The Austronesian language family is one of the largest in the world. Austronesian languages are concentrated in southeast Asia and Oceania, with most of the languages spoken in the remarkably diverse Indonesia and Philippines hailing from the family. Austronesian languages also account for most of those in Oceania—Polynesian is a branch of the family—and stretches as far west as Madagascar. This expansive and influential language family can trace its roots back to a single insular birthplace—Taiwan.
Even today, all branches of the Austronesian family other than Malayo–Polynesian are found solely in Taiwan. These are the indigenous languages of Taiwan, known as Formosan languages. Amis is one of the biggest Formosan languages, spoken by the Amis people, who make up the largest group of indigenous peoples in Taiwan. The precise number of Amis speakers is unknown, but since around 200,000 Amis people live in Taiwan and around a third of indigenous Taiwanese peoples speak their ancestral language, we can reason that roughly 60,000 people speak Amis. Unfortunately, the majority of speakers are older, since younger Amis people are switching to Mandarin instead. At TranslationServices.com, we’re proud to offer Amis translation services in an effort to promote the endangered language.
What kind of language is Amis?
Amis comes from the East Formosan branch of the Austronesian family and is spoken along the central eastern coast of Taiwan. In these counties, government services such as railway stations often offer Amis alongside Mandarin, despite the low number of speakers. The northernmost varieties of Amis, notably Nataoran and Sakizaya, are generally considered separate languages. Amis is written in the Latin alphabet, as are many Austronesian languages, which distinguishes it considerably from the dominant Mandarin spoken in Taiwan.
Like many Austronesian languages, Amis places the verb at the beginning of a sentence, with a general word order of verb-subject-object. Other word orders can also be possible depending on the context. Though Austronesian languages generally have little inflection, Amis verbs do inflect for the active voice, passive voice, imperative mood, optative mood, prohibitive mood, and more. Nouns are always proceeded by particles indicating their role in the sentence, with distinct particles for common nouns and human nouns and a further singular–plural distinction in the human particles. These particles can indicate the case of a noun—nominative (subject), accusative (object), or genitive (possessive).
What kind of Amis translation services are you looking for?
Our Amis translators are native speakers of this important Formosan language and are proud to provide their translation expertise to help break down the language barrier between Amis and English. We can translate both to and from Amis, accommodating as many translation needs as possible. For example, if you want to share traditional Amis stories with the wider world, we can translate them seamlessly into English. The same goes for historical documents in Amis. Researchers may be interested in translating surveys into Amis to reach more isolated speakers, while language activists may like to translate pedagogical materials into Amis to help local children learn the language and entertainment content like books, poems, games, websites, and apps to promote pride and usage of the language among speakers and learners alike.
Our Amis translators are eager to help you translate to or from Amis. Send us a message today to let us know your needs.