Translating Africa

March 31, 2021 |

AfricaAfrica is a big continent of high linguistic diversity with over 2,000 African languages. Languages such as Afrikaans, Swahili, and Bantu languages, like Zulu, are growing in demand for translation and localization.

Africa has 54 countries with a variety of languages, including some that are endangered due to the proliferation of other dominant groups and the influence of Western culture. Afrikaans, a language derived from Dutch, and English have become the most used languages for government and businesses in South Africa. Some rare African languages are even becoming extinct along with the culture and knowledge they represent.

In the post-colonial era, African people have grown more aware of the value of their linguistic identity. Nonetheless, despite the spread of some well-represented African languages in media and primary school education, only a few are considered official at the national level, and languages imported by colonial powers still prevail. Fortunately, African countries are claiming more of their language inheritance, and are developing language policies aiming at multilingualism to reclaim and preserve rare African languages.

Localization Services increasing in Africa

The booming of the middle class in several African countries like Tanzania, South Africa, and Kenya has attracted many industries to the African market. Interest in this market has given English to African translation great importance because even though locals know English, French or Portuguese, they prefer to read manuals and use mobile applications in their own languages. Somali, Swahili, Afrikaans, Zulu, Amharic, Xhosa, Malagasy, Hausa, and Tigrinya are some of the most requested African languages for localization.

There is an increasing demand for translating legal literature as well as educational and medical materials into African languages. Moreover, financial institutions have recently received numerous requirements for English to Zulu translation due to the expansion into South Africa and other countries that speak in Zulu.

Did you know?

Zulu language, otherwise known as IsiZulu, is one of the 11 official languages of South Africa and is written using the Latin alphabet. Like other Bantu languages, Zulu is distinguished by clicking sounds referred to as click consonants, which are classified into dental, alveolar, and lateral clicks.

This Bantu language is of special significance as it is understood by more than half the population of South Africa as well as in Botswana, Malawi, Lesotho, Eswatini (Knowing as Swaziland), and Mozambique. The demand for Zulu translation services usually originates from government organizations who need to reach their population. However, private sector organizations also seek to translate and localize into Zulu in order to reach their African target audience with their native language.

Until the 19th century, Zulu did not exist in written form, but later missionaries transcribed the sounds into the Latin alphabet. Translation of Zulu and other rare African language is heading towards a brighter future with an increasing pool of digitally literate speakers, government literature, and educational materials for the general population.

Here are some of the Africans languages we translate:

Acholi, Adja, Afar, Afrikaans, Aghem, Akan, Amharic, Anyuak, Arabic, Assyrian, Sudanese Arabic, Ateso, Bambara, Bandi, Bassa, Belarussian, Bemba, Benjali, Bilen,  Borana,, Cape Verde Creole, Chewa/Chichewa,  Ciyao, Yao, Cuabo, Dagbani, Dan, Dholuo, Djerma / Zarma, Dioula, Dinka, Dogoso, Efik, Edo, Ekegusi/Kisii, Ewe, Fante/Fanti, Fon, Fulani, Fulfude, Ga, Gola, Grebo, Hakha Chin, Hausa, Hazaragi,, Herero, Hidiyya, Idoma, Igbo, Jula/Dioula, Kakwa, Kalenjin, Kamba, Kambatta, Kaonde, Karamojong, Karen, Kassauonke, Kasem, Kiembu, Kikamba, Kikongo, Kikuyu, Kimeru, Kingwana, Kinyamulenge, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Kituba, Kono, Kpelle, Krahn, Krio, Kuk, Kru, Kunama, Kuwaa, Lango , Leblango, Limba, Lingala, Lorma, Loma, Lozi, Luba-Kasai, Luganda, Lugbara, Lugbarati, Lugisi, Lugwere, Luhya, Lumasaba, Lunda, Luo, Lusoga, Luvale, Maasai, Maay, Makhuwa, Mandingo, Mandinka, Mann, Mashi, Meta, Mbunda/Kimbundu, Mende, Meru/Kimeru, Mossi/Mòoré, Mozambique Portuguese, Mamprusi, Mauritian Creole, Mina, Nankam, Nigeria Pidgin, Mmen, Ndebele, Nuer, Nyanja, Nyungwe, Oromo, Oshiwambo, Pulaar/Fulani, Ronga, Runyankole, Runyoro, Runyakitara,, Sangho, Sarahule Sena, Sepedi, S’gaw Karen, Shi, Shona, Sidaama/Sadama, Shikomoro, Sindhi , Somali, Songhrai / Sonrai, Soninke, Sotho, Susu Swahili, Swati, Tamasheq,, Teda/Toubou, Temne, Taegu, Tigre, Tigrinya, Tok Pisin, Tonga, Tshiluba, Tswana, Tumbuka, Turkana, Twi, Temne, Vai’, Weh-esu, Venda, Wolof, Xhosa, Yoruba, Zarma/Djerma, Zigula, Zulu.

Category: Translation Services

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