The United States and Canada are linguistically diverse places—with immigrants all over the world flocking to these countries, diverse linguistic communities have popped up from coast to coast. But in fact, the continent was remarkably linguistically diverse before the arrival of Europeans as well. Prior to European contact, countless indigenous languages thrived in the lands that now make up the US and Canada, and many of those languages are still spoken today, albeit by small numbers of people. Mohawk stands as one of the larger indigenous languages in the US and Canada.
Although Mohawk is one of the more widely spoken indigenous languages in the US and Canada, it still only has around 3,875 speakers, a figure that continues to dwindle as fewer and fewer children learn the language. However, revitalization efforts have been in force since the 70s, which has slowed the decline. Today, Mohawk immersion schools are educating children whose first language is Mohawk, which has led parents to study the language as well. Here at TranslationServices.com, we also want to help the Mohawk language in our own way—with our professional Mohawk translation team.
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Discovering the Mohawk language
When the U.S. and Canadian borders were drawn up, Mohawk became a transnational language, spoken in northern New York as well as parts of Ontario and Quebec. Canada accounts for most Mohawk speakers, but the New York Mohawk-speaking community is not insignificant. Mohawk hails from the Iroquoian language family and is the largest surviving member of the family, bigger than its notable cousin language Cherokee, spoken in North Carolina and Oklahoma. Like most other indigenous languages in the US and Canada, Mohawk uses the Latin alphabet.
Mohawk grammar is complicated. As a polysynthetic language, Mohawk can express in a single word what requires an entire sentence in English, thanks to Mohawk’s high degree of inflection. Verbs are particularly complicated, accepting a wide variety of grammatical markers for person, tense, aspect, modality, and more. Verbs can even incorporate nouns, turning them into part of the verb. In terms of pronouns, Mohawk has three numbers (singular, dual, and plural) and exhibits clusivity in the non-singular first person, indicating whether or not the listener is included. Verbal person markers are abundant because each transitive combination of pronouns (e.g., “I-you,” “he-they”) has a dedicated prefix.
What kind of Mohawk translation services are you looking for?
Mohawk isn’t a simple language, but as native speakers, our Mohawk translators can skillfully translate between Mohawk and English for just about any content. We work with Mohawk-language content such as historical documents or traditional stories, translating them faithfully into English to share the beauty of Mohawk culture with the wider world. Our translators are also passionate about translating English content into Mohawk, whether that means educational materials to help Mohawk children learn in their native language or entertainment content like books, poems, websites, apps, and games to broaden the domain of use for Mohawk speakers. Producing interesting content in Mohawk also provides more avenues for learners to study the language, so it’s great for language revitalization purposes.
If you want to get started with Mohawk translation services, just message us today and let us know what you’re looking for.