Taiwan is a relatively small nation, with around 23 million people calling the island home, and the vast majority of them—more than 95%—are ethnically Han Chinese, so if you think most Taiwanese people speak Mandarin, you’d be right. But you might be surprised to learn that Taiwan’s linguistic landscape is far more complicated than that, and in fact, the small East Asian island plays a major role in historical world linguistics. Taiwan is considered the birthplace of the Austronesian language family, which encompasses languages all across the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Oceania, and even Madagascar, and several indigenous Austronesian languages are still spoken in Taiwan today.
Unfortunately, most indigenous Taiwanese languages are endangered today, spoken by only tens of thousands at best—but Taiwan’s indigenous peoples are proud, and continuous efforts are underway to preserve Taiwan’s languages. One of the biggest indigenous languages of Taiwan is Bunun, with an estimated 38,000 native speakers, and Bunun is even influential enough that people form the neighboring Saaroa (Hla’alua) and Kanakanavu tribes have picked it up. But that’s not enough to convince most translation agencies to work with Bunun. Here at TranslationServices.com, however, we’ve recently put together our own Bunun translation team, and we’re proud of it.
Before jumping into a Bunun translation, you may want to see our rates—so just message us and ask about a free quote!
Let us tell you a bit more about Bunun.
Bunun is spoken over a relatively large area in the central-eastern part of Taiwan, adjacent to the territory of the Amis, the largest indigenous ethnic group in the country. The language is categorized into five different dialects—Isbukun, Takbunuaz, Takivatan, Takibaka, and Takituduh—with Isbukun standing as the prestige dialect of the native tongue. The language originated in Xinyi Township, Nantou County, but today stretches into Taitung County and Kaohsiung City.
All aboriginal Taiwanese languages come from the Austronesian language family, with Bunun forming its own branch in the family. Like many other Austronesian languages, Bunun is a verb-initial language, and verbs undergo significant inflection to indicate tense, aspect, mood, focus, and more. Similar to Philippine languages like Tagalog, Bunun features a complex focus system wherein sentences are organized based on which constituent is the “focus”—the subject, patient, instrument, beneficiary, or locative participant. Takivatan Bunun features definiteness markers (the equivalent of “the” in English), with a distinction between singular and plural for three different distances (proximal, medial, and distal).
Our Bunun translators can work with just about any content.
Bunun is a unique language with intricate grammatical complexities, but since we only hire native speakers for our Bunun translation team, you can rest assured our translators are well versed in all the challenges that Bunun translation poses. In an effort to render our services maximally flexible, we’ve hired Bunun translators from all across Taiwan, representing both Isbukun and the other dialects of the indigenous tongue, and our translators are trained in both Bunun-to-English translation and English-to-Bunun translation, so whatever sort of Bunun translation services you need, we’re ready to provide them.
Our Bunun team is also equipped to accommodate clients with a wide variety of translation needs. Say you want to translate marketing material for your organization into Bunun as an innovative way to connect with the community—we can help you. Perhaps you’re interested in sharing Bunun culture around the world by publishing Bunun stories—but you need reliable and high-quality translations into English. Or maybe you’re a language activist working to ensure Bunun’s continued prosperity into the future, and as part of this endeavor, you want to translate books, poems, games, apps, websites, educational material, or other content into Bunun. For any type of content about any subject matter, whether it’s to or from Bunun, our translators are eager to help you.
You can get started with Bunun translation services today. Simply message us with the details of your Bunun translation project!