Nahuatl (nāhuatl/nawatlahtolli)

Nahuatl is an Uto-Aztecan language spoken by about 1.5 million people in Mexico. The majority of speakers live in central Mexico, particularly in Puebla, Veracruz, Hildago, San Luis Potosi, Guerrero, Mexico (state), El Distrito Federal, Tlaxcala, Morelos and Oaxaca, and also in El Salvador. There are smaller numbers of Nahuatl speakers throughout the rest of Mexico, and in parts of the USA.

There are numerous dialects of Nahuatl, some of which are mutually unintelligible. Most Nahuatl speakers also speak Spanish, with the exception of some of most elderly.

Classical Nahuatl was the language of the Aztec empire and was used as a lingua franca in much of Mesoamerica from the 7th century AD until the Spanish conquest in the 16th century. The modern dialects of Nahuatl spoken in the Valley of Mexico are closest to Classical Nahuatl.

Nahuatl was originally written with a pictographic script which was not a full writing system but instead served as a mnemonic to remind readers of texts they had learnt orally. The script appeared in inscriptions carved in stone and in picture books, many of which the Spanish destroyed.

The Spanish introduced the Latin alphabet to write Nahuatl, and a large amount of prose and poetry was subsequently written. Every since there has been considerable debate about how to spell Nahuatl.

Nahuatl pronunciation (modern orthography)

Nahuatl pronuciation (modern orthography)

Notes

Sample text (Modern Orthography)

Nochi tlacamey uan sihuamey quipiay manoy cuali tlacatisey, titlatepanitaloyquey, yeca monequi cuali ma timohuicacay, ma ma timotlepanitacay.

Sample text (Classical Orthography)

Nochi tlacameh ihuan cihuameh quipiah manoh cualli tlacaticeh, nochi zan ze totlatechpohuiltiliz ihuan titlatepanitalohqueh, yeca monequi cualli ma timohuicacah, ma timoicnelicah, ma timotlazohtlacah ihuan ma timotlepanitacah.

This text was provided by Pierre Sánchez and is written in the "normal way" used by nahuatl-speaking comunities.

Translation

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Information about Nahuatl | Nahuatl phrases | Nahuatl numbers | Tower of Babel in Nahuatl | Nahuatl learning material

Links

Information about Nahuatl
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nahuatl
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nahuatl_orthography
http://www.native-languages.org/nahuatl_guide.htm
http://www-01.sil.org/mexico/nahuatl/00i-nahuatl.htm
http://es.wikibooks.org/wiki/Náhuatl/Información/Sobre_las_ortografías_del_Náhuatl

Online Nahuatl lessons
http://mexica.ohui.net/
http://weber.ucsd.edu/~dkjordan/nahuatl/nahuatllessons/INL-00.html

Nahuatl phrases
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Nahuatl/Common_phrases
http://6thsunridaz.com/basic-nahuatl-phrases-greetings/
http://www.hoanumpoli.org/uploads/Nahuatl_Greetings.pdf

Online Nahuatl dictionaries
http://aulex.org/es-nah/
http://whp.uoregon.edu/dictionaries/nahuatl/
http://es.freelang.net/diccionario/nahuatl.php

Nahuatl Tlahtolkalli (Nahuatl Academy of Language)
http://www.nahuatl.info/nahuatl.htm

Nahuatl Culture
http://www.azteca.net/aztec/nahuatl/

Enigméxico - una librería virtual en donde ofrezco toda clase de documentos históricos en Náhuatl y para aprender el Náhuatl así como también la historia antigua de México y del Perú: http://www.enigmexico.com/

Photos of and information about the Aztec, Maya and Inca peoples
http://mayaincaaztec.com

Uto-Aztecan languages

Comanche, Hopi, O'odham, Nahuatl, Pipil, Shoshone, Tepehuán, Yaqui

Other languages written with the Latin alphabet


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