Most translation agencies only cater to the biggest languages with the most demand, since these ones generate the most profit. In Indonesia, this would generally include the national language, Indonesian, as well as Javanese and perhaps Sundanese. But there are more than 700 other languages spoken across Indonesia, and they’re usually ignored. For example, professional translation services for Nias, native to a small island chain in western Indonesia, are few and far between.
Nias had 770,000 speakers as per the 2000 census, which makes it one of the biggest languages in Indonesia. Nias is divided into three primary dialectical categories—North, South, and Central—with the North dialect considered the most prestigious. However, Indonesian is considered significantly more prestigious, which negatively affects the attitudes of speakers—particularly young speakers—toward the language. Thus, Nias is at danger of extinction as more and more speakers shift to Indonesian instead. At TranslationServices.com, we’ve combined our passion for the world’s linguistic diversity with our vast experience in the translation industry, and the result is our professional Nias translation services.
Just send us a message requesting a free quote for our Nias translation services to see our rates.
Nias: an insular western Indonesian language
Nias is spoken on several small islands off the coast of Indonesia’s westernmost main island, Sumatra. To be more precise, the Nias language is native to the island of Nias and the Batu Islands south of Nias. Li Niha, as it’s known to speakers, uses the Latin alphabet, incorporating the letter ö, whereas many languages in Indonesia use no special characters. Nias is a Malayo–Polynesian language, like the vast majority of its neighboring languages in Indonesia, and is more closely related to the Batak languages spoken in northern Sumatra.
Nias features ergative–absolutive alignment, which means it treats intransitive subjects and transitive objects grammatically the same with the absolutive case and transitive subjects differently with the ergative case. However, unlike most ergative languages, which mark the ergative and leave the absolutive unmarked, Nias does the opposite. Nias also does not have adjectives per se—adjectival ideas are expressed through verbs. The pronoun system in Nias is complicated, with a clusivity distinction in the first-person plural (meaning there are two words for “we,” depending on whether the listener is included), as well as different affix forms, depending on the case and verbal mood.
Nias isn’t an easy language, but it’s an important and precious one that we and our translators are dedicated to helping preserve—regardless of the challenges inherent in translating it.
What are you looking for in your Nias translation services?
Whatever kind of Nias translation services you want, we’re committed to providing them. Thanks to our highly diverse and experienced translation team, we’re confident we can fulfill your needs regarding Nias translation. If you want Nias-to-English translation, let us translate your historical documents, Nias literature, or contemporary notes—we have translators experienced in all these domains and more. If you’re looking for English-to-Nias translation, we have team members who can translate business material into Nias, surveys and questionnaires into Nias, or content like books, websites, poems, games, and apps into Nias (this is a particularly great way to address the negative attitudes of youth toward the language!).
Providing high-quality Nias translation services is our mission. To put us to work on your project, simply send us a message with the details today.