enjoy the flexibility of our Minangkabau translation services
Minangkabau and English are vastly different languages, which makes it difficult to translate between them. That’s why we’ve been careful to scout out experienced Minangkabau translators specializing in a variety of translation domains. This allows us to cater to clients looking for Minangkabau-to-English translation as well as English-to-Minangkabau translation. We can translate old Minangkabau-language documents from the past, even if they’re written in the Arabic-based Jawi script, and we can translate Minangkabau literature while conveying all the same nuances. We can help you transform your business content into Minangkabau to cater to those in West Sumatra, and we can help you publish entertainment content like books, poetry, games, apps, and websites in Minangkabau, which helps legitimize this important Indonesian language and gives speakers more opportunities to enjoy it.
Tell us the details of your Minangkabau translation project so we can get started on it today!