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

The Nheengatu Language

The Nheengatu languags is spoken by about 19,000 people worldwide in Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela. In Brazil, Nheengatu is spoken primarily around the Rio Negro area. It is known as the Amazonian General language and is part of the Tupi-Guarani language family. The Nheengatu language originated from the tupinambe, another spoken spoken only by the Tupi people, specifically in Maranhao and Para located on the north coast of Brazil. In the 1600s, Jesuit msisionaries standardized Nheengatu, thus making it the lingua franca of the Brazilian missionaries, the European settlers and the indigenous people. Not long after, in the mid 18th century, Portuguese was forced upon the people of Brazil by the Marquis of Pombal. This was due to the Jesuits being kicked out of Brazil in 1759 and because of the high levels of immigration from Portugal to Brazil.

Currently, Nheengatu is still spoken in the Amazona State and as of 2002, has official status in Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira. Nheengatu is also used as a form of communication between Indians and non-Indians alike. Sometimes, Nheengatu is used for people to affirm their tribal identity, such as with the Baresm Arapacos, Baniwa people and the Werekena.

The first literary documents were produced by the Jesuit missionaries in the 1500s and 1600s, such as Arte da Grammatica da Lingoa mais usada na costa do Brasil, written by Father Jose de Anchleta in 1595. Another was Arte da Lingua Brasilica by Luis Figueira in 1621. These texts were written to highlight their religious purposes as missionaries. More recently, a Portuguese- Nheengatu dictionary was published in 2014 by Stradelli.

A professor at the University of Sao Paulo, Eduardo de Alameida Navarro, founded an organization caled the “Tupi Here” or the Tupi Aqui in 1998. This organization was founded in order to teach high school students in Brazil about the history of the Nheengatu and Tupi. Navarro wrote a book about teaching Nheengatu and developed materials and a website through the University of Sao Paulo. A notable scholar, Moore (1994), researched how Nheengatu has changed through its contact with other languages. Moore emphasis the importance of locating and documenting the dialects of Nheengatu lest the language become extinct.