Since more than 99% of the Colombian population uses Spanish as their primary language, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Colombian is an exclusively Hispanic country. But this view ignores the South American nation’s long, rich history prior to European colonization, when the land was populated by diverse Amerindian groups with disparate cultures and languages. These ethnic groups, with their unique cultures and languages, still live in Colombia today, with the country home to 65 indigenous Amerindian languages. Colombia’s indigenous languages are diverse, hailing from several different families, and one of the most prominent is Arhuaco.
Arhuaco is a proud indigenous language spoken in the north of Colombia by around 8000 Arhuaco people. That’s roughly half of the ethnic Arhuaco population, but those who speak the language often do so exclusively, with an estimated 90% of Arhuaco speakers monolingual. Thus, even though only 8000 people speak the language, it’s not in terrible danger of dying out, as it’s used proudly and vigorously in the Arhuaco community. The Arhuaco people identify strongly with their indigenous culture and language, but translation services for Arhuaco are severely lacking—which is why we at TranslationServices.com thought we’d step in and offer translation services for Arhuaco.
How about checking out a free quote for our Arhuaco translation services? Simply message us to ask!
Arhuaco: Diving into the identity of a proud Amerindian language
Arhuaco is native to just a small region in Colombia: the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta region in the country’s north, close to Venezuela. The language has many names, including Ikʉ, which is what native speakers call their language. Other alternatives include Aruaco, Bintuk, Bíntukua, Bintucua, Ica, Ijca, Ijka, Ika, and Ike. Arhuaco is a Chibchan language, a small family stretching through southern Central America into northwestern South America, constituting one of several indigenous language families in Colombia.
Arhuaco uses a subject-object-verb word order, where the verb comes at the end of a sentence. There is no grammatical gender in Arhuaco, but the language does feature several cases that inform the grammatical structure of sentences. Chibchan also uses postpositions—they’re like prepositions but are placed after the noun. The language features marked evidentiality, which means the origin of information (e.g., firsthand, hearsay, etc.) is grammatically marked—a common feature in South American languages. Finally, a particularly tricky aspect of Chibchan is its ergative–absolutive alignment, which means the verb agrees with the object of a transitive sentence, not the subject, as in English and other European languages.
A flexible and polished Arhuaco translation team ready to help
With Arhuaco boasting only 8000 speakers, the majority of whom are monolingual, the scope of Arhuaco translation services are limited, but we’ve worked hard to build the best team we can under the circumstances. We’ve scouted translators from all over Colombia’s Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta region, tracking down the best Arhuaco translators in the small speaker community. Our translators work in both directions, translating from English to Arhuaco as well as from Arhuaco to English, which means we can accommodate a wider range of client needs.
We’ve also done our best to build a flexible Arhuaco translation team that can handle different types of translation projects. Want to translate your promotional business materials into Arhuaco to really connect with locals? Interested in researching the Arhuaco people and need your surveys translated into Arhuaco? Looking to share traditional Arhuaco stories and folktales with the rest of the world, giving a voice to the Arhuaco people on the world stage? Seeking to translate foreign stories and media into Arhuaco to boost literacy rates and help support this precious language? No matter why you need Arhuaco translation services, we’ll do our best to accommodate your unique needs with our passionate team of native-speaking translators.
Not many companies offer Arhuaco translation services—but we do. All you have to do to get started is message us.