The Mixtecan languages are a group of closely Oto-Manguean languages spoken by about half a million people in the Mexican states of Oaxaca, Puebla and Guerrero, and in California in the USA.
The name Mixtec is a Nahuatl word meaning 'cloud' or 'inhabitant of place of'. The native name for the language means "word of the rain", and is Tu'un Sávi in one variety of Mixtec, and Dà'àn Dávi in another.
The Mixtecs developed their own logographic writing system during the Post-Classic period in Mesoamerican history, from about 1,000 BC, and used it to write genealogy, history and myths until 1522, when they were conquered by the Spanish, who destroyed many of the Mixtec codices.
Spanish missionaries devised various ways to write Mixtecan languages with the Latin alphabets.
This is the alphabet adopted by the Academy of the Mixtec Language and later by the Secretariat of Public Education (SEP).
Download an alphabet chart for Mixtec (Excel)
An introduction to the Mixtec alphabet (in Mixtec)
Taka ma ñayi nguiakoi ñayivi ñatu na ja'a tnu'u ja kusa'a ndeva'ña-i, su'uva kajito va'aña-i, yuka ku ja jiniñu'u ja kukototna-i.
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 Mixtec languages
Chinanteco, Chatino, Chiquihuitlán Mazatec, Coatzospan Mixtec, Jalapa Mazatec, Mazahua, Mazatec, Mixtec, Otomi, Otomi (Acazulco), Otomi (Sierra), Otomi (Temoaya), Tlapanec, Triqui (Chicahuaxtla), Triqui (Copala), Triqui (San Martín Itunyos), Triqui (Santo Domingo del Estero), Zapotec (Aloápam), Zapotec (Choápam), Zapotec (Güilá), Zapotec (Isthmus), Zapotec (Miahuatlán), Zapotec (Rincón), Zapotec (San Dionisio Ocotepec), Zapotec (Zoogocho)
Languages written with the Latin alphabet
Page last modified: 08.02.23
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