Translation from English into Muong language: Myth or Fact?

If one day, you receive this request from your client, what would you do? Checking right away with all your current resources? Asking your Vendor Management team to find out potential translators at full speed?

But first, let’s see what this rare combination is.

Muong is the language used by Mường ethnic minority in Vietnam. According to Vietnamese Wikipedia, Mường is the third largest of Vietnam’s 53 minority groups, with an estimated population of 1.3 million (based on the 2009 census and five years of population growth). The Mường people inhabit the mountainous region of northern Vietnam, and even some in the U.S.

So again, is it possible to translate into Muong language?

Our answer: Not really so far, but will be “Yes” soon.

Here go our explanations:

  1. For centuries, Muong language had been a spoken language. It did not exist in written form. If a client said they had translated text in Muong language, we really doubt it.
  2. Building and applying a writing system of Muong language has been a project of the Vietnamese Government for several years. In Feb 2017, the project has completed the first phase in which the official Muong writing system was approved, consisting of 28 letters. The next phase would be composing text book and dictionary with Muong language, provide training for the Mường people on the new writing system.
  3. Since Mường people is a group of ethnic minority people, they merely have their very own Muong language for daily conversations and topics like daily rural life, farming, animals… For topics related to more modern society such as business, politics, technical, legal, they will borrow from Vietnamese (tiếng Kinh). Remember that all Mường people whoever attend school are bilingual: both Vietnamese and Muong language. They learn everything in school in Vietnamese but use Muong language everyday within the family and community.

Therefore, for short, Muong language translation is now ready in theory. But practically, we may need to wait for some more years when it actually comes into life. In the meantime, translation into Vietnamese is definitely a good alternative.

We hope you already have some ideas on this and can provide a quick feedback for your client – just in case J If you still have question, please do not hesitate to let us know at: We will be more than happy to assist!


References (in Vietnamese):

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