When it comes to indigenous languages in Mexico, people may think of Nahuatl or Yucatec Maya—and indeed, these are the biggest indigenous languages in the Central American country. But did you know that there are over 285 other languages from numerous language families in Mexico, which is ranked as the sixth-most linguistically diverse country on the planet? Though Spanish places immense pressure on Mexico’s indigenous languages, many are still spoken by large numbers of people today—such as Western Highland Purépecha.
Western Highland Purépecha is classed as one of two Purépecha languages, although Purépecha is often considered a single language with two dialects. Purépecha has around 140,000 native speakers, the majority of whom speak Western Highland Purépecha, although exact figures are difficult to ascertain. While the overall number of Western Highland Purépecha speakers is increasing, the proportion of ethnically Purépecha people who don’t speak the language is rising faster, and bilingualism is increasing. This precarious situation renders the language endangered, but we at TranslationServices.com are proud to offer dedicated Western Highland Purépecha translation services.
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Western Highland Purépecha: one of Mexico’s most unique indigenous languages
Western Highland Purépecha is derived from the dominant language of the pre-Columbian Purépecha Empire (Iréchikwa), with modern-day speakers concentrated in the central Mexican state of Michoacán. Usually, languages are categorized into a language family of other, related languages, but in Purépecha’s case, linguists have never been able to identify convincing ties to other languages. Purépecha does not share many of the common features of other Mesoamerican languages, suggesting that it’s either very old or relatively new to the area.
While it may not be related to its neighboring languages, Western Highland Purépecha is just as complex as other Mesoamerican languages. The default word order is subject-verb-object or subject-object-verb, whereas many Mesoamerican languages are verb-initial. The language has several cases, including an instrumental case and a comitative case, both covered by “with” in English. Western Highland Purépecha also has a focus clitic, -sï, to place emphasis on a particular element of the sentence. In some cases, this can also change the word order by promoting the object to the first position in the sentence. Western Highland Purépecha verbs inflect for tense and aspect and are marked for both the subject and object, and several verbal suffixes allow speakers to specify the shape, position, or body part that affect or are affected by the action. It’s evident that Western Highland Purépecha poses translation challenges, but our translators are native speakers who are well versed in all the obstacles the language presents.
A team for all your Western Highland Purépecha translation needs
It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re located, or what your translation project is: our Western Highland Purépecha team is ready to help you. We’re passionate about bridging the gap in communication between Michoacán’s Purépecha speakers and people around the world, whether that entails translation into or translation from Western Highland Purépecha. We only hire native speakers who have grown up in different parts of Michoacán, making for a diverse translation team that covers different variants of Western Highland Purépecha.
Some of our translators hail from the academic world, helping everyone from students, to professors, to researchers translate their journal articles, research surveys, lesson plans, and more to or from Western Highland Purépecha. Others are business-oriented, working with the leaders of companies to translate internal corporate documents and outward-facing marketing materials to cater to the community. Yet others work in the literary realm, translating captivating stories of various media (both print and digital) to and from Western Highland Purépecha. If you have any special requests, we’ll do our best to accommodate them!
Let us help you with your Western Highland Purépecha translation project—get started with your first order today!