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

Although based in Los Angeles, CIT offers comprehensive Brahui 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, have provided credentials, field tested, and kept up to date with developments in both English and the Brahui language through means such as lectures, conferences, and travel. CIT’s Brahui language interpreters and translators possess in depth knowledge of the Brahui language, as well as of the culture and history of the Brahui people, allowing them to provide informed and complete interpretation and translation.

 

The Brahui Language

The Brahui language, classified as a Dravidian language, stems from a tribal group that lives primarily in the Baluchistan region of Pakistan and is spoken primarily by Brahui tribesmen. Approximately 2.2 million people speak Brahui. There are some Brahui speakers who have settled along the Hemand River in Afghanistan along with in the Soviet Turkmenistan. It was known that the Brahuis were travelers, mainly herding cattle, and that approximately only 20% had settled by the 1880s. In the 1970s, the number was the opposite, having Brahuis settling in many large towns. Many believe that the Brahui identify more with the Baluch, a process which probably began around the 1500s. Collectively, there are 27 tribes that make up the Brahui people.

Most Brahui speakers also speak Baluchi. Not only do they also speak Baluchi, but they are considered “bilaterally bilingual,” meaning they speak both languages equally and both are considered their mother tongue. About 30% of Brahui members do not speak the language and approximately 80% of those who identify as Brahui speak 2 or 3 languages.

For the 20% of Brahuis that have yet to settle, there are traditional migration routes that they take. In Pakistan, the tribes from the north spend the summer in Sarawan and the winter in Kacchi. The tribes from the south spend the summer months in Jahlawan and the winter in Sind.

The language itself was first noticed by a European named H. Pottinger in the 1800s. Bray, considered the father of Brahui studies, developed the grammar and dictionary that any have studied of the Brahui language since 1910. Even until today, the language does not have any official status. It is not used in government or schools. Very few Brahui tribe members can read or write Brahui, which is written in Arabic script. There is a version of Brahui that is written in the Latin alphabet, which was developed by the Brahui Language Board out of the University of Balochistan in Quetta. In the same city, the Brahui Academy was the main source of printed books in the Brahui language, having thought to began in 1966.

The Brahui language does not have a variation in dialects. The main distinction comes between those who speak Brahui in the north (Sarawan) and those who speak it in the south (Jahlawan). The difference between the two is in how the h sound is pronounced. For the southern speakers, it is pronounced as an aspirate and in the north, it is more weak and pronounced to a glottal stop or is dropped.

Within the language, the main distinction is between nominal and verbal words. Adjectives are mainly treated as nouns and pronouns follow Dravidian etymologies, particularly the reflexive and interrogative pronouns. Verbs are more complex than nouns in the Brahui language. There are two main oppositions in the language and they are perfective/imperfective and affirmative/negative.

The Brahui language in influenced by Indo-Iranian languages, considered their closeness in physical proximity to the Brahui tribes. The Baluchi is thought to have had the highest influence on the phonology and morphology (specifically on the syntax) of Brahui.