Translation Services USA offers professional translation services for English to Tlingit and Tlingit to English language pairs. We also translate Tlingit to and from any other world language. We can translate into over 100 different languages. In fact, Translation Services USA is the only agency in the market which can fully translate Tlingit to literally any language in the world!
Our translation team consists of many expert and experienced Tlingit translators. Each translator specializes in a different field such as legal, financial, medical, and more.
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Tlingit is the language of the Tlingit people of Southeast Alaska and Western Canada. It is considered to be a branch of the Na-Dené language family. Tlingit is very endangered, with about 500 native speakers still living, essentially all of whom are bilingual or near-bilingual in English. Extensive effort is being put into revitalization programs in Southeast Alaska to revive and preserve the Tlingit language and its culture.
Tlingit is currently classified as a distinct and separate branch of the Na-Dené family of North American languages, with its closest relative being Eyak. It was once believed to be a linguistic isolate until studies in the 20th century showed connection to Eyak and hence to Athabaskan languages. Connections to Haida have been occasionally proposed, but are mostly discounted at present, with Haida being considered a linguistic isolate. A connection was found by Jeff Leer in the 1980s between the nearly-extinct Tongass Tlingit dialect and Tsimshian, involving characteristic fading vowels and glottal stops in the place of tones in both Tsimshian and Tongass Tlingit.
The history of Tlingit is poorly understood, mostly because there is no written record until first contact with Europeans around the 1790s, and even then it remains sparse and irregular until the early 20th century. The language appears to have spread northward from the Ketchikan–Saxman area towards the Chilkat region, since certain conservative features are reduced gradually from south to north. The shared features between the Eyak language found around the Copper River delta and Tongass Tlingit near the Portland Canal are all the more striking for the distances that separate them, both geographic and linguistic.
Tlingit is divided into roughly four major dialects, all of which are essentially mutually intelligible, at least with some patience between listener and speaker. The northernmost dialect arguably does not exist, but is nevertheless called the Yakutat (Yakwdaat) dialect after its principal town. The Northern dialect is spoken in an area south from Lituya Bay (Litu.aa) to Frederick Sound. The Southern dialect is spoken from Frederick Sound south to the Alaska-Canada border, excepting Annette Island which is the reservation of the Tsimshian people, and the southern end of Prince of Wales Island which is the land of the Kaigani Haida. The fourth major dialect is the Inland Tlingit dialect spoken in Canada around Atlin Lake and Teslin Lake. Also a dialect now on the verge of extinction was once spoken in the Saxman area near Ketchikan, called Tongass (Taanta Kwáan) Tlingit, and is believed to be the relic of an intermediate language between Tlingit and Tsimshian; its living status is not known at the time of writing, although in the late 1990s two native speakers were reported.
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