Tlapanec (Me̱ꞌpha̱a̱)

Tlapanec is an Oto-Manguean language spoken in the state of Guerrero in southern Mexico. In 2010 there were about 120,000 speakers of Tlapanec, who call their language Me̱ꞌpha̱a̱ [meʔpʰaː].

There are several different varieties of Tlapanec, which are classified in some sources as separate languages, each of which has a number of dialects. According to Ethnologue and Wikipedia, there are four Tlapanec languages: Acatpec, Azoyú, Malinaltepec and Tlacoapa.

In 2005 Acatepec had 40,200 speakers, Azoyú had 590 speakers in 2000. Malinaltepec had 37,500 speakers in 2000, and Tlacoapa had 7,500 speakers in 2005 [source]

The Mexican Instituto Nacional de Lenguas Indígenas officially recognises nine Tlapanec languages: the ones listed above, plus Nancintla, Teocuitlapa, Zapotitlán Tablas, Huitzapula and Zilacayotitlán.

Malinaltepec is used on one local radio station in Guerrero, and also in literature and local government.

Tlapanec alphabet and pronunciation

Tlapanec alphabet and pronunciation


Download an alphabet chart for Tlapanec (Excel)

Sample text

Nákhí rí ginii ne’ne Ana̱’ló’ mikhu jma̱á ju̱ba̱’. Mbá nikhuáa kri̱ga̱ ju̱ba̱’, nda̱a̱ dríga̱, jamí kri̱ga̱ jínuune̱. I̱ndo̱ó Xu̱u’ Ana̱’ló’ ngrámuu na̱ke̱e̱ na̱’kha̱a̱ inuu iya. Ni’thán Ana̱’ló’: “A̱kujmaa agu”. Jngó xkua’nii niríga̱ agu rí nambi’i.


In the beginning God created heaven and earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep water. The spirit of God was hovering over the water. Then God said, "Let there be light!" So there was light.

Source: Language Museum

Sample video in Tlapanec


Information about Tlapanec languagesèque

Oto-Manguean 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: 23.04.21


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