Aleut Language Interpreters and Translators

Cal Interpreting & Translations (CIT) offers Aleut interpreters and translators with legal, medical, and specialty experience, including criminal and civil matters, employee meetings, engineering, patent cases, labor disputes, immigration, and more.

CIT offers comprehensive Aleut language services including interpretation, translation, and transcription, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, worldwide. Our interpreters and translators are native speakers who have been screened, certified, provided credentials, field tested, and kept up to date with developments in both English and Aleut languages through means such as lectures, conferences, and travel.  Cal Interpreting & Translations’ Aleut language interpreters and translators possess in depth knowledge of the Aleut language, as well as of the culture and history of the Aleut people, allowing them to provide informed and complete interpretation and translation.

 

Who speaks Aleut?

The Aleut people live in the Aleutian Islands, Pribilof Islands, Commander Islands, and in the Alaskan Peninsula. In fact, the name ‘Alaska’ comes from the Aleut name for the Alaskan Peninsula, Alaxsxa. Uniquely, Aleut is the only language in its family, the Eskimo-Aleut language family. Experts estimate there to be less than 100 to 150 remaining speakers of Aleut who use the language regularly.

 

Aleut Dialects

There are three Aleut dialects: Eastern, Atkan, and Attuan, which is now extinct. Eastern and Atkan Aleut are classified as “critically and severely endangered”. Unfortunately, most of the public schools in what were historically Aleut speaking regions no longer provide Aleut language or culture courses.

The Eastern language group of Aleut is comprised of seven distinct dialects: Alaskan Peninsula, Unalaska, Belkofski, Akutan, Pribilof Islands, Kashega, and Nikolski. The Pribilof dialect has the highest number of livng speakers of any Aleut dialect.

The Atkan language group includes Atka and Bering Island dialctes. Attuan, now extinct, was its own distinct dialect.

Copper Island Aleut, also called Medny Aleut, is a Russian-Attuan language spoken only on Bering Island, where Copper Islanders were evacuated to in 1969.

 

A History of the Aleut Language

Eskimo and Aleut people are thought to have migrated from Asia about four to six thousand years ago. During this time, the Aleut language was actually part of the Proto-Eskimo-Aleut language. The two branches, Aleut and Eskimo, are though to have separated in Alaska, after migration. After these two branches split, they continued their development separately from one another. There is much diversity in Eskimo languages and Aleut.

The first evidence of Aleut culture was on the Eastern Aleutian Islands about 4,000 years ago. Because of

Besides these loanwords, though, Russian has not had a significant influence on the development of Aleut.

 

Revitalization of a Language

Funded by universities and local community groups, the task of saving the Aleut language has been left largely to the Aleut people themselves. Sadly, efforts by federal government to save the Aleut language mirror those, or really, the lack of those made to save native Californian languages, such as Chumash.

Linguists reach out to members of the Aleut speaking community, conducting 100 hours of conversation, which is then translated and transcribed. It is hoped that with these efforts, descendants of Aleut speakers along with the rest of the world, can retain some degree of knowledge of and connection to the Aleut people, their community, their history, and their language.