Indigenous Languages

Languages in Motion provides translation Indigenous languages spoken in Canada. Translating materials into Indigenous languages will assist you in connecting with more people.

There are over 70 Indigenous languages spoken across Canada according to the 2016 Census.

According to the Government of Canada’s website, over 70 Indigenous languages were reported in the 2016 Census. These languages are divided into families:

  • Algonquain languages
  • Athabaskan languages
  • Salish languages
  • Siouan languages
  • Iroquoian languages
  • Tsimshian languages
  • Wakashan languages
  • Others: Michif, Haida, Tlingit and Kutenai

Did you know that there are over 260,000 speakers of Indigenous languages in Canada?

For these 260,000 people, it is important to create a message that resonates with them, in their own native language. When selecting a translation service provider, ensure that they are familiar with how these languages operate. Indigenous languages do not translate the same as others due to their complex morphology. Sometimes a sentence can be a 20 letter word!

Example of Cree: ᒌ ᐅᑳᔅᒋᓈᐧᐋᐦᔮᐧᐋᓂᐧᐃᑎᐦᑭᐙᑭᓂᐎᐦᑖᐙᑯᐱᓐ

Translation: They were presumably given a package of spatchcocked grouse.

Read more here

3 things to consider before requesting indigenous translation services:

  1. Ensure you fully understand which dialect is being translated. If you are preparing a translation, it is a good idea to speak with an elder or a community representative prior to translating indigenous materials to ensure you will be able to fully resonate with the specific demographic.
  2. Translation is done by a select few. Only a handful of individuals in the Indigenous communities will be willing to translate so this may affect turnaround times. Please be mindful that it may take longer than anticipated so plan ahead.
  3. Attend community development training in order to understand your local communities better.

Indigenous Languages We Translate

Algonquin

Atikamekw/Attikamek

Blackfoot

Cayuga

Chilcotin

Cree

Dakota

Dene

Dogrib

Gitxsan/Gitsenimax

Gwich’in

Halkomelem

Innu-aimun

Inuinnaqtun

Inuktitut

Inupiaq

Inuvialuktun/Western Inuktitut

Kutenai

Malecite-Passamaquoddy

Michif

Mi’kmaq

Mohawk

Montagnais

Moose Cree

North Slavey

Northern East Cree

Nunavik

Nuu-chah-nulth

Ojibwe

Oji-Cree

Oneida

Onondaga

Plains Cree

Seneca

Siberian Yupik

South Slavey

Southern East Cree

Swampy Cree

Thompson/Nlaka’pamuctsin

Woods Cree

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