Today, if you’re born in the United States, your first language is likely to be English. But if you’d been born in the land we know today as the United States more than 600 years ago, it certainly wouldn’t have been. Instead, you’d have grown up speaking one of the hundreds of indigenous languages spread across the vast territory of the United States, each with its own rich culture. Many U.S. indigenous languages live on today, despite the pressures they face from English. One of those languages is Cheyenne.
With just 320 native speakers recorded as of 2021, Cheyenne is classified as an endangered language. It’s split into two varieties—Northern Cheyenne, spoken in Montana by around 300 people, classified by UNESCO as “definitely endangered,” and Southern Cheyenne, spoken in Oklahoma by roughly 20 people, with the UNESCO classification of “critically endangered.” However, all hope is not lost, and the Cheyenne people are working hard to revitalize their language. At TranslationServices.com, we’re proud to help in the way we can: by offering our own Cheyenne translation services.
If you send us a message requesting a free quote for our Cheyenne translation services, we’d be happy to oblige.
Diving into Cheyenne and its grammatical complications
You’ll find the world’s Cheyenne speakers primarily on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Lame Deer, Montana, and as members of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in western Oklahoma. Cheyenne is known as Tsėhesenėstsestotse in the language itself, and indeed, this long name is indicative of the language’s complex grammatical nature as a polysynthetic language. It belongs to the Algonquian branch of the Algic language family, which comprises a number of indigenous languages in the northern US and Canada, including Cree, Ojibwe, and Mi’kmaq.
Cheyenne is full of grammatical features not found in English, such as a strict distinction between animate and inanimate nouns, different words for “we” to specify whether the listener is included, and a fourth-person pronoun meant to distinguish between multiple third-person referents. Words in Cheyenne tend to be long, sometimes expressing an entire sentence in English, thanks to the heavy inflection. Cheyenne speakers can even inflect words to indicate the source of the information, such as if they’re make an inference or reporting what someone else said. The language also incorporates temporal references that English doesn’t have, with multiple past tenses indicating different amounts of time passed and two imperative moods (command forms)—one instructing the listener to act now and one to act later.
All the complexities of Cheyenne make it clear that you need to work with native speakers for accurate translations—and that’s where we can help you.
We’re here for all your Cheyenne translation projects.
The Cheyenne-speaking community may be small, but it’s proud and passionate. We’ve recruited the top Cheyenne translators from Montana and Oklahoma, and we’re proud to help clients from all over the US and beyond with whatever Cheyenne translation projects they may have. That includes translation both to and from the language—our translators adapt to the needs of your individual project.
What kind of Cheyenne translation projects are you looking to carry out? Though the pool of Cheyenne translators is small, we’ve done our best to build a flexible team capable of handing different types of translation specialties. For example, we can translate educational texts into Cheyenne, which promote native-language education for Cheyenne-speaking children, or we can help businesses and organizations translate promotional materials and advertisements into Cheyenne for a closer connection with Cheyenne speakers. We’re also happy to translate traditional Cheyenne tales into English to help spread Cheyenne culture, and we can translate English-language books, poems, websites, games, apps, and other types of modern media into Cheyenne to support speakers and learners now and in the future.
If you’d like to get the ball rolling with Cheyenne translation services, all you have to do is reach out to our team today!