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Published: Thu, April 13, 2017
World | By Lorena Waters

The Aztec corner | CivFanatics Forums


Hi fans of the aztec civilization!

This is our corner. Here, spirituallity and aggressiveness will rule. This thread is created to talk about everything on our favorite civ (the real one) and learn lots of things about this amazing civ. Long live Moctezuma II! Long live the Triple Alliance!

Our wise and beloved leader, Moctezuma II (or Montezuma)

So let's begin! Since I'm translator, I'd like to teach everyone the Aztec language, that's to say, the Nahuatl language. And here you got the first lesson!

Nahuatl for (civilized) dummies - Lesson 1: Alphabet and pronunciation

First, we will take an overview on the current status of the Nahuatl language. Nahuatl is spoken by ca. 1.5 million people in Mexico. Fortunately, though its few number of speakers, it's not just so endangered-language.

It is widely spoken in rural areas and the new generations learn this language as their mother tongue, what the survival of this language for, at least, one more century.

Nevertheless, it's a very divided language. As I've said before, it's spoken in scattered villages, what favors the appearance of lots of dialects. Moreover, its spelling has never been unified, so we got a tremendous geographic and chronological variety for the same language.

But do not worry! Here we will learn the classic Nahuatl language, since it is considered the most unified, used and known variety of this language.

The Nahuatl alphabet

The Nahuatl alphabet

Spanish missionaries, in order to convert the aztecs, provided this language an alphabet based (obviously) on the Spanish usage of the Latin alphabet . That's why you'll find everything easier if you can.

A = a as key as key before a, o And u, s in sun before and or i (see qu) I queen queen queen > H = h as in there HU = w as in way with a previous aspiration, try To pronounce hway instead of way.

I i as in win / I> as m as in mother
N = n as in now
O = o as in order = p as in key , key , only to be used before and or I
T = t as in tell TL = This sound does not exist in English, when you read this, try to pronounce it and at The same time
TZ = ts as in cats
Y = y as in you
X = sh as in ship = s as in s A eye as eye as eye Cow

DO NOT FORGET THAT CH, CU, HU, LL, TL AND TZ ARE CONSIDERED LETERS IN THE NAHUATL ALPHABET !!!

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The stress in Nahuatl is Usually on the second syllable from the end. When the stress is in another syllabe, it is marked with the accent (') as in the myhtic city Aztlán.

There is only one regular case where you can always find the stress at the end of the word. That's when calling a man by name (masculine vocative). Never a woman. For example, if you say "Henry is eating potatoes", you will pronounce Hénry, with the stress on the e. But if you say "Henry, come here!", Then you got to pronounce "Henrý", with the stress on the y. This rule does not work with women.

Long and short vowels

- N before P or M tends to become M

- M before any consonant or at the end of the word tends to become N

- Y becomes X at the end Of the word

- TZ and CH some alternate in certain contexts

- When a prefix or suffix addition creates a reduplication of vowels, then the vowel becomes a vowel, even when there's A reduplication of long vowels

- When the letters CU and HU are placed at the end of the syllabe, then they become UC and UH but their pronunciation remains the same. P>

Try to pronounce the following words:

Aztlán
Cuachtli
Tehuatl
Mëxihcah
Cuilitl
Cihuacoatl
Ticniuh
Moteuczomah
> Moteuczomáh (masculine vocative usage)
Cuahuitl
Teuctli
Cicuilli
Ahquëmman
Tötah
Totahtzin
Ciyähuilia

as-TLAN
KWACH- Tli
TE-watl - më-SHIH-kah - KWI-litl - si-wa-KO-atl - TIK-niw - mo-tekw-SO-mah
Mo-tekw-so-MAH (masculine vocative usage)
KWA-witl
TEKW-tli > Si-KWIL-li
ah-KËM-man
TO-tah
to-TAH-tsin
si-yä-wil-Ia

Lesson 1 is over!

Next lesson of this course: The Noun

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