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General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 16 Jan 2017/9 Deer
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Online Náhuatl magazine
Online Náhuatl magazine
Students and staff linked to IDIEZ in Zacatecas have set up (2015) an exciting new resource online...
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Aztec Language

According to Alejandro de Avila (Flora: The Aztec Herbal), the Mexican government today recognises 30 ‘linguistic variants’ of the ‘Aztec’ language Náhuatl, each of which has to be considered as a distinct language for administrative and educational purposes. Náhuatl is currently spoken by between 1 and 2 million Mexican people, in several states of the country, and is Mexico’s second language after Spanish.

Our first offering is ‘Aztec Voices Across the Centuries’, kindly shared with us by Frances Karttunen, a world expert on Náhuatl: Professor Karttunen gave this as an address at a press conference in March 2005 for the premiere of La Conquista, a pioneering modern opera about the Conquest of Mexico, composed and written by Italian composer Lorenzo Ferrero* with extensive help from Professor Kartunnen, and commissioned for the Prague National Opera. Professor Ferrero’s concept was for the Spaniards to sing in 16th-century Spanish, the Aztecs to sing in Classical Náhuatl, and the character of Doña Marina, the Nahua interpreter for Cortés, to interpret to the opera’s audience what was going on. Moreover, he allowed the contrasting rhythms of the two languages (Spanish/Náhuatl) to ‘drive’ the opera’s music in very different directions...

* Note that we have links to two atmospheric Youtube music videos by Lorenzo Ferrero in our Spanish Conquest section (in ‘The Road Cortés followed to reach Tenochtitlan’).

NOTE 1: For useful extra links to online resources on Náhuatl, both Classical and modern, click on ‘Introductory Náhuatl Guide’ (right).

NOTE 2: For help in translating individual words or phrases into Náhuatl, see the growing section in ‘Aztec Sayings’ (right). This service has been developed with the help of the IDIEZ team in Zacatecas, Mexico (link in our Aztec Links pages).

The Latin American Institute at UCLA (USA) offers regular Nahuatl courses

Nahuatl of Veracruz amongst Mexico’s languages most at risk of extinction; in Spanish

Aztec LanguageProverbs

and Pronunciations

Aztec Surnames: a Modern Link to a Proud HertiageNahuatl surnames from Cholula

that still exist from Aztec times

{italicNomen est omen:} Pre-Hispanic Nahua Naming PatternsA successful ancestor’s name could enhance

their descendants’ fortune...

First London Náhuatl Study Day and WorkshopsThe very first London Náhuatl

Study Day and Workshops...

Want to LEARN Náhuatl?Most recommended book

for learning Náhuatl...

Aztec Placenames: Then and NowAztec place names give us insight

into the Mexica people and their lives...

‘Aztec Voices Across the Centuries’How has today’s Náhuatl changed

from Classical Náhuatl?

Náhuatl Borrowings from SpanishAfter the Conquest the Mexica

called horses ‘super-deer’...

‘Diphrases’ or couplets in NáhuatlThe Aztecs took ‘double-entendre’

to a whole new level of meaning...

Introductory Náhuatl Guide‘When in Rome...’

Download a basic Náhuatl guide

Aztec PronunciationAncient language, modern soundwaves

- how to pronounce some of the commonest words

Náhuatl greeting: Video 1: FaviolaLearn from two young locals

how to say Hello in Náhuatl

Aztec SayingsThe Aztecs were nothing if not

‘proverbial’ speakers...