Central America is famous as the former home of the Maya civilization, with this Mesoamerican culture known around the globe. But even though everyone knows about the Maya civilization, few know that the Maya culture and languages still live on today. In fact, few people even realize that Mayan is an entire language family, not one single language, and that more than 6 million people still collectively speak the 30 or so Mayan languages today. K’iche’ is the biggest Mayan language, with more than a million native speakers, but other Mayan languages, like Tojolab’al, also remain widely spoken.
Tojolab’al’s 67,000 native speakers are a far cry from K’iche’s one million, but Tojolab’al still has more native speakers than every indigenous language in the US and Canada other than Navajo. Thus, while it’s certainly an endangered minority language, Tojolab’al enjoys more vigorous use and support than you might think. The Mexican government has recognized all indigenous languages as national languages and provides support to Tojolab’al and the country’s many other Amerindian tongues, and Tojolab’al-language programming is broadcast by a local indigenous radio station alongside Mam, Tzeltal, Tzotzil, and Jakaltek. Here at TranslationServices.com, we’re proud to support Tojolab’al’s revitalization efforts with our new Tojolab’al translation team.
If you’d like to see our rates for our Tojolab’al translation services, you can ask about a free quote today!
A quick introduction to the Tojolab’al language
Southern Mexico is where you’ll find the majority of the country’s indigenous language speakers, and Tojolab’al is no exception. Most Tojolab’al speakers live in southeastern Chiapas, near the Guatemalan border, especially in the city of Las Margaritas. Tojolab’al is closely related to Chuj, another Mayan language principally spoken in Guatemala, as well as by a few thousand people in Mexico.
Hailing from the Mayan language family, Tojolab’al isn’t a simple language. For one thing, Tojolab’al’s basic word order is verb-object-subject, a common feature in the Mayan family but present in only 3% of global languages. Tojolab’al also has multiple words for “we” to distinguish whether the listener is included in the utterance, known as inclusive and exclusive “we.” But perhaps Tojolab’al’s trickiest feature is its ergative alignment, another hallmark of Mayan languages, where the object of transitive sentences is treated identically to the subject of intransitive sentences. This concept is difficult for English speakers to grasp, but you can think of it as an emphasis on who or what is affected by a verb rather than who or what is performing it.
Let us take care of all your Tojolab’al translation needs.
Not many companies offer Tojolab’al translation services, especially to and from English—most Tojolab’al translation services work through Spanish. But we at TranslationServices.com are all about making translation services for endangered, minority, and underserved more accessible, which is why we went all over Chiapas to find the best Tojolab’al translators we could. They’re passionate native speakers with experience translating texts to and from Tojolab’al, and they’re eager to help people from elsewhere in Mexico and the world break down the language barrier that separates Tojolab’al speakers from the rest of the world.
We cover all sorts of Tojolab’al dialects in both translation directions, but our flexibility doesn’t end there. Wondering what kinds of documents we work with? Just about everything! That’s right—whether you want to translate promotional materials into Tojolab’al to reach this indigenous population in their own language or you’re looking to translate historical documents or literature in Tojolab’al into English to spread around the world, our translators can’t wait to help you. We also work with English-language novels, poems, websites, games, apps, and other entertainment content, faithfully translating all the fine nuances into Tojolab’al and helping preserve this important indigenous language by increasing the pool of Tojolab’al-language works.
We place great value on the quality of our Tojolab’al translations, no matter the content. Want to see for yourself? Get in touch today!