When most people consider the indigenous languages of Mexico, they probably think about Mayan. Mayan is, in fact, not a single language but a relatively big language family, with dozens of distinct languages. Some people may also think of Nahuatl, today the most widely spoken indigenous language in Mexico. But Mexico has a lot more to offer than that. Packed with linguistic diversity, Mexico is home to more than 300 indigenous languages, many of which still enjoy healthy speaker communities. One of the larger indigenous languages of the Mesoamerican nation is Mixtec, more aptly classified as a group of closely related languages.
The Mixtec languages find their home in southern Mexico, specifically in the states of Oaxaca, Puebla, and Guerrero. Spoken collectively by around 530,000 people, the Mixtec languages are split up into anywhere between a dozen to 53 separate languages, depending on how one defines a “language.” Some Mixtec languages are entirely mutually unintelligible, functioning as a dialect continuum across the Mixtec sprachraum. Mixtec is technically classified as a single language by the Mexican government, but with such diversity within the varieties, they’re difficult to unite and are better thought of as a language group. Despite how widespread Mixtec languages are, they receive next to no attention on the international stage, resulting in few translation services—so we at TranslationServices.com are doing what we can to change that with our Mixtec translation team.
For a free quote for our translation services for Mixtec languages, contact us right away!
What would you like to know about the Mixtec languages?
The Mixtec languages constitute one of the largest branches of the Oto–Manguean languages, the other major branch being the Zapotec languages. They’re generally written in the Latin alphabet, but designing a single orthography for the languages has proven difficult, given the massive discrepancies among the tongues. The biggest Mixtec language, by a large margin, is Silacayoapan Mixtec, spoken primarily in the Mexican states of Puebla and Guerrero with notable speaker communities in the United States. It enjoys relatively high mutual intelligibility with a number of other Mixtec languages but is completely incomprehensible to others. We’ve compiled a list of the biggest Mixtec languages:
Atatláhuca–San Miguel Mixtec
This is, of course, a non-exhaustive list—scores more Mixtec languages also exist. These are just some of the most widely spoken varieties. Silacayaopan Mixtec by far has the most speakers, with around 150,000 speaking the language as their mother tongue. Pinotepa Mixtec comes in second place with just 30,000 speakers. Atatláhuca–San Miguel Mixtec and Chayuco–Jamiltepec Mixtec both boast over 20,000 speakers, with Ñumí Mixtec next at just under 20,000 speakers.
In terms of grammar, Mixtec languages feature a rich array of pronouns, including formal and informal versions in both the first and second person. Additionally, Mixtec languages tend to have several different third-person pronouns—gendered “he” and “she” pronouns as well as specific pronouns for animals, children or inanimate objects, deities, and water. The verb comes first in a sentence—typical for Mesoamerican languages—and plural is marked not on the noun itself but through accompanying verbs or pronouns.
Our team is eager to translate to and from Mixtec languages for you.
There are a lot of Mixtec languages—but we’ve diligently scoured southern Mexico to find the best translators for each Mixtec language. Our team can cover most Mixtec languages, translating to and from the Amerindian languages for a wide array of documents:
Historical documents: If you have a document in a Mixtec language that’s survived throughout history, hand it over to us to translate into English. Translating historical documents is tricky, but our experienced translation team can handle it.
Educational materials: We’re passionate about the Mixtec languages and want to see them flourish in the future. That starts with immersive education for native-speaking children—so our translators are eager to help clients translate pedagogical texts into Mixtec languages for the betterment of both education quality and language preservation in the Mixtec community.
Creative content: Mixtec languages have a rich tradition of oral storytelling, and sharing these culturally precious stories can help raise awareness of the Mixtec peoples and their fight to preserve their culture and languages. Our translators will happily translate Mixtec literature into English. We’d also love to translate foreign content into Mixtec languages—whether it’s novels and poems or websites, mobile apps, and games. The production of great new content is a prime way to boost an endangered language.
Reach out to us today to find out more about translating to or from a Mixtec language!