You might think that northern Africa is linguistically dominated by Arabic because, well, it is. Arabic is the primary language in most countries in the north of the continent, spoken as a native language by most of the population. But it’s certainly not the only language. The linguistic diversity of Africa may surprise you, with around 2,000 languages spoken all across the continent—including in northern Africa. That’s what brings us to Chad and Sudan, where the minority Masalit language is spoken.
Roughly 440,000 people speak Masalit as their first language, which comprises less than half of the ethnic Masalit population. Indeed, most Masalit people also speak Arabic—many forgoing their ancestral language entirely—which poses a threat to the entire ethnolinguistic community. The Masalit people face danger and severe discrimination in wider Sudan to begin with, with targeted ethnic violence not uncommon. At TranslationServices.com, we support the peaceful co-existence of all people and wish to offer our new Masalit translation services to support the culture and language of the Masalit people.
If you’d like a free quote for our Masalit translation services, simply ask for one!
Discovering what the Masalit language is like
The Masalit people straddle the border between Chad and Sudan, residing in the Ouaddaï Region of eastern Chad and the West Dafur and South Dafur states of western Sudan. Their language comes in two primary varieties: “Heavy” Masalit, spoken by high-ranking people and people in the countryside, characterized by a complicated, inflection-heavy grammatical structure, and “Light” Masalit, the regional lingua franca spoken at home, in town, and in school, featuring a simplified grammatical structure and many loanwords from Sudanese Arabic. It’s a member of the Nilo–Saharan language family, found on the Maban branch.
In terms of its word order, Masalit adopts the most common word order among the world’s languages: subject-object-verb. Nouns typically precede modifiers, with adjectives and numerals placed after the noun. Verbs in Masalit are conjugated to show both the subject and object, with the object preceding the subject. When implementing inflection on nouns and verbs, Masalit prefers suffixes over prefixes, described as a “heavily suffixing” language. The language also features nominal suffixes for definite and indefinite articles, the equivalent of English’s “the” and “a/an,” and does not distinguish between gender in its pronouns, unlike English’s “he” and “she.” These grammatical differences can make it hard to translate between English and Masalit, but it’s not hard for native Masalit speakers, like our team members.
We’re proud to serve a wide range of Masalit translation needs.
Our Masalit translators hail from different areas in both Chad and Sudan, speaking different varieties of the rich Masalit language. We’ve hired translators to represent both Heavy Masalit and Light Masalit, which ensures you receive a carefully tailored translation that adapts to your specific needs. As native speakers, our Masalit translators carefully navigate the complicated grammar of this African language to provide high-quality translation services in both directions, either from Masalit or to Masalit.
There are many reasons you may be looking for Masalit translation services, and our goal is to help you no matter why you’re coming to us. With translators specializing in different areas, we can match you with the right expert—you just have to let us know what you’re looking for. We can translate educational materials for use in local schools or by researchers in the region, or we can help businesses and organizations strengthen their presence in the region by connecting with local Masalit speakers. We also translate literary texts to and from the language, helping Masalit speakers tell their stories or bringing them new content from all around the world.
If you’re looking for the best Masalit translation services online, let us help you! Send us a message now to place your first order.