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Classic Nahuatl (Mexicahtlahtolli, Aztec)

Nahuatl (Nāhuatlahtōlli, Mexicatlatolli, Mexicano)

Spoken in

speaker 1.5 million
  • Uto-Aztec languages
    Southern uto-Aztec languages
    Nahua languages ​​(Nahuan)
    General Aztec
Official status
Official language in National language in MexicoMexicoMexico 
Language codes
ISO 639 -1


ISO 639 -2


Text example for Nahuatl: Tablet in Teotihuacán

Nahuatl ([ ˈnaːwatɬ ] Classical Nahuatl , also known as Aztec or Mexicahtlahtolli , hence the outdated German name: Mexican ) is a variant of the Nahuatl language, which in pre-Hispanic times in the Valley of Mexico (also Anahuac Valley - 'land between the waters' ) was spoken by Aztecs and related Nahua peoples ( Acolhua , Huexotzinca , Tepaneks , Tlaxcalteks , Toltecs and others). With the rise of the Aztec Triple Alliance to a hegemonic power in the 15th and 16th centuries, Classical Nahuatl established itself as the lingua franca in central Mexico.

In the centuries after the Conquista , Classical Nahua was largely superseded by Spanish and developed into several dialects of today's modern Nahuatl (also Nawatl or Nāhuatlahtōlli ). However, some modern Nahuatl dialects that were less exposed to the influence of Spanish are closer to the other Nahuatl languages ​​of the 16th century. The modern Nahuatl (today mostly Mexicatlatolli or Mexicano , or, depending on the dialect, also Nahuat , Nawat or Nahua ) is spoken today by various Nahua ethnicities, especially in the Mexican states of Puebla , Veracruz , Hidalgo and Guerrero .

Today about 1.5 million speakers ( Nahua ) is the most widely spoken indigenous language North and Central America and belongs to the Southern branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family (the other languages of this group as Hopi or Huichol are in northern Mexico and the United States settled which is confirmed by linguistic data that Aztec historiography has handed down its origin from the north . Most Nahuas grew up bilingual with Spanish and Nahuatl.

Classification of the language and Nahua dialects

The Nahuatl , an agglutinating and polysynthetic language, is often referred to by its speakers as Mexicatlatolli or Mexicano ("Mexican") and is divided into many dialects due to the extensive language area (often not connected), many of which are difficult to understand among each other.

A variant of the classical Nahuatl (Mexicahtlahtolli) is spoken in Xochimilco and Milpa Alta (in Mexico City ). Other important dialect variants are those of the high valley of Puebla - Tlaxcala , of Morelos in the west of the Nahua zone and the so-called "t" dialects (Nawat) in the south of Veracruz . SIL International divides Nahuatl into 29 individual languages ​​(including Nawat (Pipil) in El Salvador ).

The best known variant is the Classical Nahuatl (Mexicahtlahtolli), which was also used in the records of the first missionaries. One theory says that Classical Nahuatl was spoken by the upper strata of different dialect groups at the time of the conquest of Mexico (and thus would be roughly comparable to the function of standard German in the German-speaking area). Most of the literature on and about Nahuatl refers to Classical Nahuatl.

Structure of the Nahuatl languages

  • Nahuatl languages
    • Pochuteco (Pochutla) †
    • Aztec
      • Classical Nahuatl (medieval form of speech) †
      • Modern Nahuatl, Mexicano
        • Central Nahuatl
        • Peripheral Nahuatl
          • West Nahuatl
            • West Coast Nahuatl
            • Durango / Nayarit-Nahuatl
          • East Nahuatl
          • Huasteca-Nahuatl

Dialects of modern Nahuatl or Mexicano

Dialects of modern Nahuatl or Mexicano with ISO-639-3 code, sorted according to the number of speakers

(Name [ISO subgroup code] - region ~ approximate number of speakers)
  • Eastern Huasteca [nhe] - Hidalgo, Western Veracruz, Northern Puebla ~ 450,000
  • Western Huasteca [nhw] - San Luis Potosí, Western Hidalgo ~ 450,000
  • Guerrero [ngu] - Guerrero ~ 200,000
  • Orizaba [nlv] - Central Veracruz ~ 140,000
  • Southeastern Puebla [nhs] - Southeast Puebla ~ 135,000
  • Highland Puebla [azz] - Puebla Highlands ~ 125,000
  • Northern Puebla [ncj] - Northern Puebla ~ 66,000
  • Central [nhn] - Tlaxcala, Puebla ~ 50,000
  • Isthmus-Mecayapan [nhx] - Southern Veracruz ~ 20,000
  • Central Puebla [ncx] - Central Puebla ~ 18,000
  • Morelos [nhm] - Morelos ~ 15,000
  • Northern Oaxaca [nhy] - Northwestern Oaxaca, Southeastern Puebla ~ 10,000
  • Huaxcaleca [nhq] - Puebla ~ 7,000
  • Isthmus-Pajapan [nhp] - Southern Veracruz ~ 7,000
  • Isthmus Cosoleacaque [nhk] - Northwestern Coastal Chiapas, Southern Veracruz ~ 5,500
  • Tetelcingo [nhg] - Morelos ~ 3,500
  • Michoacan [ncl] - Michoacan ~ 3,000
  • Santa María de la Alta [nhz] - Northwest Puebla ~ 3,000
  • Tenango [nhi] - Northern Puebla ~ 2,000
  • Tlamacazapa [nuz] - Morelos ~ 1,500
  • Coatepec [naz] - Southwestern México State, Northwestern Guerrero ~ 1,500
  • Durango [nln] - Southern Durango ~ 1,000
  • Ometepec [nht] - Southern Guerrero, Western Oaxaca ~ 500
  • Temascaltepec [nhv] - Southwestern México State ~ 300
  • Tlalitzlipa [nhj] - Puebla ~ 100
  • Nawat, Pipil [ppl] - El Salvador ~ 100
  • Tabasco [nhc] - Tabasco ~ 30

Language history

In the pre-Hispanic times, Classical Nahuatl (Mexicahtlahtolli) was the most important language in contemporary Mexico. In addition to the Mayathan of the Maya of Yucatán , which served as the written and lingua franca of the Maya, Nahuatl was the lingua franca of Mesoamerica and often the business language within the regions. Even among the elite of the Quiché empire in today's Guatemala , classic Nahuatl was a well-known means of communication.

The Aztecs knew a picture script ( pictograms and ideograms ), supplemented by some syllable equivalents based on the Nahuatl pronunciation, with which they e.g. B. recorded family trees, astronomical dates and tribute lists. However, the Aztec pictorial writing was nowhere near as flexible as the Maya writing .

The Spanish destroyed most of the Aztec manuscripts. For the Classical Nahuatl (Mexicahtlahtolli) they introduced the Latin alphabet, with the help of which a large amount of Nahuatl literature (prose and poetry) was recorded in the 16th century, far more than in any other indigenous language in America. The Classical Nahuatl of the Aztecs is extensively documented in the bilingual encyclopedic work Historia general de las cosas de Nueva España by the Spanish missionary Bernardino de Sahagún . Likewise, many poems have survived that are attributed to the "poet king" of Texcoco , Nezahualcóyotl .

The status of the Classical Nahuatl (Mexicahtlahtolli) as a general lingua franca was used by the Spaniards during the colonial period and maintained until the 18th century . Only after Mexico gained independence in the 19th century did Spanish establish itself as the national and official language, and Classical Nahuatl quickly lost its importance.

Sociolinguistic situation today

Today's Nahuatl ( Mexicatlatolli or Mexicano ) is the most widely spoken indigenous language in Mexico . The total number of Nahuatl speakers is increasing, but less than the total population of Mexico. According to the 2000 census across Mexico, Nahuatl was spoken by 1,448,936 people aged 5+ - 1.7% of Mexicans aged 5+ - compared to 1,544,968 in 2010, but only 1.5% of the population. Of these, 1,348,255 (87.27%) also spoke Spanish. 1,586,884 Mexicans ages 3 and up said they speak Nahuatl in 2010. 177,666 children between the ages of 3 and 9 spoke Nahuatl, which is 11.20% of all Nahuatl speakers aged 3 and over, while 14.71% of the total population of Mexico aged 3 to 9 years and older. The lower proportion of children in the total number of speakers is an expression of the fact that the importance of today's modern Nahuatl ( Mexicatlatolli or Mexicano ) is declining on a national scale . Nahuatl is typically only used for local communication (i.e., within the speaker's home parish). In addition, in many areas there is a tendency to speak only Spanish with children in order to give them a better chance of success in school.

Nahuatl is spoken in different states of Mexico , mainly in Puebla , Veracruz , Hidalgo , Guerrero , San Luis Potosí , Mexico City (Distrito Federal), Tlaxcala , Morelos , México , but also in Oaxaca , Jalisco and Michoacán .

Number of Nahuatl speakers aged five and over (2010: 3 years and over) in the various states (Source: INEGI 2010: Censo de Población y Vievienda 2010; INEGI, 2000; INEGI, 1980; Horcasitas de Barro & Crespo 1979)

Distribution area of ​​the Nahuatl in Mexico
Distribution of Nahuatl speakers per state
State Speaker 2010 Share 2010 Speaker 2000 Share 2000 Speaker 1980 Speaker 1970
Puebla 447.797 8.31% 416,968 8.21% 369,678 266.181
Veracruz 355.785 4.97% 338.324 4.90% 347,597 199,435
Hidalgo 245.153 9.83% 221,684 9.92% 177.902 115,359
Guerrero 170,622 5.40% 136,681 4.44% 128.192 75,861
San Luis Potosí 141,326 5.85% 138,523 6.02% 127.319 72,495
Federal District 33,796 0.41% 37,450 0.44% 83.064 15,039
Tlaxcala 23,402 2.13% 23,737 2.47% 26,689 18,404
Morelos 19,509 1.17% 18,656 1.20% 24,067 14,787
Mexico (state) 66,670 0.47% 55,802 0.43% 22,689 10,366
Mexico as a whole 1,586,884 1.51% 1,448,936 1.73% 1,376,026 799.394

The development of the Nahuatl-speaking population varies greatly from region to region. While the language is still very lively in remote areas (Sierra de Puebla, San Luis Potosí, Hidalgo, Guerrero) and the population is growing rapidly, the number of speakers is in the former center of the language area (Mexico City and State, Tlaxcala, Morelos, Central -Puebla) is mostly in decline and the language has already died out in large areas. So were z. B. In the municipality of San Jerónimo Amanalco ( Municipio Texcoco ) in 1960 94% of the population was bilingual in Nahuatl Spanish, while in 2000 it was only 27% and the rest were monolingual Spanish. The increase in the number of speakers in the state of Mexico can only be explained by the strong immigration to the suburbs of the capital. The main reason for the decline in the language is a hostile, racist environment towards indigenous languages, on the basis of which Nahuas deny their language and no longer convey it to their children in order not to be insulted as "Indians".

Nahuatl dialects were also spoken in the states of Nayarit , Colima , Jalisco, and Tabasco well into the twentieth century .

Entrance to Milpa Alta (San Pedro Atocpan) with bilingual inscription ("Welcome")

Only recently has Nahuatl (like some other indigenous languages ​​of Mexico) been used in some schools with Nahuatl-speaking children in the intercultural bilingual education (Educación Intercultural Bilingüe) EIB . In places, the introduction of the EIB to regain or rescue the language is also being planned, for example in the south of the Federal District , where it is now almost exclusively spoken by the elderly (Milpa Alta, Tlalpan, Xochimilco, Tláhuac). On the other hand, there is a different approach in which Nahuatl is conveyed to small children (whose parents can no longer speak Nahuatl) outside of the classic school context through native speakers in spoken form, in kindergarten or early elementary school age. In the village of Santa Ana Tlacotenco, part of Milpa Alta, free language courses (for speaking the Nahuatl) are offered for adults. However, the longstanding racism against Nahuatl-speaking people has often also led parents to reject Nahuatl lessons for their children and see the extinction of their language as inevitable in order to prevent future discrimination. In many cases, there is little interest among teachers and school administrators in the Nahuatl. In some places, on the other hand, local initiatives are fighting against the lack of interest of the authorities in order to implement school programs to save the endangered language. B. in San Jerónimo Amanalco. Here, in the last village of the municipality of Texcoco , where children also speak Nahuatl, the first bilingual primary school in Mexico was founded in 1985 through local involvement. However, local demands for a bilingual secondary school have so far been unsuccessful. In the municipality of Texcoco, there are now bilingual lessons at two primary schools in Santa Catarina del Monte, where there are only a few Nahuatl speakers. Essential for the preservation of the language is the ethnic identity associated with a positive assessment of Nahuatl, as it is expressed in a television interview with a school representative from San Jerónimo Amanalco, who strongly rejects the term “Indio” (“You have to be Indians in India looking ”) and emphasized that his village was“ 100% ” Nahuatlaca , Mexicanos and thus also indigenous people .

Since 2003 , Nahuatl has been recognized as the “national language” in Mexico together with 61 other indigenous languages and the state is obliged to promote it.

The Mayor of Mexico City , Marcelo Ebrard , announced in 2007 that Nahuatl would be a compulsory subject for all primary school students from the 2008/2009 school year. Saving the Nahuatl is a public task and not just a matter for certain sections of society. Ebrard also wants all public employees in Mexico City to learn Nahuatl.


The Nahuatl has 15 consonantic and five short and five long vowel phonemes.

Nouns that end in "-tl" are typical of Nahuatl, such as Popocatepetl , Axolotl , Quetzalcoatl , Xocolatl (cocoa drink, drinking chocolate ), Tomatl ( tomato ), Ahuacatl ( avocado ) or Metl (agave), where the "-tl ”Has become“ l ”or“ t ”in many modern dialects.


  labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosives p t   k  /  ʔ
Fricatives   s ʃ    
Affricates      /  ts    
Approximants w l j    
Nasals m n      


  Front tongue Central tongue Back tongue
long short long short long short
high i u
medium e O O
low a


Each Nahuatl word is stressed on the penultimate syllable. The only exception is the vocative , which is stressed on the last syllable.

An example of pronunciation:

Colhua Mēxihcah - [ ˈkolwa meːˈʃiʔkaʔ ]

Grammar, syntax

Nahuatl is an agglutinating , polysynthetic language with variable sentence order that can fluctuate between VSO , VOS and SVO .

A word within a Nahuatl sentence is usually composed of one or more prefixes , the often expanded word stem and one or more suffixes . The conjugation is based not only on the subject , but - similar to, for example, Hungarian or Quechua - also on the object .
Example: Nimitzittaz. - “I will see you.” In Nahuatl, this sentence consists of a single word, composed of the root itta (“see”), the prefix or prefix subject ni (“I”), the prefix object of the 2nd person mitz (“you “) And the suffix z (future).

By joining several stems and affixes together , very long words can be formed, which in European languages ​​are expressed by long sentences with many words. For example, nehualmoyecastemojmolunijtzinutinemisquiöni (Tetelcingo-Nahuatl) means: "You honorable people could have come and poked your noses so that they bleed, but in fact you didn't". Because of these long words and some sound combinations that are unfamiliar to Europeans (especially the very common tl ), the language was and is often referred to as "unpronounceable". However, this is due to the ignorance of a different, non-Indo-European language concept.

An important characteristic of Nahuatl is the distinction between "movable" and "immobile" nouns . "Movable" nouns refer to people, animals and some other terms. All other nouns are "immobile" and have no grammatical plural . The plural can only be expressed by adding numerals or the word huel ("a lot"), e.g. B. huel mitl ("arrows" or literally "a lot of arrow").

The plural ending can be very different, with eight different endings.

Singular Plural example Meanings
-tli, -li, -in -tin macehualli - macehualtin Peasant - peasant
-tl -meh tlacatl - tlacameh Human - human
-e -equeh
-hua -huaqueh
-tzintli -tzitzintin
-tzin -tzitzin
-tontli -totontin
-volume - dead

Some words lose the singular ending when forming the plural, but then double the first syllable, such as ticitl (“doctor, healer”), titici (“doctors”). For some words, the ending is combined with the doubling, such as citlalin ("star"), cicitlaltin ("star"). Many words in -tl that refer to people use the ending -h instead, such as Mexicatl ("Mexicans"), Mexicah .

Different forms can occur in the dialects. For example, instead of the regular plural of calli ("house"): caltin ("houses"), the variant calmeh appears .

Instead of auxiliary verbs and modal verbs , nouns and adjectives are conjugated like verbs in Nahuatl . In the third person ( singular and plural ) the noun remains unchanged. Example:
pilli (prince, nobleman)
nipilli - I am a prince (literally "I prince")
tipilli - you are a prince ("you prince")
pilli - he is a prince ("he prince")
tipipiltin - we are princes ("We princes")
anpipiltin - you are princes ("you princes")
pipiltin - you are princes ("they princes")

Many place names in Mexico end in -co , -pan or -tlan , place-indicating endings ( locative suffixes ) of Nahuatl. The ending -tzinco , now mostly in place names -cingo written is from the Nahuatl affixes -tzin (respect form) and -co composed. The ending -tenanco (also -tenango ) consists of the noun tenāmitl , city wall, and the locative suffix -co , referring to a place that was once fortified. A formation from the affixes or roots te- (possessive), nantli (mother) and -co (locative) is not possible because of the necessary position of the possessive pronoun at the beginning of the word. The interpretation that these place names refer to ancient goddesses or the Virgin Mary is therefore not tenable.

The original numerals of Nahuatl are consistently based on a system of twenty , as in all languages ​​of Mesoamerica . Nowadays, numerals are mostly forgotten from 21 or even from four or five, so that even monolinguals usually count on Spanish. The Nahuatl names for the numerals from 1 to 10:

  • 1 (ce)
  • 2 (ome)
  • 3 (eyi, yei)
  • 4 (nahui)
  • 5 (macuilli)
  • 6 (chicuazen)
  • 7 (chicome)
  • 8 (chicueye)
  • 9 (chicnahui)
  • 10 (matlactli)


To this day, Nahuatl is usually written in the spelling based on Spanish spelling used by the early missionaries (including Bernardino de Sahagún ). This notation can also be found in the Nahuatl Wikipedia, supplemented by the macron (line above the vowels to indicate lengths). The sound value of the following letters differs from the IPA symbols shown above. This roughly corresponds to the sound value they had in Spanish in the 16th century:

Sound value Franciscans
(including Sahagún)
(Carochi / Paredes)
ʃ x x
kʷa qua qua gua
ke , ki que que
se , si ce, ci ce, ci
k c c
ts tz tz ţ
ch ch
tl tl
w u, v hu / uh
ʔ (saltillo) mostly not marked h / â, ê, î, ô

There are attempts to enforce a spelling that is more in line with Aztec phonology and independent of Spanish. A corresponding orthography was decided by the Ministry of Public Education ( Secretaría de Educación Pública , SEP) in order to use it in intercultural bilingual education in schools. The differences concern the sounds / k /, / s / and / w / as well as the saltillo:

This new orthography is also used by SIL International in missionary work in some areas, while SIL uses Spanish-based spellings elsewhere.

Hispanization and Indigenisms

Influence of Spanish on the Nahuatl

In the course of the colonial period, the Classical Nahuatl (Mexicahtlahtolli) changed considerably due to the increasing influence of Spanish , until it changed into today's modern Nahuatl dialects. On the one hand, the Conquista ended the tradition of calmecac, in which the Aztec elite (nobles to be priests, strategists and leaders) were educated, an education that also included rhetoric and the cultivation of oral tradition (huehuetlahtolli) .

The present-day Nahuatl dialects ( Mexicatlatolli or Mexicano ) therefore differ significantly from the Mexicahtlahtolli (Classical Nahua) of the pre-Hispanic era, especially with regard to the vocabulary:

  • Simplified morphology (e.g. plural formation)
  • Spanish loan words (e.g. numbers, political, religious and mechanical, technical terms)
  • Literal back translations from Spanish (e.g. greetings, times of day)
  • Syntax (sentence structure based on Spanish)

An everyday farewell greeting among Nahuatl speakers is hasta moxtla, made up of the Spanish hasta “bis” and Nahuatl moxtla “tomorrow”. Ancient Mexican curses are practically forgotten by the influence of the Catholic Church; Spanish curses are also common among monolingual Nahuatl speakers.

Against the tendency of Hispanization , however, there have also been efforts to consciously develop Nahuatl further through neologisms (e.g. nenitepozmecatlahtoa “I am talking on the phone”, literally speaking with the iron wire).

Spanish loanwords from the Nahuatl

Today's Mexican Spanish as well as Spanish in Guatemala (partly also Honduras and El Salvador) have many indigenisms, mostly from the Nahuatl as well as from the various Mayan languages . In particular nouns (names of places, objects, animals and plants) were adopted from the Nahuatl, such as B.

Place names:

  • Acapulco (city and port on the Pacific ): acatl-pul-co ("place of the big rushes")
  • Apatzingán (town in Michoacán): apatzincan ("place with small rivers") ← apan (river) + tzin (diminutive) + can (place)
  • Chichicastenango (also: Santo Tomás Chichicastenango , a city in the highlands of Guatemala): Tzitzicaztenanco
  • Coyoacán (district of Mexico City ): coyohuacan ("place where there are many coyotes ")
  • Guatemala (state in Central America and its capital): Cuauhtemallan ("land of trees")
  • Popocatépetl (second highest volcano in North America and the second highest mountain in Mexico): Popōcatepētl ("heavily smoking mountain")
  • Quetzaltenango (second largest city in Guatemala and capital of the department of the same name ): Quetzaltenango
  • Tequila (small town in Jalisco, famous for the schnapps of the same name ): Tequillan (derived from Tecuila - "place of tribute")
  • Xalapa (capital of Veracruz ): xalapan ("On the sandy river")
  • Xochimilco (district of Mexico City ): ("Place where flowers are born")


  • Chapopote ( asphalt (pitch) , spontaneously leaking oil): God Tzaucpopochtli ( Tzacutli - "paste" and Popochtli - "perfume")
  • Chicle ( chewing gum raw material ): tzictlitzicoa ("stick")
  • Chipote (bump): chipotl
  • Comal (tortilla pan): comalli

Animals (fauna):

  • Guajolote ( turkey ): huey-xolotl ("big buffoon ")
  • Tecolote ( eagle owl ): tecolotl
  • Zopilote ( black vulture ): tzopilotl
  • Ajolote ( Axolotl ): in Nahuatl āxōlōtl, atl (water) and Xolotl (an Aztec god) and means something like "water monster"

Plants (flora):


  • Chocolate: ( chocolate ): xocóatl or xocólatl, xócoc 'bitter', atl 'water'; so 'bitter water' or 'cocoa water'
  • Atole (Mexican Spanish, otherwise: Atol) (drink made from cornmeal and milk / water): atolli ("diluted", equivalent to atl - "water" and tol , a derogatory diminutive)
  • Chipotle (also: Chilpotle) ​​(smoked jalapeños ): chilpoctli ("smoked jalapeño")
  • Guacamole (in part: Guacamol) (a Avocado - Dip ): ahuacamolli ( "avocado sauce")
  • Tapanco (Mexican Spanish, otherwise: Tabango) ( attic ): tlapantli
  • Tamale (or tamal) (dish consisting of masa ( corn dough ) or a corn dough mixture of flour, water and lard): tamalli ("wrapped")

In the standard Spanish language, there are around 1,500 words that come from the Nahuatl, of which only around 200 are used in everyday life. It is noteworthy that the Tagalog , the most important language in the Philippines , borrowed around 250 words from the Nahuatl. This is attributed to the once important trade relations between the two Spanish colonies of Mexico ( New Spain ) and the Philippines.

German loan words from the Nahuatl

Through the teaching of Spanish, German also has loan words from the Nahuatl, such as B. Avocado ( aguacate in Mexico, from ahuacatl - in the 50s they were still called "egg fruits" because ahuacatl also means " testicles "), chilli (chilli), coyote (coyotl), ocelot (ocelotl), chocolate (xocolatl ), Cocoa ( cacahuatl, actually from a Mayan language), tomato (tomatl) and axolotl .

Text example

Nican i'cuiliuhtica in itla'tollo in ompa huallaque 'in Mexi'ca' in itocayo'can Aztlan. Ca anepantla 'in ompa hualehuaque' ca nauh calpoltin. Auh inic huallamacehuaya acaltica, in quihualtemaya in imacxoyauh. In oncan itocayocan Quinehuayan oztotl. Onca ca in oncan quizque 'chicue calpoltin

Translation with retention of the word order: Here is written down the story about where the Mexica, (the place) named Aztlan came from. Right in the middle of the water (is the place) from where the four trunks left. Then they made their sacrifices on the boats with spruce branches. There is (also) the Quinehuayan Cave ("where you come out" cave). It is there where the eight tribes have broken up.

The text (here in standardized orthography, but without vowel lengths) from the Codex Aubin describes the scene on the first page of the Codex Boturini .



Classic Nahuatl

  • Joe R. Campbell: A morphological dictionary of classical Nahuatl . Madison 1985 (Analytical editing of the Molina dictionary, Spanish and English).
  • Nils Th. Grabowski: Aztec (Nahuatl). Word for word (=  gibberish . Volume 179 ). 1st edition. Reise Know-How Verlag Rump, Bielefeld 2004, ISBN 3-89416-355-0 .
  • Frances Karttunen: An analytical dictionary of Nahuatl . University of Texas Press, Austin 1983. ISBN 0-292-70365-1 (based on grammar from Carochi and dictionaries of modern variants, identifies vowel lengths and glottal stop; Spanish and English)
  • Alonso de Molina (OFM): Vocabulario en lengua mexicana y castellana . Spinosa, México 1571. (Facsimile reprint Madrid 1945; reprint Porrúa, México 1970)
  • Rémi Siméon: Dictionaire de la langue nahuatl ou mexicaine . Paris 1885. (based largely on Molina's dictionary; French)

Modern dialects

  • Forrest Brewer / Jean G. Brewer: Vocabulario mexicano de Tetelcingo . SIL, Mexico City 1971.


Classic Nahuatl

  • J. Richard Andrews: Introduction to Classical Nahuatl . University of Texas Press, Austin 1975. ISBN 0-292-73802-1 (evaluates Carochi grammar)
  • Horacio Carochi (SJ): Arte de la lengua mexicana con declaración de los adverbios della . Ruyz, México 1645 (numerous reprints, English translation: Stanford University Press, Stanford 2001)
  • Alonso de Molina (OFM): Arte de la lengua mexicana y castellana . Spinosa, México 1571. (Facsimile reprint Madrid 1945)
  • Michel Launey and Christopher Mackay: An Introduction to Classical Nahuatl . Cambridge, Cambridge University Press 2011 (English translation of the following work Introduction à la langue et à la littérature aztèques . Paris, L'HARMATTAN, 1979).
  • Frances Karttunen: An Analytical Dictionary of Nahuatl Austin, University of Texas Press 1983

Modern dialects

  • Carl Wohlgemuth: Gramática Nahuatl (Meja Taito l) de los municipios de Mecayapan y Tatahuicapan de Juárez, Veracruz: Segunda edición (versión electrónica) . Ed .: Instituto Lingüístico de Verano. 2002, ISBN 968-31-0315-4 (Spanish, online at SIL International [PDF; accessed October 15, 2015]). - English translation here


Classic Nahuatl

  • Robert H. Barlow : The Extent of the Empire of the Culhua Mexico , Ibero-Americana 28, University of California Press, Berkeley 1949.
  • Susanne Klaus: Anales de Tlatelolco . Saurwein, Markt Schwaben 1999 (text and German translation)
  • Walter Lehmann: History of the Kingdoms of Colhuacan and Mexico . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1974. ISBN 3-17-228011-X (Anales de Quauhtitlan; text and German translation)
  • Walter Lehmann / Gerdt Kutscher: History of the Aztecs, Codex Aubin and related documents . Mann, Berlin 1981., (text, facsimile and German translation)
  • Paul Kirchhoff / Lina Odena Güemes / Luis Reyes García: Historia Tolteca Chichimeca . México 1976 (text, facsimile and Spanish translation)
  • Berthold Riese: Crónica mexicayotl, the Chronicle of Mexicanism by Alonso Franco, Hernando de Alvarado Tezozomoc and Domingo Francisco de San Antón Muñón Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin . Anthropos, St. Augustin 2004 (text and German translation)
  • Elke Ruhnau: Domingo de San Antón Muñón Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin: Diferentes historias originales . Saurwein, Markt Schwaben 2001 (text and German translation)

Contemporary texts

Web links

Commons : Nahuatl  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Nahuatl  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Language courses

Individual evidence

  1. Una Canger : Nahuatl dialectology: A survey and some suggestions . In: University of Chicago Press (Ed.): International Journal of American Linguistics . 54, No. 1, Chicago, 1988, pp. 28-72.
  2. a b INEGI 2010: Censo de Población y Vievienda 2010 , accessed on March 25, 2011
  3. Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática, Síntesis de Indicadores Sociodemográficos, 2000
  4. Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática, Censo General de Población y Vivienda, 1980
  5. María Crespo y ML Horcasitas de Barro, Hablantes de lengua indígena en México, Mexico City 1979.
  6. ^ A b Almendra Vázquez Bravo: Al rescate de una lengua. Enclavados en la Sierra Nevada, cerca de Texcoco, the children "Xochipilli" y la primaria "Kuaujtemok" no imparten inglés sino náhuatl, para preservar las culturas indígenas. El Universal, October 20, 2002.
  7. Kellie Rolstad: Language death in Central Mexico: the decline of Nahuatl and the new bilingual maintenance programs. Bilingual Review, January 1, 2001. online
  8. El idioma náhuatl está en riesgo de desaparecer por falta de tradición oral, alertan expertos. El Sur de Acapulco, March 18, 2011
  9. Evaluación del programa "asesor técnico pedagógico" de la DGEI-SEP, con el fin de evaluar cuantitativamente el Programa Asesor ( Memento from September 15, 2006 in the Internet Archive ) (pdf; 4.0 MB)
  10. ^ Emilio Fernández Román: San Jerónimo, último reducto náhuatl. El Universal, July 26, 2004.
  11. Luchan en Texcoco por preservar lengua náhuatl . Hoy Estado de México, September 23, 2013.
  12. Texcoco busca preservar el Náhuatl en tres de sus escuelas. Peródico Supremo, February 21, 2014. ( Memento of May 16, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  13. Short video about Nahuatl-Spanish schools in San Jeronimo Amanalco, Mexico
  14. Jay Sokolovsky (2010): A McDonald's Nightmare: Return to a Mexican Village
  15. BBC World Service, May 4, 2007.
  16. Mica Rosenberg: Mexico City mayor wants to revive Aztec language. The San Diego Union-Tribune, February 22, 2008.
  17. chocolate . Etymology Online Dictionary. 2018.
  18. tomato . Etymology Online Dictionary. 2018. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  19. ^ Friedrich Kluge: Etymological dictionary of the German language . 24th edition, De Gruyter, Berlin 2002.
  20. SIL: A Long Word in Mösiehuali (Tetelcingo Nahuatl),
  21. a b c Kauderwelsch Volume 179, Aztec (Nahuatl) word for word, 1st edition 2004, ISBN 3-89416-355-0 , pages 24-25