Africa is one of the world’s most ethnolinguistically diverse areas. Most African countries are home to a plethora of disparate ethnolinguistic groups, sometimes sharing little in common other than the national borders they were born within. But Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland until 2018, is different. Most of the southern African nation’s population belongs to the Swazi (or Swazi) ethnic group, with a minority of Zulu and other peoples joining them in the small kingdom. Despite Eswatini’s small size, covering only 17,000 or so square kilometers, the nation is home to five native languages: Swazi, Zulu, Tsonga, Afrikaans, and English. But Swazi is the beating heart of Eswatini.
Swazi, also known as Swati or siSwati, is spoken natively by an estimated 2.3 million people in Eswatini and South Africa, with an additional 2.4 million or so people in South Africa learning Swazi as a second language. Both English and Swazi are official languages in Eswatini, and English is generally used as the language of instruction in schools—but Swazi language education is mandatory in the country’s schools and is used in mass media. Clearly, Swazi is an important language in Eswatini and South Africa, but that hasn’t prompted most translation agencies to pick up the language—that is, except us here at TranslationServices.com.
We’re proud to help clients from southern Africa and across the globe translate to and from Swazi. Reach out today for a free quote to see how we can help you, too!
What makes Swazi a unique language?
Swazi is an official language of two countries—Eswatini and South Africa—but is also spoken in Lesotho and Mozambique. Like most languages in Africa, Swazi is generally written in the Latin alphabet but can also be written in Ditema tsa Dinoko, a native script designed specifically for Southern Bantu languages, including Swazi, Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, Tswana, and more. Indeed, Swazi occupies the Southern Bantu branch of the vast Bantu language subfamily and is more specifically a Nguni language closely related to Zulu, Xhosa, Southern Ndebele, and Northern Ndebele—all official languages in South Africa.
Swazi is a heavily prefixing language, like all its Bantu cousins, and is characterized by the vast noun class system that is part and parcel of the Bantu family. Each class has one or more prefixes associated with it, which are added not only to the noun but also to verbs, adjectives, and other words that apply to the noun in order to show agreement. Swazi’s heavy agglutination can make for remarkably long words.
Translating between Swazi and English for all kinds of content
When it comes to Swazi translation services, quality really matters. Swazi is so different from English that amateurs and machine translators can easily butcher a translation job and leave you with an inaccurate mess—so it’s important to rely on professional Swazi translators, like those on our team. Hailing from all across Eswatini, South Africa, Lesotho, and Mozambique, our Swazi translators are passionate about their language and have all the necessary knowledge and training to translate both to and from Swazi.
What kind of document do you want to translate to or from Swazi? Maybe you work in business and need to translate a business plan, financial report, or employment contract—or perhaps your client-facing materials like ad copy, corporate blog posts, white papers, and press releases. You could be an academic who needs translation services for your research paper, questionnaire, dissertation, lecture transcript, or more. Or you might be a content creator looking for translation services for your novel, short stories, poetry collection, website, game, app, or other content. With translation experience in a myriad of domains, our Swazi translators can confidently handle all these cases and more.
Let us expand the world of your content with our professional Swazi translation services. Contact us today to get started!