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The Nahuatl language is a language spoken by 1.5 million people, mostly in Mexico.[1]

History[change | change source]

Nahuatl has existed since the 7th century CE.[2]

The first people to speak Nahuatl were indigenous peoples in central Mexico.[2] The Aztecs[1] and the Toltecs spoke an early form of Nahuatl.

The people of Teotihuacan may have spoken Nahuatl.[source?]

Nahuatl has changed since the end of the Aztec Empire. Over time, many different dialects of Nahuatl have developed. Today, people who speak different Nahuatl dialects do not always understand each other.

The names "Mexico," "Guatemala," and "Nicaragua" come from Nahuatl words.

Use of Nahuatl today[change | change source]

Today, most people who speak Nahuatl live in central Mexico. A few live in other parts of Mexico, or in the United States.[1]

Nahuatl is one of the official languages of Mexico.[3] However, today, most people who speak Nahuatl also speak Spanish.[1]

Many phrases that are unique to Mexican Spanish come from Nahuatl, according to John Lipski. (These unique phrases are called "Mexicanisms.") One example is ándale, which often means "let's go." Another example is the word Bueno?, which many Spanish speakers use when they answer the telephone.[4]

Nahuatl words in English[change | change source]

Some English words from Nahuatl origin are:[5][a]

Related pages[change | change source]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. See also the English Wiktionary, which lists the origins of each of these words.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Ager, Simon (2016). "Nahuatl (nāhuatl/nawatlahtolli)". Omniglot. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Suárez, Jorge A. (1983). The Mesoamerian Indian Languages. Cambridge Language Surveys. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 149. ISBN 0-521-22834-4. OCLC 8034800.
  3. IRIN, [Iniciativa para la Recuperación del Idioma Náhuat] (2004). "IRIN-International homepage". The Nawat Language Recovery Initiative. IRIN. Archived from the original on 20 May 2010. Retrieved 31 March 2008.
  4. Lipski, John M. (2008). Varieties of Spanish in the United States. Georgetown University Press. pp. 88–89. ISBN 978-1589016514.
  5. "Nahuatl Borrowings in Mexican Spanish Vocabulary". Nahuatl Culture. The Azteca Web Page. Retrieved May 27, 2016.