If you’re from the West, it may be difficult to imagine a country in which the majority of people don’t speak the language(s) used at the national level—but that’s generally what it’s like in most African countries. Countries like Kenya are brimming with indigenous languages that boast sizable speaker communities, and while most people learn Swahili or English to communicate with compatriots outside of their locale, you’ll hear more than 65 indigenous languages spoken on the ground in different regions of Kenya. One of these languages you may encounter is Samburu.
About 128,000 people in Kenya speak Samburu as their first language, jumping to around 240,000 when Camus is included. Samburu and Camus are so similar that it’s unclear whether they should be classified as separate languages or different dialects of the same language—but in either case, we at TranslationServices.com are proud to offer professional translation services for both Samburu and Camus. This sets us apart from most translation agencies, which overlook minority languages like Samburu.
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Samburu: Maasai’s northern cousin
If you know Kenyan geography, it’s not hard to guess where Samburu is spoken: in Samburu County, of course. Found in central Kenya, this county is just south of Lake Turkana. Samburu speakers account for many, but not all, of the residents of Samburu County, with their closely related cousins, the Ilchamus, residing southwest of the Samburu heartland. Samburu is classified as a Maa language within the Nilo–Saharan language family, with Maasai standing as the best-known and most widely spoken Maa language. Samburu and Maasai are similar enough that they’re somewhat mutually intelligible.
Like many other Nilotic languages, Samburu employs a default word order of verb-subject-object, positioning it within the 9% of world languages that use this word order. However, Samburu word order can be flexible, with verb-object-subject also possible. The language uses tone to distinguish grammatical meaning, including case and verb tenses, meaning that tone is generally how speakers can determine which element of a sentence is the subject and which is the object. Samburu features three forms of gendered nouns—masculine, feminine, and place—with “place” sometimes used as a pronoun when the gender is not known because the gender roles of Samburu culture identify certain places with a particular gender. Samburu is certainly a complex language, but you don’t have to worry—we’ve hired native speakers for our Samburu translation team.
Our Samburu translation team is eager to work on your project—no matter the content
Our translators are native Samburu translators who are passionate about bridging the language barrier between Samburu and English by providing pinpoint translation services to and from the language. We’ve traveled around Kenya to find the best Samburu translation talent we could, covering both Samburu and the closely related Camus. Whatever special requests you may have for your translation project, we’re dedicated to accommodating your needs to the best of our ability.
Since our Samburu translators are specialized in different areas of translation, we’re well equipped to help clients from various domains, including academia, business, entertainment, and beyond. If you’re looking to conduct research in Samburu County and want your questionnaire translated into Samburu, our team can help. If you head an international organization looking to expand operations to Samburu-speaking territory, our team is here to help you translate your documents. If you want to share local Samburu stories with the world—or bring interesting new content and media to the Samburu people—we can carefully translate literary materials for maximum impact. Technical vocabulary is no problem, either—if you need a specialist, we’ll do our best to match you with the right translator for the job.
Are you ready to get started with Samburu translation? Place an order today!