I overheard our Senior Project Manager ask our DTP specialist this, and it was an unusual sentence to overhear, even at a language services company. I had been reading about dying languages and wandered into the PM office to ask about it.
Choctaw is a Native American language, now spoken by roughly 7,000 people in Oklahoma and surrounding areas. In recent years, insurance companies have been compelled by law to provide their benefits information in any language that makes up 5% of their service area. Tembua translates a significant volume each year for the insurance industry, sometimes into languages as diverse as Somali and Navajo.
I had studied the Dakota language during my undergrad years but knew little about Choctaw.
Our PM told me that when our client first reached out for Choctaw, she was a bit hesitant. Tembua hadn't handled Choctaw before, and because quality is our primary operational objective, assigning the translation to someone who had just a passing interest in the language wasn't an option. But after 22 years in business, our networking in the language community is rich and deep and our lists are long.
One of our working teams referred us to a group in Oklahoma, where we made the acquaintance of a skilled linguist who had taught the Choctaw language for years as part of a team to revive the language. Her contributions include work on a Choctaw dictionary and evening classes for children.