Everyone has heard of the Maya civilization that once ruled over a large swath of Mesoamerica, but when the land was colonized by the Spanish and the Maya people faced centuries of repression, their cultures and languages slowly diminished in strength and prosperity. Today, most people in Central America speak Spanish—in most Central American countries, it’s the official language and lingua franca. But that doesn’t mean the indigenous languages have entirely disappeared. In fact, close to half of people in Guatemala still speak a Mayan language as their first language.
One of these languages—albeit one of the smaller ones—is Uspantek. Uspantek is thought to be spoken by around 5,000 people, making it an endangered language threatened by the much larger and more prestigious Spanish. Fortunately, efforts to revitalize Uspantek are underway, especially with the help of the Academia de Lenguas Mayas de Guatemala. However, Uspantek’s low number of speakers means there are almost no translation firms willing to work with this language. TranslationServices.com is different—we know how important Uspantek is, so we’re proud to have an Uspantek translation team.
Don’t wait to inquire about a quote for our Uspantek translation services. Requesting a quote is free!
What makes Uspantek a special language?
Uspantek is a Mayan language from the Quichean–Mamean language branch, meaning it’s related to K’iche’, Guatemala’s most widely spoken Mayan language, with significant influence from Mam and other Mamean languages. The language is spoken by an estimated 5,000 people primarily in the municipalities of Uspantán and Playa Grande Ixcán in the Guatemalan department of El Quiché, named after the K’iche’ people. Uspantek is a particularly unique language in the Mayan family, as it’s one of only three Mayan languages to have developed a contrastive tone system, with high or low tones altering the meanings of words.
Uspantek also shares a lot of features in common with the other Mayan languages, perhaps the most important being the ergative system and the verbal inflection. As an ergative language, Uspantek marks the object of transitive sentences in the same way as the subject of intransitive sentences—with an absolutive marker—while marking transitive subjects with a separate ergative marker. These markers are expressed on the verb, not the noun, and this system allows Uspantek speakers to omit pronouns in most contexts.
Uspantek isn’t a simple language—it’s hard for English speakers to grasp, learn, and translate. But our team is made up of native Uspantek speakers who know precisely how to best translate the language.
Flexible Uspantek translation services for all kinds of clients
There are a multitude of reasons that someone might have for Uspantek translation services, whether from Uspantek to English or from English to Uspantek. We want to ensure we can accommodate as many client needs as possible, which is why we’ve endeavored to establish an Uspantek translation team that works with both directions. So, historians, government agencies, Uspantek speakers, we can translate your historical documents or traditional Uspantek literature into English! Researchers, we can translate your surveys and questionnaires into Uspantek! Language activists, we can translate any sort of entertainment content—from books, to games, to websites, and anything else—into Uspantek! The sky’s the limit.
If you want Uspantek translation services, all you have to do is contact us and let us know the specifications you’re looking for.