English may be the dominant language in the United States, but it wasn’t always that way. For millennia before Europeans colonized the Americas, various ethnolinguistic groups inhabited the land, practicing diverse cultures and speaking diverse languages. While these indigenous languages face endangerment today, many are indeed still spoken, some by relatively strong speaker bases. One example of a bigger U.S. indigenous language is Choctaw, still spoken today by around 9,600 people.
Choctaw’s 9,600 speakers represent roughly half of the ethnic Choctaw population. Like other indigenous languages in the United States, Choctaw is endangered as fewer and fewer Choctaw children learn their ancestral language, both due to the ubiquity and prestige of English and the brutal repression the Choctaw faced in the past. The tribe has put together various initiatives to preserve the Choctaw language, including free online classes for anyone interested in learning Choctaw. Language revitalization requires significant effort, dedication, and patience, but it’s worth it. We at TranslationServices.com are also passionate about revitalizing Choctaw, which is why we’ve put together a professional Choctaw translation team.
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Choctaw: the biggest Muskogean language
Choctaw was originally spoken in parts of modern-day Mississippi and Alabama, but in the 1830s, the U.S. government forcibly removed the majority of Choctaw from their ancestral homelands to Indian Territory, occupying modern-day Oklahoma. Today, Choctaw speakers can be found in Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Louisiana, with the majority living in Oklahoma. Speakers write their language in a modified version of the Latin script, like most other U.S. indigenous languages. Choctaw is by far the largest surviving member of the Muskogean language family and is closely related to the critically endangered Chickasaw language.
Choctaw is rich in morphological inflection, meaning it uses a large variety of affixes to change the grammatical meanings of words. Choctaw verbs take person markers for both the subject and object, meaning a single verb can constitute an entire sentence. Verbs come in several classes that determine which person markers they take, and some classes make distinctions that others don’t, such as the paucal plural, used to denote “a few,” used in two of the classes. Choctaw verbs also feature evidentially markers, which allows speakers to specify whether they know information firsthand or through inference, as well as an exclamatory marker to add enthusiasm or excitement to a statement.
We can accommodate all kinds of Choctaw translation needs.
You might think that Choctaw sounds complicated, and you wouldn’t be wrong—but our Choctaw translators are proud native speakers of this Muskogean language and can seamlessly translate between Choctaw and English. So, whether you need translation services into Choctaw or out of Choctaw, you can rely on our team. We have specialists ready to tackle different types of documents, including historical documents written in Choctaw or traditional Choctaw folk tales that you want to share with a wider audience. We also have translators eager to help you translate surveys, questionnaires, and announcements into Choctaw to perform research or make information more accessible, educational materials to help Choctaw children learn in their ancestral language, and content like books, games, websites, and apps to give Choctaw speakers and learners more opportunities to use the language.
Let’s translate Choctaw! Just let us know the details of your translation project in a message today.