Indonesia is a more ethnolinguistically diverse country than most people give it credit for. The country boasts more than 700 languages spoken indigenously across its many islands, placing second in the world linguistic diversity ranks (first place goes to neighboring Papua New Guinea). Most Indonesians learn Indonesian, the national language, out of necessity, since they need it to talk to people from other parts of Indonesia, but many Indonesians speak a different language at home.
Northern Sumatra is home to the Batak languages, of which there are many. One of them is Mandailing, the southernmost Batak language. The Mandailing people distinguish themselves from the other Batak peoples in that they are Muslim, whereas the Batak people are generally famous throughout Indonesia for their Christianity. Unfortunately, a hallmark of Mandailing identity—the language—is under threat of extinction, as more and more Mandailing people abandon it in favor of Indonesian. We at TranslationServices.com believe it would be a tragedy to lose this unique and precious language, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to compile our own Mandailing translation team.
Reach out today and ask about a quote for Mandailing translation services. Quotes are always free!
Discovering the Mandailing language
Mandailing speakers are native to Sumatra, Indonesia’s westernmost main island, residing specifically in the southern portion of the province of North Sumatra. Primarily, Mandailing speakers are concentrated in Mandailing Natal Regency, North Padang Lawas Regency, and Padang Lawas Regency, with some also found in Labuhan Batu Regency, North Labuhan Batu Regency, South Labuhan Batu Regency, and parts of the neighboring province of Riau. Mandailing boasts around 1.1 million speakers today, with people predominantly writing the language in the Latin script, despite historically using the native Batak script.
Mandailing is part of the Batak language branch of the Malayo–Polynesian grouping, itself a branch of the Austronesian family. Mandailing is unique in that it features five distinct registers, each with entirely different vocabulary. Hata somal is the default version of Mandailing that speakers use in daily life, hata andung is used at traditional ceremonies such as weddings and funerals, hata teas dohot jampolak is a register used in fights and arguments, hata si baso is a special version used specifically by traditional shaman when in a trance to treat a patient, and hata parkapur is used when in the forest, traditionally when searching for camphor.
Mandailing translation services to fit your specifications
Mastering a language with five distinct registers with entirely different vocabulary may sound tricky, but that’s precisely why we’ve staffed our translation team with top Mandailing-language experts. With experience translating various types of documents, our Mandailing translations are here to help you translate both into and out of Mandailing. We even have translators specialized in the historical Batak script, allowing us to translate traditional Mandailing literature or other historical documents. Of course, we can also translate contemporary Mandailing documents into English, and we can translate English-language content into Mandailing, whether it’s pedagogical material to help children receive education in Mandailing or entertainment content like books, games, websites, apps, and poetry to enable Mandailing speakers and learners to use the language in more aspects of their lives.
No matter what kind of Mandailing translation services you’re looking for, we’re confident we can deliver. Just message us to tell us what you want!