Mexico is famous for its vibrant and diverse past, with such prominent cultures as the Aztec Empire and the Maya civilization spanning large portions of the Central American country prior to the arrival of European colonizers. But what many people fail to realize is that these cultures—and their languages—are still alive and well today. More than 8 million Mexicans today are native speakers of one of the country’s 300+ indigenous languages, many of which hail from the well-known Mayan family. Chontal Maya is one of Mexico’s numerous Mayan languages.
Chontal Maya is the native language of roughly 61,000 people in Mexico. It’s certainly not the biggest Mayan language—that would be K’iche’ in Guatemala, followed by Yucatec Maya on the Yucatán Peninsula. But Chontal Maya nonetheless boasts a healthy community of speakers and even enjoys access to Chontal Maya radio broadcasts from an indigenous station that also provides programming in Spanish, Ch’ol, and Ayapa Zoque. The language has recovered from the brink of extinction thanks to revitalization efforts starting in the 1980s, but it remains underserved, with few translation services available. We at TranslationServices.com want to address this gap by providing our own Chontal Maya translation services.
Free quotes for our Chontal Maya translation services are available—simply send us a message to see one for your project!
Chontal Maya: a living relic of the Maya civilization
Chontal Maya derives its name from chontalli, the Nahuatl term for “foreigner,” but the Chontal Maya people call themselves Yokot’anob and their language Yokot’an. “Yokot’an” may also appear as a name for Chontal Maya in English. The language is indigenous to Tabasco, a southern Mexican state on the Caribbean coast, with speakers divided among four key dialects: Nacajuca, Centla, Macuspana, and Tamulte. Nacajuca accounts for more than half of Chontal Maya speakers.
Chontal Maya is closely related to Ch’ol, another Mayan language spoken in Tabasco and neighboring states. Like most other Mayan languages, Chontal Maya and Ch’ol alike exhibit a verb-object-subject word order, found in only 3% of the world’s languages. They also use an ergative alignment, which is a common feature across Mayan tongues. Ergativity is a tricky concept to explain, but essentially, ergative languages mark the object of transitive sentences the same as the subject of intransitive sentences, giving transitive subjects a special ergative marker. For example, whereas the first-person pronoun in “I go” and “You see me” is different in English, in Chontal Maya, it would remain the same, and the second-person pronoun in “You see me” would take a special form.
Our Chontal Maya translation services are flexible and reliable.
We made it our mission to build the best Chontal Maya translation team you can find on the internet. We cover all Chontal Maya dialects, particularly Nacajuca, the language’s most common variant. That’s because we searched all over Tabasco for our Chontal Maya translators, recruiting the best translation talent in the Chontal Maya community. Our translators speak Chontal Maya as their first language, and they’re passionate about their culture and language, which drives them to strive for the utmost quality in their translations, whether they’re translating into or from Chontal Maya.
What kind of Chontal Maya translation project are you coming to us with? Perhaps you’d like to open a branch of your business in Tabasco, and you’re thinking of promoting your company in Chontal Maya as a unique and memorable ad campaign. Maybe you’re a Chontal Maya speaker eager to share stories and literature in your native language with the wider world, shining a light on this overlooked Amerindian culture. Or maybe you want to promote Chontal Maya revitalization efforts by translating content—novels, poems, educational materials, games, apps, websites, and more—into the language, offering speakers and learners alike more ways to enjoy Chontal Maya. Whatever your project, we’re here to help.
You can count on us for all your Chontal Maya translation needs. How can we help with your project? Message us today to let us know!