Most people assume that those born in the United States speak English as their native language, but that’s not true for everyone. Of course, the US is a major immigrant nation, with people from all over the world, speaking all kinds of languages, making their home on U.S. soil—but there are also the countless indigenous ethnolinguistic groups that inhabited the land long before European colonization. Though all U.S. indigenous languages are facing endangerment, some still retain a large speaker base, such as O’odham, which even has around 180 monolingual speakers.
With around 15,000 native speakers, O’odham is one of the biggest indigenous languages in the United States. An additional 1200 native speakers can be found south of the border in Mexico. However, despite the relative vitality of O’odham, the ubiquity and prestige of English in the United States nonetheless threatens this proud indigenous language, and efforts must be taken to ensure the language’s continued survival. At TranslationServices.com, we’d like to do our part to contribute to O’odham language revitalization efforts, and for us, that means offering professional O’odham translation services.
Our O’odham translation services may be more affordable than you realize—request a free quote now!
Let’s learn more about the O’odham language.
O’odham is a transnational language, indigenous to south-central Arizona and northern Sonora in Mexico. There are two orthographies that have been developed for the language, both based on the Latin alphabet, with one employing more diacritics and special characters to incorporate the phonological traits of O’odham—this is the more often used one. O’odham comes from the Ute–Aztecan language family, making it a distant relative of Nahuatl, one of the largest indigenous languages of Mexico and indeed the Americas in general.
Word order in O’odham is generally quite free, so speakers can easily convey different nuances by changing the word order. However, auxiliary verbs are less flexible, generally required to occupy the second position of a sentence. Plural nouns are generally formed through reduplication of the initial consonant after the initial syllable. O’odham verbs are conjugated for tense, aspect, person, and number, with agreement displaying a split-ergative alignment—verbal person and number agrees with the subject in intransitive sentences and the object in transitive sentences, but the auxiliary verb in transitive sentences agrees with the subject.
O’odham may sound difficult, but for our O’odham translators, who are passionate about their native language, it’s not at all.
What kind of O’odham translation services are you looking for?
Our O’odham translation team strives to accommodate the needs of anyone who requires O’odham translation services—whether you need translation into O’odham or out of O’odham. For example, if you need a historical document in O’odham translated, or if you want to share traditional O’odham stories with English speakers, our team is here to help. In the opposite direction, if you’re a researcher or government agency who wants to reach O’odham speakers who don’t speak English well, we can translate surveys, questionnaires, and announcements into O’odham. For language activists, we’ll happily translate creative content into natural-sounding O’odham—books, poems, games, websites, apps, and more! This is a great way to help O’odham thrive in the modern era.
Our O’odham translation team is waiting to start on your translation project. Contact us today to discuss the details!