African languages are rarely well known on the global stage. Swahili has made a good name for itself, and most people know of Somali, but otherwise, people outside of Africa can’t usually name many African languages. That doesn’t mean the continent isn’t swimming with indigenous languages, though. In fact, Africa accounts for more than 2,000 of the world’s 7,000-odd languages. While the majority of Africa’s languages come from the expansive Niger–Congo language family, today’s language, Dholuo, hails from the Nilo–Saharan family.
Dholuo isn’t a small language—with more than 4.2 million speakers, it’s one of the bigger indigenous African languages. Part of the larger group of Luo languages, Dholuo is spoken by the Luo peoples of Kenya and Tanzania, who live around the shore of Lake Victoria. Like much of Africa, Kenya and Tanzania both exhibit considerable linguistic diversity, necessitating the use of a lingua franca to tie the different ethnolinguistic groups together. Both countries use English and Swahili as their lingua francas, which threatens smaller languages like Dholuo. At TranslationServices.com, we want to help how we can—so we’ve launched a Dholuo translation team!
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Dholuo speakers straddle the border between Kenya and Tanzania, specifically in Kenya’s province of Nyanza and Tanzania’s Mara Region. A major language in the area, it’s used as a broadcasting language at the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation. As a Luo language from the Nilotic family, Dholuo is closely related to nearby languages like Lep Alur, Lep Acholi, Lango, and Dhopadhola, with which it shares a considerable share of vocabulary. Dholuo is usually written in the Latin alphabet, although an indigenous script was invented in 2012 and may catch on in the future.
Dholuo vocabulary can be tricky because the language contains different, often entirely unrelated terms for male and female animals of various species, and learners must simply memorize them. Possession is marked by adding a suffix to the noun, with different suffixes for the different grammatical persons. Adjectives in Dholuo, which come after the noun, like in French, are easy to spot because they’re always preceded with the prefix ma-. One particularly interesting aspect of Dholuo grammar is its distinction between alienable and inalienable possession (i.e., whether something is an intrinsic part of someone, such as a body part, or just a material good).
Translating between English and Dholuo is our passion.
To bring you the highest-quality Dholuo translation services we can, we’ve searched all across Kenya and Tanzania for the best Dholuo translators in the region. The professionals on our Dholuo translation team are passionate about converting texts between Dholuo and English, no matter the subject—and yes, we work in both translation directions. So, if you have a text in Dholuo that you want to share with the world—whether it’s business content, academic material, traditional or contemporary literature, or a historical document—just send it to our team! Conversely, if you have an English-language text that you’re looking to share with Dholuo speakers, we can help you with that, too. We’re here to help companies engage a new customer base in Kenya and Tanzania, teachers educate native Dholuo children in their own language, and content creators spread their books, poems, websites, apps, games, and more to the Dholuo people.
Would you like to get started with your Dholuo translation project? Get in touch today to discuss the details!