With more than 99% of people in Colombia speaking Spanish, most as a first language, you’d be forgiven for thinking there aren’t many other languages in the South American country. But in fact, Colombia is bursting with linguistic diversity, with more than 65 indigenous languages spoken across its vast territory. Most indigenous people in Colombia have learned Spanish and assimilated into Hispanic culture, even if they still retain their ancestral language. But there’s one notable ethnic group—the Kogi—who still practice their native culture and almost exclusively speak their own language.
With more than 9,000 native speakers, Kogi is one of the larger Amerindian languages in existence today. While most indigenous languages of the Americas are seriously endangered, Kogi is one of the least endangered, with the majority of speakers being monolingual. The Kogi are known as the only unconquered Andean civilization, and their remote homes in the rugged mountains of northeastern Colombia have allowed them to maintain a steadfast grip on their language and culture. We at TranslationServices.com are proud to offer translation services for this unique Amerindian language.
If you’re interested in Kogi translation services, feel free to request a free quote today!
Kogi: the language of the only unconquered Andean people
The Kogi call the rugged Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range their home, which occupies the Colombian departments of Cesar, Magdalena, and La Guajira. Modern-day Kogi people are descendants of the ancient Tairona people, who fled into the highlands when the Caribs invaded their territory around 1000 CE. This isolated and mountainous terrain ultimately protected them when the Spanish invaded 500 years later. Other languages in the same language family, Chibchan, have not had the same fortune—languages like Ngäbere (Guaymí), Kuna, Buglere, Barí, and others are endangered as the ubiquity of Spanish chips away at their vitality.
The grammar of Kogi is enough to make any English speaker’s head spin. The language uses a basic subject-object-verb word order and employs extensive verbal inflection, including marking both the subject and object on the verb. While most pronominal markers are prefixes, the first-person singular marker is added as a suffix. But perhaps the most unique aspect of Kogi grammar is its epistemic perspective markers, which communicate information about the knowledge, attention, or beliefs from the perspectives of different people in the conversation. For example, na- is used to communicate something the speaker believes the listener doesn’t know, while ni- indicates their expectation that the listener already knows. Similarly, shi- is often used for rhetorical, seemingly obvious questions about the addressee, while sha- is used to inquire about their internal thoughts or feelings.
A language as complex and unique as Kogi is inevitably difficult to translate—but that’s what our team of Kogi translators is here for.
Turn to us for Kogi translation services
Given the isolated nature of the Kogi community, it’s difficult to find translation services for the language—and since most Kogi speakers are monolingual, the possibilities are limited. But despite the challenges, we at TranslationServices.com endeavor to bring you the best Kogi translation services we can. We’ve found passionate translators from the Kogi tribe who are eager to share their unique language and culture with the world.
Why are you interested in Kogi translation services? Perhaps you’re looking to translate traditional Kogi stories into English so the rest of the world can catch a glimpse into this beautiful and fascinating culture. Or maybe you want to generate educational materials in the Kogi language to help native-speaking children acquire a well-rounded education. Whatever needs you have for Kogi translation, we’ll do our best within the natural limitations to accommodate your specifications.
Get in contact with us today if you’d like to place an order for Kogi translation services!