Every once in a while, we like to highlight the languages supported on Amara. New languages can be requested by emailing our support team at email@example.com and telling them the language name, typing direction, and ISO language code if you have it! Our mission is to make content accessible across language barriers. The more languages we support, the more media barriers we can cross!
Supported on Amara: the Aymara language
This week, we would like to take the chance to talk about the Aymara language. Aymara has over 2 million speakers along the Andes mountains. It is primarily spoken in Bolivia, but there are also many speakers in Peru and Chile.
The name “Aymara” also refers to a group of people. The Aymara, or Aimara, people live in northwest Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru. Their ancestors lived in that region for many centuries, dating back to before the Incan empire. Many Aymara people speak Spanish as a second language.
Hear Aymara as it is spoken today!
What is the writing system for Aymara?
The most common writing system for Aymara uses the Roman alphabet (a,b,c…). But in 2015, researchers adapted the Korean alphabet (Hangeul) for use with the Aymara language. So far, it’s less commonly used than the older Romanized version. But it must be an interesting challenge to try out a new writing system in the same language, as a speaker or a language researcher!
What is agglutination in Aymara?
The Aymara language has many interesting features that sets it apart including its people, culture, and history in the Andes region. And we like to celebrate differences here as well as similarities! One feature that the Aymara language has in common with other languages is agglutination. Agglutination is the combining of parts of a word to make a longer, more meaningful word than before. It’s a common feature in a diverse range of language families. Finnish, Japanese, and Turkish all have examples of agglutination in their vocabulary, just to name a few! It’s interesting to see people all around the world try to solve the problem of communicating complex meaning and arrive at similar solutions sometimes!
Let’s take an example from aymara.org:
Achachila (=Old man)
Combined, we have the word “Achachiljamatakipuniwa” which intends to convey the thought “It seems that, in any way, is for the Old man.”
Thank you for taking some time out of your day to read a few things about Aymara. If you are a native speaker of Aymara, we encourage you to add, subtitle, or translate videos on the Amara platform. We have a free subtitling workspace or paid options for private teams. We also have volunteer opportunities for captioners and translators. If you are interested in making critical information available to your language community, consider joining the Amplifying Voices volunteer team. Our editorial team releases batches of videos that cover a diverse variety of critical information from medical information to recycling to human rights around the world.
We are so grateful to be able to support so many languages around the world and give their speakers a platform to make their content more accessible!