The vast majority of the Mexican population speaks Spanish as their primary language, with most Mexicans learning it as their mother tongue. But certainly not all Mexicans are native Spanish speakers—hundreds of thousands of indigenous Mexicans still speak the languages that developed on the land over millennia. And it’s not just the big names, like Nahuatl or Yucatec Maya, either—indigenous Mexican languages hail from a number of different families, making Mexico a colorful tapestry of linguistic diversity. One of the indigenous languages—or, more accurately, language groups—still spoken in Mexico today is Totonac.
Totonac is a language cluster rather than one language, but the Mexican government nonetheless clumps them together and recognizes them as a single language. Collectively, they boast around 260,000 native speakers, with some varieties spoken by tens of thousands and others by only a few hundred. Unfortunately, like most other indigenous languages in the Americas, Totonac is endangered, threatened by the much bigger and more prestigious Spanish. That’s why many translation companies don’t serve Totonac languages—they think it’s not worth the effort. But here at TranslationServices.com, we work hard to provide high-quality Totonac translation services with our brand-new Totonac translation team.
Contact us today if you’d like to see a free quote for our Totonac translation services!
Getting acquainted with Totonac
Most of Mexico’s indigenous language speakers live in the south of the country, and that applies to Totonac speakers as well. Specifically, they hail from the southeastern states of Veracruz and Puebla, with different varieties scattered throughout the land. The biggest Totonac languages are Papantla Totonac, Filomeno Mata Totonac, Upper Necaxa Totonac, Xicotepec Totonac, and the numerous varieties of Sierra Totonca. Mutual intelligibility differs from language to language, with the Misantla variant of Totonac noted for its particular divergence from the rest of the family.
Totonac languages may differ in their grammar, but as they all form a single language family, they share many key characteristics. Like a lot of other indigenous languages in southern Mexico, Totonac languages tend to place the verb at the beginning of a sentence, though word order can be somewhat flexible. The languages are also grammatically complex, classified as polysynthetic, meaning words undergo significant inflection. But most of the inflection is on verbs, as noun forms tend to remain unchanged other than possession markers. Interestingly, Totonac languages also lack prepositions, instead achieving the same effect largely through aspect markers on the verb. One thing’s for certain: Totonac and English are worlds apart.
Making Totonac translation services accessible
The Totonac languages form a unique and diverse family of indigenous languages in southeastern Mexico, but their endangerment status and low profile mean it’s hard to find good translation services for them. So, that’s why we traveled all around the Totonac-speaking areas of Veracruz and Puebla, scouting out talented and passionate translators of Totonac languages. Our skillful team consists of native-speaking Totonac translators representing the many different varieties of Totonac, including Papantla Totonac, Sierra Totonac, Filomeno Mata Totonac, and more. And since we can translate both to and from Totonac languages, we’re certain we can help with your Totonac translation project.
What kinds of documents do we offer Totonac translation services for? Just about any. If you need business-related translation, you can work with our Totonac business translation experts, who can help with internal company documents and marketing collateral alike. If you’re a researcher, our Totonac translators would be happy to transform your questionnaire into crisp, clear Totonac for your indigenous subjects to answer. If you’re a content creator or language activist, allow our team to translate interesting media—books, poems, stories, websites, games, apps—into Totonac, increasing access to great Totonac-language materials for speakers and learners alike.
Whatever your Totonac translation project is, we’re eager to help. Simply send us a message describing your project and specifying which variety of Totonac you’re working with!