Professional Hmong Translation and Linguistic Services
The Hmong (“mung”) are an Asian tribal culture who have lived primarily in the countries of Laos, China, Vietnam and Thailand. For generations, the Hmong had no written language. There were no written texts, no alphabet, and knowledge and culture were passed from generation to generation through spoken language, often in the form of folktales and song.
In the 1950s, Western missionaries worked with advisors to develop a way to write Hmong words using the letters from the French, English and German languages. This was called the Romanized Popular Alphabet, or RPA. The idea behind this was to be able to create a written language that used common Western letters, without having to rely on a lot of elaborate characters. Today, the RMA is the most widely used writing system for Hmong.
There are approximately 200,000 Hmong living in the United States, and their numbers are concentrated in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and California. The total number of speakers worldwide is estimated to be about four million, including those in America.
The two major dialects spoken are known as White Hmong and Green Hmong. While mutually understandable, these two dialects differ somewhat in both lexicon and phonology. The Hmong language is monosyllabic, tonal, with a variety of dialects, and shares some characteristics with several other Asian languages, including Chinese and Vietnamese.
Avantpage has fluent translators ready to translate your English-to-Hmong message with accuracy, cultural sensitivity and consistency. When you are reaching out to the Hmong community through the written word, Avantpage is your cross-cultural “bridge” to this audience.