CIT offers Malagasy 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 Malagasy 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 Malagasy language through means such as lectures, conferences, and travel. CIT’s Malagasy language interpreters and translators possess in-depth knowledge of the Malagasy language, as well as of the culture and history of the Malagasy people, allowing them to provide informed and complete interpretation and translation.

The Malagasy Language

The Malagasy language is part of the Malayo-Polynesiona language family, particularly the East Barito branch. It is spoken in Madagascar as the national and official language of the country. It is also spoken in Comoros, Reunion and Mayotte. There are approximately 18 million Malagasy speakers worldwide. Some additional communities that speak the language are located in Franch, Quebec (Canada), Belgium and Washington, D.C. (USA).

Since Malagasy is part of the Malayo-Polynesian family of languages, it is closely related to other languages of the same family located in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. It is particularly close to a Southeast Barito language called Ma’anyan.

The Malagasy language was first recorded in the 1400s. It is written in the Sorabe and Latin scripts. In Malagasy, there are loanwords from Swahili and Arabic. Additionally, because French is the former colonial language, there are some loanwords from French as well. Because of 18th century pirates who came to the area, there are some loanwords in English as well.

There are many dialects of Malagasy. These include Antankarana, Bara, Masikoro, Northern Betsimisaraka, Merina, Sakalava, Tanosy, Tesaka and Tsimihety. The standard form of Malagasy is the Merina dialect which is spoken in the capital of Antananarivo and in the highlands. Merina can go by other names such as Plateau Malagasy, Ambaniandro, Borizany, Fiteny Malagasy, Hova, Malgache, Official Malagasy, Standard Malagasy or Teny ofisiealy. In Madagascar, Malagasy is the language used in primary and secondary schools. French is also used.

In the 1600s, as the French build Fort-Dauphin, which is now known as Tolanaro, located in the south of Madagascar, it came to their attention that the Malagasy people were using Sorabe, which is a form of Arabic letters, to write Malagasy. This seemed odd to them considering that Sorabe had previously only been used for magical text and astronomy. In 1658, the first Malagasy language dictionary was published by Eitenne de Flacourt. Later, in 1885, an English-Malagasy dictionary was published by James Richardson. A Welsh missionary, David Jones, came up with a way to write Malagasy using the Latin alphabet. This occurred in 1823. Working with another missionary named David Griffiths, Jones wrote the Bible in Malagasy. They then brought over the London Missionary Society to help build churches and schools in Madagascar.