Africa speaks more languages than you might realize. The continent is home to three major language families, two of which are exclusive to Africa, as well as numerous smaller families. At least dozens of indigenous languages are spoken natively in nearly every African country, with national and regional lingua francas tying the diverse populations together. In Eritrea, which lists nine national languages, there are three de facto lingua francas: Tigrinya, English, and Arabic. Tigrinya is the mother tongue of the majority of Eritreans, but today we’re focusing on Tigrinya’s close cousin, Tigre.
Tigre and Tigrinya are close enough in name that they can be easily confused, and the languages are similar, too, exhibiting a 64% lexical similarity. Tigre is the second-biggest native language in Eritrea, accounting for roughly 1 million speakers. The language consists of several highly mutually intelligible dialects, with the exception of Dahalik, an extremely divergent variant spoken off the Eritrean coast in the Dahlak archipelago that has since been reclassified as a distinct language. Tigre is well established in Eritrean society, with primary education offered in the language, but since it’s overshadowed by Tigrinya, Arabic, and English, it remains under threat. While most translation companies ignore Tigre, we at TranslationServices.com are proud to provide translation services for this Horn of Africa language.
You can access a free quote for our Tigre translation services by simply messaging us and requesting one.
Tigre: the closest living relative to Ge’ez
Tigre is a Semitic language, which means it’s related to Arabic—but it’s completely mutually unintelligible and even uses an entirely different writing system. Tigre and its close cousin Tigrinya are descended from the historical Ge’ez language, which remains in use today as the liturgical language of the Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Churches. Tigre boasts an impressive 71% lexical similarity with Ge’ez, and it uses the same writing system: the Ge’ez script, an abugida (alphasyllabary) where each consonant has a distinct character that is modified to indicate the accompanying vowel. Tigre was formerly written in the Arabic script.
Tigre makes use of articles (“the” and “a/an”), with separate indefinite (“a/an”) articles for masculine and feminine nouns. The definite article, on the other hand, is always the same. The feminine forms of words for living creatures, both humans and animals, are generally realized with the addition of a word-final -t, with added vowels as necessary. Pronouns are highly gendered, with both the second- and third-person pronouns coming in gendered forms. Verbs are marked for all 10 possible pronouns, leading to considerable inflection.
Our Tigre translation team works both to and from Tigre.
To bring you the best in Tigre translation services, we’ve scoured Eritrea for the most skilled Tigre translators. These Tigre native speakers draw on their experience in various translation domains to deliver seamless translations to and from Tigre to satisfy a wide range of client needs. What can you hire us to translate? Here are just a few ideas:
Educational content. Although Tigre-language education is available for the primary level, students typically switch to English in middle and high school. Tigre language activists interested in offering Tigre-language education to older kids can turn to us for help translating English-language learning materials into Tigre.
Business content. Do you want to connect with Tigre speakers in Eritrea? Whether you’re a for-profit company or a charitable organization, our Tigre translation team is eager to help you translate both internal company documents and customer-facing promotional copy into flowing Tigre. And we haven’t forgotten about Tigre-speaking companies branching outward—we can translate your business texts into smooth, clear English.
Historical content. Having descended from Ge’ez, Tigre is the result of several centuries of evolution and development. If you’re in possession of an old Tigre-language document (in the Ge’ez or Arabic script) and need it translated, our team would be thrilled to step in.
Entertainment content. Whether it’s books, poems, websites, apps, or games, creative content is meant to be shared. Our Tigre translators can both convert riveting Tigre-language stories and poems into English, showing the world the cultural treasures of Tigre, as well as translate international works and digital media into Tigre, expanding the reaches of the language.
What do you need translated to or from Tigre? Send us a message now to let us know!