Your average American may not know a lot of the languages indigenous to the United States, even though many indigenous languages are still spoken around the country today. Cherokee is one name, however, that your average non-linguist may know. Despite only having around 2000 speakers, Cherokee is one of the biggest names among indigenous languages of the United States, has been extensively documented and studied by linguists, and is the North American indigenous language in which the most literature has been published.
Like all indigenous languages in North America, Cherokee is endangered. In fact, it is classified by UNESCO as “definitely endangered” or “severely endangered,” depending on the dialect, which means that the majority of speakers are elderly and children are not learning the language. So, even though Cherokee has been well documented by linguists and boasts a relatively large body of literature, Cherokee translation services are scarce. TranslationServices.com strives to address this problem by offering dedicated Cherokee translation services with a team of expert native speakers.
If you want to see a quote for our Cherokee translation services, all you need to do is request one.
The history and grammatical structure of Cherokee
Cherokee is an Iroquoian language, a language family native to the Great Lakes region of the US and Canada. The Cherokee people are thought to have migrated to the modern-day southeastern US around 3000 years ago, taking their Iroquoian language with them. Cherokee is split into two key dialects: one in North Carolina, where the language was originally spoken, and one in Oklahoma, where a Cherokee presence was established following their forced removal from their ancestral homeland in the 1830s. The Oklahoman dialect has more speakers today.
Cherokee is one of few North American indigenous languages with its own writing system, a syllabary created by a Cherokee native in the 19th century. Today, Cherokee can be written either in the syllabary or in the Latin alphabet. The language is polysynthetic, like many Native American languages, using a high degree of inflection to indicate grammatical information. Cherokee pronouns have three numbers—singular, dual, and plural—and the first-person dual and plural pronouns make a clusivity distinction (i.e., they indicate whether or not the listener is included). Certain verbs require shape classifiers—for example, “to hand [someone something]” accepts various infixes to describe the basic qualities of the object being given.
Our Cherokee translators are passionate about translating their language, no matter how complicated it might be.
We’re proud to translate both to and from Cherokee.
A good translation company offers flexibility in their translation offerings. We know some clients will want to translate from Cherokee to English while others will prefer to translate from English to Cherokee, so we’ve hired translators who can handle both directions. With the wide body of literature and documents published in Cherokee, some people may like to translate historical documents or traditional stories into English and share them with non-Cherokee people, promoting Cherokee culture. Others may like to translate content into Cherokee—such as books, poems, websites, games, apps, and more—which can help keep an endangered language alive in the digital era. Access to entertainment content in Cherokee is especially important for youth and learners.
Our translators are eager to get started on your Cherokee translation project. Get in touch today to tell us your wishes.