Exploring the Growing Demand for Indigenous Language Translation and the Inherent Challenges
Abstract: There has been a marked uptick in the demand from indigenous communities for resources in their own languages. As a translation company specializing in indigenous languages, wintranslation has increasingly provided translation services in a variety of Canada’s indigenous languages for a diverse clientele including companies in the natural resource sector, health organizations, and government departments. Providing translation services always comes with challenges, but wintranslation faces a unique set of challenges when it comes to indigenous language translation. Many Aboriginal communities are more remote, or the linguistic tradition is more oral than written. There are also many dialects for any given language, and helping a client identify what dialect they need can be tricky. In addition, there are challenges with the translation process itself, including a lack of unified dictionaries, no CAT tool supports, and a lack of font options for syllabics when typesetting.
Bio: Azaëlle Elliott-Bouchard is a project manager with wintranslation and a graduate from the University of Ottawa’s School of Translation class of 2014. She manages projects in many of Canada’s indigenous languages, as well as other multilingual projects.