Nahuatl thousands of years thanks to its

Nahuatl is a powerful language that has been spoken by a growing number of peoples as a form of effective communication. This language has survived thousands of years thanks to its strong roots, speakers, and dialects. With origins dating back to 700 AD, one must wonder how a language, not as well known as others, has stood the test of time. It didn’t hurt that it was invented by arguably one of the greatest civilizations of the mesoamerican tribes.

The Aztec’s way of life was far more advanced than other peoples at this point in time, their worship of their gods was historic, and they were outstandingly brilliant inventors. They get much credit for their building of a working sewage system and amazing farms called “Chinampas”, however, they created something just as brilliant that is still being used, only slightly altered by modern ways: The language of Nahuatl. The language originated from being written as pictographs, obviously being voiced in other ways. The pictographs weren’t necessarily an attempt at written language, but more for the purpose of history and storytelling. When the Spanish came to take over mesoamerican tribes, they brought with them the latin alphabet. They forced the Aztecs to learn how to write their language in a way that was easier for the spanish to understand, while burning hundreds of thousands of books the aztecs had “written” and artifacts of great importance to them. This injustice has made it almost entirely impossible to know what the first written documents of Nahuatl may have been like.

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However, the language in its modern form is still being spoken today. The language can be learned by anyone, with an alphabet that can be learned based off of english/spanish letters. Nahuatl AlphabetThe top row is the what it would be in the spanish alphabet, second row is pronunciation, and bottom row is how the letter is written in nahuatl.

” (Sánchez)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.” (Sánchez)Nahuatl is spoken by about 1.5 million people 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 by about 1.5 million people. There are smaller numbers of Nahuatl speakers throughout the rest of Mexico, and in parts of the USA. Over the years, it has changed slightly, only adopting new words borrowed from other languages as old words were forgotten.

There are different dialects that developed and changed depending on where it is spoken, but the modern dialects of nahuatl spoken in the valley of mexico are the most similar to the oldest remnants of the language.Aztecs were originally known as “mexica”, but changed during the Spanish colonization into “aztec.” Some Nahuatl speakers worked alongside the Spanish during their colonization and destruction of the Aztec culture. These people, who came from branches of Aztec, learned spanish and acted as translators between the two groups. They (forced) taught the remaining Aztecs how to transcribe their beloved language using the Latin alphabet, given to them by the Spanish.

The Aztecs had to learn this, and adopt spanish words into their speech, in order to prevent wrath from the Spanish who didn’t want to learn their language, thinking such a primitive language was below them. However, they did adopt some words from Nahuatl into spanish (then into english), including “avocado”, “chayote”, “chili”, “chocolate”, “atlatl”, “coyote”, “peyote”, “axolotl”, and “tomato”.Nahuatl, in its original form, was extremely convoluted and it was truly meant to be spoken, not written, creating problems with translation between verbal and written forms. All of the Aztec’s historical texts were written in the earliest version of Nahuatl, which was pictographic. They were able to “pronounce” the images by describing what was happening. For instance, a pictograph of a body in water may have meant “to swim.

” The Aztecs used pictures and symbols for the entirety of their alphabet and vocabulary. According to Legends and Chronicles, “Stories and records that used these pictographs were called codices. This system had various ways to display the language, logo grams were used for words, pictures used as mnemonics and logo grams were used for sound. The writing was done by the Aztec who knew how to read them, which would be the Aztec priests and the scribes.

These Aztecs were the ones who wrote about their history, the Aztec world and their religious ceremonies. Typically the priests and scribes wrote with charcoal and used minerals, vegetables, shells and insects for colour, and they often etched in stone too.”The spread of this language went with the establishment of the Aztecs/Mexica, spreading with the empire as it grew. Nearly every tribe and city under the Mexica rule knew the language in one way or another, and the language stayed long after the empire ended. It is the most commonly spoken mesoamerican language in Mexico still to this day. The official database for mexican languages, Don Quijote, said that “Nahuatl is without question the most widely spoken indigenous language in Mexico, with nearly one and a half million Mexican speakers that use it for their daily communication.

” Belonging to the Uto-Azteca family, Nahuatl has existed since at least the 7th century AD. Because of the expansion of the Toltec empire, a branch of aztec that spoke a form of Nahuatl, Nahuatl became Mesoamerica’s lingua franca. The expansion of the Aztec Empire, beginning in the 8th century and lasting until its fall in the 16th, confirmed this language’s position as the most important in the region. After the Aztec’s use (and expansion) of Nahuatl, it is now known as the language of Mexico. According to Don Quijote, “With the arrival of the Spanish, Nahuatl’s widespread use began to decrease when the conquistadors imposed Spanish as the dominant language. The desire to evangelize the indigenous people however, lead many clergymen to use Nahuatl as a way to form a closer relationship with them. In 1570, King Felipe II decreed that Nahuatl be the language of the native people of New Spain, to promote more effective communication.

In 1696 however, Carlos II established Spanish as the exclusive language for official matters.” This decreased the language’s popularity even more, but native Nahuatl speakers still taught it to their children in order to further one of the few things left of their culture. The Aztec Codices were essentially long books written on strips of paper, the Aztecs took great pride in them and carefully folded each Codice into a tube with wood covering each end. The 20 centimetre by 50 meter tree bark or deerskin paper sheets were written on both sides and can be read from top to bottom or from left to right. These codices serve as a basis for most of the study about the Ancient Aztec Empire, and feature a mix of images and Aztec writing. The Codices hold all kinds of information about the Aztec’s history, from religion and rituals to their daily routines and way of living.


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