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Welcome to A Foreign Language Service - AFLS!

As a trusted leading language service provider, AFLS provides document translation and language interpreting to clients around world. We offer services in 400 languages including high-demand ones such as Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, French, and American Sign Language (ASL). We also provide support in rare, endangered, and emerging languages like Basque, Irish Gaelic, Ojibwe, and Quechua.

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We Have Your Language!

Certified Interpreting and Translation Services in 400 Languages

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Why Work With Us?

Dedicated Team

As language professionals with over 25 years experience, we are dedicated to providing exceptional services

Our team provides fast, customized solutions based on the needs of your clients and customers

Custom Solutions
Professional Linguists

We partner with highly-qualified translators and interpreters located in communities around the world

Better Business Bureau
400 Languages

Certified translation and interpreting services in 400 languages, including American Sign Language

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Smiling woman in conversation at table illustrates how AFLS offers language interpreting services.
Let’s Talk About Your
Language Needs
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Every Language Matters!

Ask us today about how our translation agency expertise and services can help you and your customers and clients with your language needs! We provide free quotes for services in 400 languages across government and business sectors around the world.

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Our Partnerships

We partner with a variety of professional associations, government agencies, medical and legal organizations, and small and large businesses to provide the best possible language solutions for our clients.
National Council on Interpreting in Healthcare
Better Business Bureau

American Translators and Interpreters

National Association for the Deaf
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Professional Interpreters & Document Translators

Since our founding in 1993, A Foreign Language Service (AFLS) has broken the communications barrier by providing professional interpreters and document translators in over 400 languages including American Sign Language (ASL) - and counting. Our contracted linguistic talent combined with dedicated customer service has made us the premier provider of interpreting, translation, and localization services to the greater Metropolitan Phoenix area, around Arizona, and across the United States.

We Have Your Language!

As the "400 Language People,"  we provide exceptional contract services in a variety of languages including those that are rare and emerging.  What sets us apart from similar type of companies is the sheer volume of languages coupled with our unique ability to always customize a communications solution unique to each client! Please use our "Language Search" tool to see if your language is listed or you can view our list of the most commonly requested languages.

Whether you are an individual who needs help filling out a government form,  a large hospital requesting an interpreter for a medical exam, or a small business who needs to have marketing materials translated for a multicultural audience, AFLS is there for you. Browse through our website or give us a call at (480) 813-4242 or (844)-813-4242 to let us know how we can help you with your communication needs. Or you can simply contact us via email with any questions that you may have.

What You Need To Know About Survival Of At-Risk World Languages

What You Need To Know About Survival Of At-Risk World Languages

Like endangered animals, many world languages face extinction. While many people give generously to save cute and cuddly creatures like koalas or kangaroos, finding support for something as immaterial as language can be more challenging. But language does matter. It carries cultural identity and captures unique ways of thinking. Language also serves as a link to family both present and past for those who speak it. This month’s links will highlight languages at risk of dying, others at risk but surviving, and others like the Biblical Lazarus revived from the dead.

How Border Communities Help Languages At-Risk

Of the approximately 7,000 languages in the world, nearly 3,000 of them are in danger of dying out. While not a concern for some, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) consider it a serious matter. They promote language diversity and inclusion in a variety of ways. But one of the battles that has proved difficult to win is how to preserve endangered languages. Recently new information has emerged that bolsters the hope of language preservation. Ironically, it is something often used to divide nations — BORDERS.

Research gives promising indications that people using at risk languages in cross border communities are keeping those languages alive through daily use in trade and communication. This regular use promotes the flourishing of not only regional traditions, but also cultural awareness and understanding. However, regular use in trade is not the only remedy. Education in the mother tongue also serves as a vital way to preserve at-risk languages. Those who speak endangered languages face considerable barriers in finding educational materials in their language. However, when those resources become available, they help to preserve the language, culture, and traditions of those who speak it.

Markets can be places of world languages
Research shows that the use of at-risk languages for trade and communication in border communities, such as at outdoor markets, can contribute toward the preservation of those languages. Photo by Christy Ash on Unsplash

What Lazarus Effect Means For World Languages

Professor Gil’ad Zuckerman is a freedom fighter for languages. He loves them, he defends them, and as much as he can, he restores them. He takes linguicide seriously, which is the intentional destruction of a language, and may include forcibly removing children from a language group to learn a different language, an officially UN-recognized form of genocide. A native Israeli and expert in Hebrew language revival analysis, Zuckerman fell in love with Australia when he travelled there. He decided that he wanted to do something to help its aboriginal people and their languages. He subsequently founded a field of study called Revivalistics, “which focuses on supporting the survival, revival and reinvigoration of endangered and extinct languages all around the world.” His efforts in Australia are helping bring dead and dying languages back to life.

Zuckerman recognizes that no revitalized dead language will be the same as the original. With this awareness, he promotes flexibility and modernization for revived langauges. He wants the new language to be useful to 21st-century speakers. An arduous task at best and one beset by crippling government bureaucratic missteps at worst, Zuckerman has nonetheless managed to help give a voice to dead aboriginal languages like Barngarla. The revival of dead languages in turn helps reduce suicide in aboriginal communities and preserves the beauty of language diversity. This linguistic preservation helps to right the wrongs of the colonial past that suppressed its use.

World languages, such as those in Australia, benefit from preservation efforts.
Ongoing efforts in Australia to bring dead and dying languages back to life point to the potential for the revitalization of endangered world languages. Photo by Daniele Nabissi on Unsplash

How Enforced Monolingualism May Result In Linguicide

Turkey, a country that lies in Europe and Asia, is careening toward monolingualism. Although once a place of vibrant linguistic diversity, with the creation of the Turkish state in the early 20th century, languages other than Turkish began to suffer. Armenian Christians were in particular affected during the Armenian genocide. During that time, upwards of 1.5 million Armenian Christians were executed or forcibly displaced by the Muslim majority government. In addition, the Kurds, Laz, and Assyrians, among others, have faced government policies aimed at eradicating all non-Turkish identity.

What helps preserve languages most says Gökhan Alptekin, the vice president of the Istanbul-based Laz Cultural Association, “…is family and state policies. If parents speak their native language with their kids, the language will very likely survive throughout generations.” Unfortunately, the Turkish government doesn’t seem to support either. If Turkey does not change directions in the near future, linguicide may be added to genocide in the story of its history.

Balloons lift over a nation with many at-risk world languages.
Despite stunning cultural diversity, Turkey has not taken care to preserve its many languages, instead opting for an enforced monolingualism that may ultimately result in linguicide. Photo by Daniil Vnoutchkov on Unsplash

What Language Plasticity Tells Us About Future

Although many agree that there is a cultural loss when a language is lost, the author of this article argues that all is not lost. According to Maia Ponsonnet, a senior lecturer at the University of Western Australia, language and culture are more fluid and moldable concepts that they may at first appear. She has conducted extensive research into Aboriginal languages in Australia. This research has led her to believe that even when languages die out, the culture does not. Instead, cultural ways of speaking and understanding morph into the new language.

One such example can be found in the old indigenous Dalabon language. Cultural concepts from Dalabon reflect in the post-colonial Criol language. In Dalabon to “feel sorry” and “give” are the same word – “marrbun.” Now, in the new Kriol, to “feel sorry” and “give” are the same word – “sori.” So here, the cultural concept remains, even though the word has changed. Evidently cultures, like people, are highly adaptable. Language, then, can be a vehicle that continues to carry the culture into the future.

Australian Aboriginal communities have seen positive results to language revitalization.
Research into Aboriginal languages in Australia indicates that even when world languages die out, the cultures they capture do not disappear. Instead, cultural blueprints can be carried into new languages. Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Support for World Languages Through Interpreting and Translation

As a trusted leading language service provider, A Foreign Language Service – AFLS provides translation, interpretation, and localization services to clients around the world. We offer services in 400 languages, including high demand ones such as Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, and American Sign Language (ASL). We also provide support in endangered and emerging languages like Basque, Irish Gaelic, and Quechua. In this vital work, we collaborate with a network of 1500-strong passionate, licensed professional translators and interpreters based throughout the world. Our clients include global brands and government agencies, as well as the medical, legal, business, and education communities. At AFLS, we understand the power and importance of language. We know that every language matters. Your language matters. Contact us today for a free quote!

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