There are a lot more languages than just Spanish and Portuguese spoken in South America. Yes, there’s also English, Dutch, and French in Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana, respectively, but there are hundreds more than that. The entire continent is dotted with indigenous languages that have survived European colonization and are still spoken today, some by sizable populations, such as Quechua or Guaraní. However, most are endangered, threatened by the major languages in their respective countries, and Arawak is no exception.
Arawak only has around 2,500 speakers, but that’s relatively large for an Amerindian language. Unfortunately, this is only around 25% of the total Arawak population, meaning many ethnic Arawak people have shifted to English, Dutch, French, or Spanish. Arawak is not institutionalized, absent from education as well as government and media, making it difficult for the language to grow, especially with so few speakers. This makes Arawak endangered, and if measures are not taken, the language could die out. The world, and more importantly, the Arawak people, would lose a valuable cultural treasure. We at TranslationServices.com can’t save Arawak ourselves, but we want to do what we can by offering Arawak translation services.
Reach out today to request a free quote for our Arawak translation services!
What exactly is Arawak, the eponymous language of the Arawakan family?
Arawak, which can also be called Lokono or Lokono Dian, comes from the Arawakan family—in fact, the family’s name comes from Arawak (which can lead to confusion). It’s native to the Guianas in northeastern South America, with speakers native to eastern Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. The Latin alphabet is used to write Arawak, albeit with a few modifications to accommodate sounds the original alphabet doesn’t encompass.
Arawak is nothing like English. One major difference is its active–stative alignment, where some sentences exhibit a nominative–accusative structure while others assume an ergative–absolutive alignment, depending on the verb. Nominative alignment focuses on who is performing an action, while ergative alignment is concerned with who is affected by it, and in active–stative languages, nominative alignment is used with voluntary actions and ergative alignment with involuntary actions. Arawak also distinguishes between alienable and inalienable possession—in other words, external possessions versus things that inherently belong to someone, such as parts of their own body or members of their family.
Translation into Arawak or out of Arawak? It’s your choice.
With so few translation companies offering services for Arawak, our translators are proud to step in and fill the gap. As native Arawak speakers, they enjoy working for their language and promoting its healthy development in the future. We aim for flexibility and offer our Arawak translation services for any number of translation applications.
While there may not be a lot of texts available in Arawak, we’re available to translate any you may like to share with the outside world. This includes historical documents, traditional folk stories, personal notes, or anything else in Arawak that you want to share in English.
As for translation into Arawak, we cover many areas of translation. We can help your organization—whether a business or a nonprofit—truly connect with Arawak speakers. We can also assist you with translating educational materials into Arawak, allowing native children to learn in the language, as well as translating content like books, apps, and games into Arawak. This is a prime way to instill more pride in ethnic Arawak people and encourage them to learn the language.
Let’s get started with Arawak translation today! Just send us a message.