There are more than 70 languages spoken natively in Uganda. It’s not like in the US, where the mosaic of linguistic diversity is the result of immigration from around the world and the indigenous languages are in severe danger of dying out. In Uganda, most of the languages spoken at the community level are indigenous to the region and are still spoken vigorously by people who still practice their native culture. Of course, a lingua franca is necessary to ensure smooth communication across ethnic groups, and in Uganda, English plays this role in the south and Swahili in the north. But for most Ugandans, their native language is their local tongue.
One of the biggest languages in Uganda is Ateso, spoken by roughly 2.7 million people. Most Ateso speakers live in Uganda, though not all—a significant proportion live in Kenya, and some may also be found in South Sudan. Since South Sudan is quite far from the nexus of the Iteso people, however, not many speakers live that far north. Spoken in the Teso sub-region and known under several different alternative names—including Bakedi, Bakidi, Elgumi, Etossio, Ikumama, Iteso, Teso, and Wamia—Ateso is an important language in Eastern Uganda, and while most translation companies gloss over it, we at TranslationServices.com are proud to present our Ateso translation team.
A free quote for our Ateso translation services? All you have to do is get in touch and request one!
Let’s look at what makes Ateso tick.
While many of the languages in Eastern Uganda are from the expansive Bantu family, Ateso is completely unrelated. Hailing from the Nilotic branch of the proposed Nilo–Saharan family, Ateso is closely related to the Turkanic languages—Karimojong, Jie, Toposa, Turkana, and Nyangatom—which are so similar that they’re mutually intelligible. Ateso joins the bunch in a language cluster, but it’s more unique, distinguishing itself from its cousins in various ways.
Most Ateso words start with a vowel—that’s what signals the gender of the word. The language categories words into the masculine, feminine, and neuter genders, with masculine nouns sometimes changing their initial vowel in the plural form. Otherwise, the plural may be formed in different ways, including by omitting the final letter of the singular form, adding the suffix -in, or making irregular alterations to the noun. Ateso lacks the concept of definiteness that permeates English, which means it has no equivalents of the words “the” and “a/an”—this can make accurate translation difficult.
A hard-working team of passionate Ateso translators
You want high-quality Ateso translation, and we have just the team to deliver that. Our search for the best Ateso translators has taken us all over Uganda, Kenya, and even South Sudan, and the result is a bright and colorful translation team of native Ateso speakers representing a number of dialects, each with a unique background of translation specialties. Whether you need translation into Ateso or from Ateso, we can help, since we have translators who specialize in both.
We’re also flexible in the type of content we can translate. Some of our translators have experience with translation in the corporate world, whether that means internal documents like employment contracts and financial reports or customer-facing content like ads, company websites, and white papers, so we can help you expand your business to eastern Uganda—or help you branch out of the region. Some of our other translators are well versed in academic and pedagogical translation, able to seamlessly convert academic papers, research surveys, and teaching materials between English and Ateso—a great solution for researchers looking to work in eastern Uganda or language activists hoping to better immerse Iteso children in their native language. Yet more of our translators are specialists in literary translation, working with everything from novels, short stories, and poetry to digital media like apps, websites, and games—perfect for local and international creators alike to cultivate a new audience.
Why not start your Ateso translation journey today? Just reach out to us!