Sierra Leone is a remarkably diverse country—although that’s par for the course in Africa. Straddling the coastal tip of West Africa, sandwiched between Guinea and Liberia, Sierra Leone is home to more than 8 million people, divided into roughly 16 different ethnic groups, each with their own culture and language. While 16 is a far smaller number than in many other African countries, some of the ethnic groups retain a strong hold on their culture and language, making Sierra Leone a vibrant and diverse country that differs starkly from one end to the other.
The biggest ethnic group in Sierra Leone is the Temne people, who primarily inhabit northern Sierra Leone, with smaller communities also found in Guinea and the Gambia. They speak their own language, Temne, which boasts around 2.5 million native speakers and functions as a local lingua franca for northern Sierra Leone, with people from smaller ethnic groups learning Temne for interethnic communication. The Temne people make up around 35% of the Sierra Leonean population, making their language one of the biggest in the country, although English and Krio, an English-based creole, are used as lingua francas at the national level.
Though Temne is an important language in Sierra Leone, it tends to be overlooked at the international level, leading to a scarcity of Temne translation services. We here at TranslationServices.com want to change that with our Temne translation team, for which you can see a free quote if you message us.
Discovering Sierra Leone’s northern lingua franca, Temne
In Sierra Leone, Mende rules the south, and the north belongs to Temne. The language comes from the expansive Niger–Congo language family, the largest language family in the world, and more specifically inhabits the Mel branch, a small subfamily that also includes Kissi, a minority language spoken in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia.
Despite not being a Bantu language—though Bantu languages are also part of the Niger–Congo language family—Temne has been compared to Bantu languages for its extensive noun class system. With nine noun classes, 18 if plural forms are classified separately, and a system of prefixed concords to show agreement with adjectives and other modifiers, Temne indeed shares the most characteristic feature of the Bantu subfamily. Temne also uses a subject-verb-object word order, like Bantu languages but unlike Mende, the other major indigenous language in Sierra Leone. Additionally, Temne is a tonal language, like most Bantu languages, although notably not Swahili.
A passionate team of Temne translators waiting to serve you
Temne is one of the most important languages in Sierra Leone, and our native-speaking Temne translators are proud of their unique language. They’re passionate about helping speakers of English and Temne bridge the gap between their languages and reach new depths of communication, whether that necessitates translation into Temne or out of Temne. We’ve taken care to select Temne translators with extensive experience in a variety of domains, which ensures we can translate any document you might have—even if it’s filled with jargon.
For translation from Temne to English, we love helping local business owners who want to take their corporate success to new countries. Professional translation into English is the key to international business prosperity. We can also help Temne-speaking scholars translate their papers into English to rise up through the ranks of international academia and break new ground with their research. And if you want to translate traditional or contemporary Temne stories to share with the world, we can help with that, too!
As for translation from English to Temne, we’re the best option for any CEO who wants to get in on the northern Sierra Leonean market, as a Temne translation helps you better connect with your new clientele. Academics conducting research in Sierra Leone may need their questionnaires translated into Temne, which we’re happy to help with regardless of the discipline. Finally, we also love translating creative material, from books and poems to apps and games, into Temne, helping creators reach a new audience and Sierra Leoneans discover great new content.
Message us today if you want to get started with Temne translation services.