Long before English was the predominant language in most of the United States and Canada, the large land mass was home to a plethora of diverse ethnolinguistic groups, with various languages thriving across the land. While some of these languages have now gone extinct, many remain, although they face a severe threat of endangerment due to the dominance and prestige of English. One of these Native American languages vying valiantly for survival in the modern world is Blackfoot.
Today, around 5,000 people still speak Blackfoot, representing roughly 10% of the ethnic population. The number of native speakers has been declining for decades as a result of the brutal assimilation policies of the US and Canada in the past, which saw indigenous children rounded up and sent to residential schools where they would be punished for speaking their native language, such as Blackfoot. The Blackfoot community has spearheaded a number of language revitalization campaigns to preserve their language, with a focus on teaching children the language. We at TranslationServices.com are also passionate about preserving Blackfoot, which is why we’re proud to offer our professional Blackfoot translation services.
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What is Blackfoot like as a language?
Blackfoot, which may also be called Siksiká, is indigenous to both the US and Canada, spoken in southern Alberta and northern Montana. It is native to four Blackfoot nations: Piikani Nation, Siksika Nation, and Kainai Nation in Alberta and Blackfeet Nation in Montana. Blackfoot is usually written in the Latin alphabet, like most indigenous languages of the Americas, but a syllabic writing system that highly resembles the alphabet used for Cree was also developed for Blackfoot and is sometimes used.
Blackfoot belongs to the Algonquian language family, which stretches over much of Canada. The language is polysynthetic, with a high degree of inflection. Like other Algonquian languages, Blackfoot makes a strong distinction between animate and inanimate nouns, and the language features five persons—in addition to the standard first person (I, we), second person (you), and third person (he, she, it, they), there’s also a fourth and fifth person to differentiate between multiple third-person referents. Word order is flexible, so in sentences with multiple animate referents, special verbal suffixes, called direct and inverse suffixes, are used to indicate whether the first or second referent is the subject.
Our Blackfoot translation services are available for all kinds of translation needs.
Blackfoot is a tricky language for English speakers to wrap their heads around, but it’s a rich, beautiful, and important language that our translators are passionate about preserving. That motivates them to provide high-quality Blackfoot translation services no matter what you need, whether it’s into Blackfoot or from Blackfoot. Our team can translate historical documents or traditional Blackfoot folk stories to share with the wider world, encouraging cultural appreciation. Simultaneously, we can translate documents such as surveys and questionnaires or entertainment content like books, poems, games, apps, and websites into Blackfoot, which enables speakers to use their ancestral language in more domains and helps learners acquire this valuable tongue.
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