According to Canada’s most recent census (2016), more than 260,000 Canadians currently speak an Indigenous language fluently enough to hold a conversation. And that number is on the rise. While it’s true that many Indigenous languages and dialects are at risk of disappearing as the last remaining populations of speakers age, there is also a renewal of Indigenous languages occurring as more and more young people and adults are prioritizing the connection with their cultural heritage and identity through language learning.
The country of Canada encompasses 12 major Indigenous language families, including Algonquian languages, Inuit languages, Iroquoian languages, and Salish languages. More than 70 distinct languages are spoken, and even more regional dialects exist. Some Indigenous languages, like Cree, Ojibway, and Inuktitut, have syllabic writing systems, but many more are completely oral and have no written form.
In the wake of the forced assimilation of hundreds of thousands of Indigenous children in Canada’s residential schools, many Indigenous Canadians today are seeking to reclaim their languages and culture. Indigenous languages are not just a form of communication; they’re also the foundation in which traditions, teachings, and the Indigenous worldview are rooted. The survival of Indigenous languages is a global concern and relevant for all Canadians, regardless of their heritage.
At CanTalk, we work with many Canadian Indigenous language translators from across the country and offer language services in 22 Indigenous languages, including Algonquian, Cree, Inuktitut, Michif, Ojibway, Mohawk, Saulteaux, Tsilhqot’in, Dene, and more. We’re committed to supporting the preservation and growth of Indigenous languages through collaboration with Indigenous language speakers and communities, and we welcome the opportunity to assist you with your Indigenous language translation and localization needs.
When approaching Indigenous language projects, it’s important to be aware that your translator may be located in a remote community. Indigenous culture and language go hand in hand, so entering into communications with an understanding that the translation process and final product will reflect an Indigenous worldview is vital.
Many English words and concepts have no equivalent in Indigenous languages. A skilled Indigenous translator must work to balance the meaning of your written or spoken words with the vocabulary and cultural ways of being that accompany specific Indigenous regional dialects.
Who We Are
As a Canadian company with over 25 years of experience in the language services industry, CanTalk is regarded as one of the best rapid language service providers in Canada. We guide businesses with large or small-scale language programs in support of multi-ethnic population bases and offer services in 220+ different languages, 22 Indigenous Canadian languages among them.
CanTalk’s depth of language service experience offers quality linguistics available 24/7/365 to assist with and focus on key business initiatives of inclusion, new markets, and growth. Our Indigenous language translators represent communities and dialects from across Canada. They’re experienced in professional Indigenous translation services and their work is regularly vetted by our quality assurance team.
Our Services & Expertise
CanTalk’s Indigenous language services include:
- Immediate Over-the-Phone Interpretation
- In-Person Interpretation
- VRI Interpretation (remote video services)
- Text Translation Services
- Remote Learning Services
Pricing & Turnaround Time
In general, CanTalk can connect clients with an over-the-phone interpreter in less than one minute. That being said, the relative rarity of experienced translators for certain Indigenous languages may impact the length of time needed for voice interpretation services.
Likewise, while most text translations are completed in anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on the length and specifications of the task, Indigenous language translations may take longer. This is because many Indigenous language translators are remotely located, which can cause delays. Also, translators who specialize in less common Indigenous languages may be in high demand and have a long queue of projects waiting.
- Medical – Assisting with communications for medical services is one of the most common and crucial priorities for CanTalk’s Indigenous language translators. From appointments to major procedures or emergencies, they’re prepared to help.
- Legal – Translating legal documents and proceedings into Indigenous languages is an important way to ensure that all Canadians have access to legal services in their own language. CanTalk can help.
- Life Sciences – From academic research to medical technology and pharmaceuticals, expanding into Indigenous communities and the northern Canadian market can be greatly aided by high-quality Indigenous language translation services.
- Financial – CanTalk can connect you with a professional Indigenous language translator that is familiar with the ins and outs of financial communications in Indigenous communities. Trust us to help you broaden your reach and scope.
- Entertainment – Make sure your entertainment projects reach Indigenous audiences with Indigenous language subtitling, script translation, voice-overs, in-person interpretation and more. Many projects also involve translation from Indigenous languages to English or French.
- Business – Put your partners and clients at ease with Indigenous translation services tailored to your specific business needs.
- Hospitality & Travel – From eco-tourism to hospitality projects rooted in Indigenous communities, there is plenty of need for Indigenous language services in the hospitality and travel industry. The possibilities are limitless!
- Government – The government of Canada and government agencies have some of the biggest demands for Indigenous language services. Reaching all Canadians in their own language and Indigenous language preservation are priorities that CanTalk can assist with.
CanTalk’s connections with experienced Indigenous translators across Canada can make your integrated language dreams a reality. Contact us today for a customized quote!
Indigenous Language Facts
- There are 12 major Indigenous language families in Canada and over 70 distinct languages. This number does not reflect regional variances and dialects.
- Indigenous languages are protected under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- Only 0.5% of Canadians speak an Indigenous language at home, but numbers are on the rise as more and more Canadians prioritize preserving and communicating in Indigenous languages.
- While some Indigenous languages are written using syllabics, many do not have an alphabet or written form. Oral tradition is prevalent.
- The most widely spoken Indigenous languages in Canada are Cree, Inuktitut, and Ojibway.
If you’re seeking assistance with an Indigenous language project, CanTalk can help. We work with Indigenous translators from across Canada who can help you communicate effectively and with sensitivity to Indigenous ways of being and indigenous business culture.