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Where did North and South Dakota get their names from? From the Dakota people, of course! The Dakota people originally lived in modern-day northern Minnesota and Wisconsin, around Lake Superior, but they were exiled from their ancestral land following the Dakota War of 1862, sent to reservations in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Canada. They are closely related to the Lakota people, who also reside primarily in North and South Dakota—and together, the Dakota and Lakota people make up the Sioux nation, also sometimes called Dakota.


The Dakota people speak the Dakota language, but after centuries of repression, the language is critically endangered. That means that most of the speakers are older, and most younger Dakotans do not speak the language. One natural result of this is a lack of translation agencies offering services for Dakota—after all, Dakota translation services won’t rake in the profits. But at TranslationServices.com, we’re serious about language revitalization. We want to do what we can to help the Dakota people maintain and preserve their valuable language, which is why we’ve set up a Dakota translation team.


Get the ball rolling by requesting a free quote for our Dakota translation services today.


Delving into the details of Dakota

Once a widely spoken Native American language, Dakota is now spoken by an estimated 290 people, most of whom are elderly. The Dakota community is actively trying to combat the extinction of their precious language, creating software and apps for learning Dakota, and Dakhóta Iápi Okhódakičhiye (Dakota Language Society) has developed a full textbook for Dakota learners. Dakota comes from the Siouan language family, is divided into the Western Dakota and Eastern Dakota dialects, and shares mutually intelligibility with Lakota, with which it comprises the Sioux language.


Like most Native American languages, Dakota is polysynthetic, meaning it relies heavily on inflection to express grammatical information. The verb is the most important element of a sentence—in fact, a sentence may consist of nothing but a verb, since the subject and object are marked on the verb. Dakota typically does not mark the past tense, leaving it to be inferred through context, but does explicitly mark the future tense. The language also distinguishes between alienable possession (property and possessions that can be traded or given away) and inalienable possession (e.g., body parts).


Dakota’s complicated grammatical system and deep nuances can cause problems to learners and translators, but don’t worry—our Dakota translators know exactly what they’re doing.


We translate Dakota the way you want.

There are two types of Dakota translation services: translation from Dakota to English and translation from English to Dakota. Luckily, we specialize in both types, so we’re able to cater to all kinds of clients.


Clients looking for translation from Dakota may have historical documents they’d like to translate or traditional folklore they’re looking to share with outsiders. Such translation can be a good way to raise awareness of the history and culture of the Dakota people. On the flip side, clients looking for translation into Dakota may wish to translate questionnaires into the language to survey speakers or translate content such as books, websites, and apps into Dakota to increase the amount of material available in the language. Indeed, producing more content in Dakota is absolutely key to ensuring the language can secure a strong footing in the community again and thrive in the 21st century.


If you want Dakota translation services, message us today—our Dakota translators are waiting!


Get a translation quote

Professional human translation for any language, any topic