***NAHUATL COURSE***

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***NAHUATL COURSE***

Postby Mizton » 2009-01-21, 2:15

NAHUATL COURSE

THE AUDIO FILES FOR EVERY LESSON CAN BE DOWNLOADED HERE: http://www.mediafire.com/?l10z1l3l29knw

LESSON 1

Hello everybody :D Ximopanolti! (welcome!) So, I promised I was going to start uploading the Nahuatl course this week, and here it is. I decided the source language will be English. I know some Spanish speaking people want to learn as well, but most (or all) of them speak English, and there are several users who are not Spanish speakers who also want to learn, so I think this is the most practical way to do it, I hope nobody minds.

All right, so as the oh great Wikipedia correctly says:
"Nahuatl [ˈnaː.wat͡ɬ] (stress being on the first syllable) is a group of related languages and dialects of the Nahuan (traditionally called "Aztecan") branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family. Collectively they are spoken by an estimated 1.5 million Nahua people, most of whom live in Central Mexico."
Now, there are many variants of Nahuatl, but most of them are mutually intelligible. The one we are going to learn here, is the one spoken in Mexico City and Estado de México, the way it is written in most books nowadays, the way it is officially taught by the government of Mexico City, using the notes I took in a class given by professor Galdino García, a native Nahuatl speaker, my teacher. Let’s begin with the alphabet.
Nowadays we use the Latin alphabet to write Nahuatl, but not all the letters are used, obviously. Most letters have the same value they have in Spanish, it’s quite simple:

A - /a/
C - /k/ /s/
E - /e/
H - /h/
I - /i/
L - /l/
M - /m/
N - /n/
O - /ɔ/
P - /p/
Q - /k/
T - /t/
U - /u/
X - /ʃ/
Y - /j/
Z - /s/

• Most of the time the stress is on the last but one syllable of the word, the penultimate.
• “LL” is pronounced as one strong “L”
• “CH” is pronounced as in “CHeek”
• H is almost as in English, especially when it is before a consonant. But other times it is not even pronounced, just as in Spanish.
• When "TL" is at the end of the word, it is non-voiced, that means it sounds just like a click.

Here we have a list of random words to start with, each with its meaning, just to get a bit more familiar with the language:

Tlalli - earth
Tochtli - rabbit
Tzontli - hair
Tetl - stone
Tzictli – chewing gum
Choca – to cry/he or she cries
Tzatza – deaf
Occepa – one more time
Xochitl – flower
Xonacatl - onion
Xitomatl – tomato
Caxtolli – fifteen
Axaxapo – fig tree
Axcahua - rich
Maxtlatl - loincloth
Xictli - navel
Texcalli – rock, crag
Aic - never
Mixtli - cloud
Xalli - sand
Texocotl – mexican hawthorne
Axcan – today, now
Quema - yes
Texalli - gravel
Tixtli – dough, pastry
Caxitl - casserole
Xipano – come in!
Xococ - sour
Xoxolochtic - wrinkled
Tlazohcamati – thank you

So this was the first lesson. I will post the second one later this week. Take care! 8-)
Last edited by Mizton on 2012-07-10, 22:45, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ***NAHUATL COURSE***

Postby Sean of the Dead » 2009-01-21, 2:29

Yay you started it! :mrgreen:
Can't wait till we get to the grammar. ;)

I also would like to make sure people that are following this course listen to this.

I'm thinking about learning this language seriously; I love the sound of it. :D

Also, does "Tenochtitlan" come from Nahuatl?
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Re: ***NAHUATL COURSE***

Postby Mizton » 2009-01-21, 2:52

Thank you for following, Sjheiss.
Ok, first I want to say that the Nahuatl speech in Sonidos del Mundo was written by a native friend from Puebla (so it has slight differences with the one we are learning here), and I recorded the audio myself more than a year ago, while I was still a very beginner of the language, so the pronunciation is fine but I kind of feel that the intonation is not exactly the one of a native speaker there. However, you can follow the link at the beginning of this thread in order to download the audio files for this course.
And yes, Tenochtitlan comes from Nahuatl, it was the name of the "capital" city of the Aztec Empire.. what we nowadays know as Mexico City. Some nahuatl speakers and linguists still call it Tenochtitlan when they speak in Nahuatl. And i do like to do that as well myself :D hmm... the etymology is not that clear, but you can find theories in sites like Wikipedia.
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Re: ***NAHUATL COURSE***

Postby Mizton » 2009-01-21, 5:28

Thank you ILuvEire for helping with the IPA's :)
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Re: ***NAHUATL COURSE***

Postby Shinn » 2009-01-21, 8:07

Thank you so much for posting this course, as well as the audio!Can't wait for the second lesson.

By the way, going a little off-topic here, but why is the "x" in "México" (in Spanish) and "Oaxaca" pronounced as a "he" sound rather than a "sh", if x in Nahuatl follows the latter pronunciation? I was told that both toponyms come from Nahuatl which is why the x isn't pronounced as in peninsular Spanish.

Oh, and I also wanted to clear up a little confusion on the "t" sound. You say that it is supposed to be pronounced like the English word toxic, which has a "hard" t. However, when I listened to the audio, it sounded more like the t in Spanish words like cuanto and antes. So which one is it?

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Re: ***NAHUATL COURSE***

Postby Mizton » 2009-01-21, 14:12

Please pronounce it as you hear it in the audio and as you see it in the IPA.
Indeed Shinn, Mexico and Oaxaca are words that come from Nahuatl, but those are already the Spanish variants. If we write them in Nahuatl it would be Mexihco, and Huaxyacac. The X in both words is pronounced "sh".
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Re: ***NAHUATL COURSE***

Postby Mizton » 2009-01-23, 1:50

LESSON 2

Hello :D , welcome to the second lesson of the Nahuatl course. I want to say thank you to everybody who is following it.
So, this time we are going to learn greetings. You are going to see some grammar that we won’t explain right away. This is just to give you the tools to greet and all, and we will get into the grammar later.

Tetlapaloliztli = Greeting

Let’s start with “Ximopanolti”, which means “welcome”, as I used it in the very first line of the first lesson.

Now, there is no standard word to say just “hello” in Nahuatl, it depends on the region, and maybe the person you are talking to. But many texts are using “Niltze” as some kind of standard now, and I personally like to use that one as well. Another standard way to say hello is “Cualli tonalli”, which literally means “good day” (cualli = good, tonalli – day, Sun). I would say that any Nahuatl speaker would understand Cualli Tonalli, even though they probably wouldn’t use it as much themselves.
Many Nahua people say hello just by using questions: how are you?, are you happy? how was the dawn? (for “good morning”), how was the day? (for “good afternoon”), how was the dusk? (for “good evening”). So let’s learn that.

You can say “how are you?” like this: Quen tica?, where “quen” means “how” and “tica” roughly means “you are”, but we are going to get more into this later.
In Nahuatl there are levels of respect when you speak, and it is important to make the difference in some phrases, like in this case. So you can also say “Quen timetztica?” for “How are you (Sr., Ma’am, etc.)?”.
The answer would be “Cualli, tlazohcamati” (good/well, thank you). We already saw those two words before. Or you can say “Ahmocualli” = not good (where “ahmo” or “amo” means “no”).
Then you can ask back: Auh tehuatl? = And you?
“Auh” means “and” when it is at the beginning of the phrase, but there is also “ihuan” which is used in the middle of the phrase.
“You” can be “tehuatl”, or “tehuatzin” for more respect. So the question can also be “Auh tehuatzin?”

Another way to ask if you are ok, is by asking: tipatica? (are you happy?), quema, nipatica, tlazohcamati (yes, I am happy, thank you). However we are not going to explain this construction yet.

Other greetings:

Quen otlathuililo? = how was the dawn? (good morning)
Quen ocemilhuitihuac? = how was the day? (good afternoon)
Quen oteotlahquililo? = how was the dusk? (good evening)
Cualli, tlazohcamati = fine, thank you
Ma ce cualli yohualli = (may you have) a good night
Ixquichca moztla = until tomorrow

Finally, some other words for your vocabulary:
Cualli = good/ well
Cuallica = very good /well
Achi = more
Achi cualli(ca) = better (more good)
Miac = a lot
Achi miac cualli(ca) = a lot better
Temachtiani = teacher
Cihuatzintli = ma’am
Yolic = slow, slowly
Tlahtolmachiotl = letter (a, b, c…)
Mixpantzinco = excuse me (some use it as “cheers” when drinking)
Quema = yes
Quemacatzin = yes (with a lot of respect, not often used, but it’s good to know)
Amo/ ahmo = no/ not

See you next time! :mrgreen:
Tlazohtlaliztli tlacuiloa ica miac tlapalli

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Re: ***NAHUATL COURSE***

Postby Shinn » 2009-01-23, 9:13

Tlazohcamati, Mizton for giving us our second Nahuatl fix so soon :)
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Re: ***NAHUATL COURSE***

Postby skyler4524 » 2009-01-27, 23:46

Niltze! Thank You for posting this Course. It makes it a lot easier to just have one place to go and learn Nahuatl, than to look for tidbits all over the internet. I am waiting for the coming lessons with excitement :mrgreen: .


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Re: ***NAHUATL COURSE***

Postby Sean of the Dead » 2009-01-27, 23:55

There're only 8 hours left, you gotta post them soon! :mrgreen:

Well, 8 hours left in my timezone. :P
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Re: ***NAHUATL COURSE***

Postby Mizton » 2009-01-28, 0:05

LESSON 3

Niltze, ximopanolti! :) This is the 3rd lesson. We are going to start with a few cultural facts, and then we are going to see how to introduce ourselves.

First, the meaning of the word “Nahuatl”. Actually there are several theories… among the most widespread are these: 1) It comes from Nahui (four) + Atl (water), which literally would mean “four waters” but it is also understood as “four paths”. Ancient Mexicans always saw the universe divided in four and… I actually won’t go any further on this, sorry haha, you can read that in many places; 2) It comes from Nahua (to sound good) + Atl (water)… “water that sounds good”, or “sounds good like water”. There are more theories out there, go figure :P The Nahuatl language is also called Nahuatlahtolli, which literally means “Nahuatl language”.
Tlahtolli = language, word

Then we have the word “Mexihco” (Mexico). There are also two main theories about its etymology: 1) It comes from Metztli (moon) + Xictli (navel) + Co (a suffix for places) = On the navel of the moon; 2) The same but Metl (maguey cactus) instead of Metztli, so it would be “On the navel of the maguey cactus”…. Hm, I like the first one better, hahaha, but who knows.

Finally we have “Tenochtitlan” (the ancient name of Mexico City, many Nahua people still call it that). Tetl (stone) + Nochtli (prickly pear) + Titlan (suffix for “among”) = Among rocks and prickly pears :) Not as mystical as one might imagine haha.

Some other words for Mexico’s geography:
Mictlampa = Northern Mexico
Huitztlampa = Southern Mexico
Ayohcan Anahuac = West Coast
Chalchicueyan/ Anahuaxicalanco = East Coast
Chalchicueyecan = Gulf of Mexico
Atlantico = Atlantic Ocean (this one is interesting, it obviously comes from Greek Atlas, but for some reason it makes perfect sense in Nahuatl too and that’s how they say it…)
Hueyi Atlantli = Pacific Ocean

OK, let’s go on…

INTRODUCING YOURSELF
(Grammar is explained later)

Quen motoca? = what’s your name? (how’s your name?)
Notoca Mizton = My name is Mizton
Itoca Xochitl = His/her name is Xochitl
Nipaqui nimitzixmati! = Nice to meet you (literally “I am happy I (get to) know you”)


The verb “to be” doesn’t really exist in Nahuatl

Vocabulary:
Tlazohcamati = Thank you
Amitla = you are welcome (litteraly “nothing”, and it can also be “atleyi” or “atle”) depending on the region, but most people do understand amitla.
Yohuatzinco = daybreak, pretty early in the morning (literally “little night”)
Quetzalli = beautiful
Itacatl = lunch (one carries, like a sandwich or tacos or something)
Ximotlali = sit down! (from verb “motlalia”, to sit)

That’s all folks, have fun, I’ll post the 4th lesson next Tuesday. 8-)
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Re: ***NAHUATL COURSE***

Postby Mizton » 2009-02-03, 23:24

LESSON 4

Niltze, ximopanolti to lesson 4 8-)
This time, we are going to start with numbers. “Tepohualli” means number, and “Tepohualiztli” means numbering. Here they are:

0 – atle (litteraly “nothing”, just as “you are welcome” as well)
1 – ce
2 – ome (from “omitl”, bone)
3 – yei (from “yeztli / eztli”, blood)
4 – nahui (from “nacatl”, flesh)
5 – mahcuilli (crom “maitl+ocuilli”, the hand’s worms)
6 – chicoace
7 – chicome
8 – chicoeyi
9 – chicnahui
10 – mahtlactli (from “maitl + tlan”, hands together*)
11 – mahtlactli ihuan ce (litteraly “ten and one”)
12 – mahtlactli ihuan ome
13 – mahtlactli ihuan yei
14 – mahtlactli ihuan nahui
15 – caxtolli
16 – caxtolli ihuan ce
17 – caxtolli ihuan ome
18 – caxtolli ihuan yei
19 – caxtolli ihuan nahui
20 – cempohualli (litteraly “one count”)
400 – centzontli (litteraly “one hair”)
8000 – xiquipilli (litteraly “little bag”)

Number 20 is “one count”. From that point, we count in groups of 20, for example, 30 would be “cempohualli ihuan mahtlactli”, and 40 would be “om(e)pohualli”, which literally means “two counts”. 50 is “ompohualli ihuan mahtlactli” 60 is “yeipohualli”, 80 “nahuipohualli”, etc., until we get to 400, which as you see, is a unit by itself as well. After counting in groups of 400 we get to 8000 which is another unit, and then I won’t go further because it gets “obscure”, they say, haha.

Vocabulary:
Icniuhtli = brother (in Nahuatl, you also call your friends “brothers”, pretty profound huh :P, and it can be used for both girl and boy friends)
Hueltiuhtli = older sister
Nantli/ nana = mother, mom
Tahtli/ tata = father, dad
Tepahtiani = doctor
Cuauhtli = eagle
Citlalli = star
Cihuatl = woman
Cihuaicnitl = sister (in general)
Tlamachtiliztli = learning
Yeyecoliztli = test
Tlamachtilyeyecoliztili = proficiency exam/test
Melahuac = true, real, really
Melahuac? Quema, melahuac = really? Yeah, really
Telpocatl = Young man
Ichpocatl = Young woman
Ichpocatzintli = Lady
Ica paquiliztli = with pleasure (it’s my pleasure, I am happy to do it)
Ahuachtli = dew
Nochi/ Mochi = all, every(thing)
Timochintin = (we) all
Anmonochtin = (you) all

Finally, the words for “car” and “bus”. Many Nahuas are saying this often in Spanish because there are several variants in Nahuatl for these two words depending on the region, but a couple of good options are:
Tepozyoyolli = car
Calmimilolli / Hueyitepozyoyolli = bus

Thank you, see ya laterzzzz! :silly:
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Re: ***NAHUATL COURSE***

Postby Mizton » 2009-02-24, 17:48

LESSON 5

Niltze, welcome to lesson number 5.
So this time, we are going to learn about nouns in Nahuatl. Nouns are divided in five groups depending on their endings. Here we have all the endings, each one with a list of examples:


TL

Atl (water)
Etl (bean)
Tetl (stone)
Xochitl (flower)
Xihuitl (year/grass)
Tlacatl (man/ human)
Tepetl (mountain)
Zoquitl (mud)
Xalxocotl (guava)
Ilhuitl (day / party)
Coatl (snake)
Tzapotl (zapote fruit)
Yolcatl (animal)
Petlatl (matting, bedroll)
Acatl (carrizo plant)
Ohuatl (reed, cane)
Iztatl (salt)
Oztotl (cave)
Nacatl (flesh, meat)
Tototl (bird)
Ayotl (turtle)
Cueyatl (frog)
Epatl (skunk)
Ocelotl (jaguar, ocelot)
Mazatl (deer)
Alotl (parrot)
Quiahuitl (rain)
Tomatl (tomato)



TLI

Amoxtli (book)
Cuauhtli (eagle)
Ohtli (way, path)
Nantli (mother)
Cipactli (crocodile)
Eztli (blood)
Ichpochtli (young lady)
Apaztli (trough)
Nacaztli (ear)
Tehtli (powder)
Tzontli (hair)
Tochtli (rabbit)
Cuetlachtli (wolf)
Yolohtli (heart)
Ayohtli (pumpkin, gourd)
Ayotochtli (armadillo)
Huitztli (thorn, prickle)
Teciuhtli (hail)
Itztli (obsidian)
Nochtli (prickly pear)
Apantli (canal)
Cacalachtli (cockroach)
Cactli (sandal)
Miquiztli (death)
Ozomatli (monkey)
Itzcuintli (dog)
Metztli (moon)
Nemiliztli (life)



LI

Calli (house)
Xalli (sand)
Malinalli (climbing plant)
Tlalli (earth)
Pilli (small one)
Tonalli (day, sun)
Tamalli (tamale)
Tlayolli (corn)
Tlaxcalli (tortilla)
Chilli (chili, hot pepper)
Tlapitzalli (flute)
Citlalli (star)
Tlacualli (food)
Chapulli (locust)
Olli (movement)
Cuetzpalli (lizard)
Huitzilli (hummingbird)
Huipilli (blouse)
Colli (grandfather)
Nopalli (paddle cactus)
Acalli (canoe, boat)
Acolli (shoulder)
Chimalli (shield)
Icpalli (chair)
Capulli (chokecherry)
Comalli (comal)
Ocuilli (worm)
Quecholli (flamenco)



QUI

Teopixqui (priest)
Micqui (dead, corpse)
Tlahuanqui (drunk one)
Calpixqui (butler)
Ichcapixqui (shepherd)
Acalpixqui (boat sentry)



NI

Temachtiani (teacher)
Miltequitini (peasant)
Tepahtiani (doctor)
Tlantepahtiani (dentist)
Cuacuahueni (cowboy)
Tlahtolcuepani (translator)


As you notice, the last two endings (qui, ni) are used only for nouns that describe people.
Making the plural is very easy, you have to take the ending out and add the following endings:

TL – MEH/ME (Ame, Eme, Teme, Xochime, Xihuime, Tlacame)
TLI – TIN (Amoxtin, Cuauhtin, Ohtin, Nantin, Cipactin, Eztin)
LI – TIN (Caltin, Xaltin, Malinaltin, Tlaltin, Piltin, Tonaltin)
QUI – QUEH (teopixqueh, micqueh, tlahuanqueh, calpixqueh, ichcapixqueh)
NI – MEH/ME (temachtiame, miltequitime, tepahtiame, tlahtolcuepame)

Note: In some variants, they don’t take out the ending NI, but just add MEH/ME, ending up with a NIME ending (temachtianime, tepahtianime, etc.).

Finally, let’s see the ordinal numbers. You have to add “inic” before each number, and voilà!

Inic ce = first
Inic ome = second
Inic yei = third
Inic nahui = fourth
Inic mahcuilli = fifth
Inic chicoace = sixth
Inic chicome = seventh
Inic chicoeyi = eight
Inic chicnahui = ninth
Inic mahtlactli = tenth

So, this lesson was not long, but we have lots of vocabulary to memorize. Thank you for following, see you next week! :D
Tlazohtlaliztli tlacuiloa ica miac tlapalli

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Re: ***NAHUATL COURSE***

Postby limoneneis » 2009-02-24, 18:31

Tlazohcamati :D

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Re: ***NAHUATL COURSE***

Postby Mizton » 2009-03-04, 6:05

LESSON 6

Niltze nocnihuan :D, ximopanolti to lesson 6. We are going to continue with the plurals of the nouns, and then we’ll see the possessive pronouns.

Some words (most of them refer to nationalities or name for inhabitants, professions and variants of those) with a TL ending have a different plural, which is formed by taking the ending out and adding an H. Examples:

Cihuatl (woman) – Cihuah (women)
Tlacatl (man/person) – Tlacah (men)
Mexihcatl (Mexican) – Mexihcah (Mexicans)
Pochtecatl (merchant, salesman) – Pochtecah (merchants)

Now, depending on the regional variant, some words with the endings TL are pluralized by repeating the first syllable and taking the ending off. And some words with the endings TLI and LI are pluralized by repeating the first syllable or the syllable in the middle, and then exchanging the ending for TIN. Examples:

Moyotl (mosquito) – Momoyo (mosquitoes)
Tecolotl (owl) - Tetecolo (owls)
Mazatl (deer) – Mamaza (deers)
Teotl (spirit, god) – Teteo (spirits, gods)

Cihtli (grandmother) – Cicihtin (grandmothers)
Tecuhtli (lord, master) – Tetecuhtin (lords)
Tochtli (rabbit) – Totochtin (rabbits)
Citlalli (star) – Cicitlaltin (stars)

Telpochtli (young man) – Telpopochtin (young men)
Ichpochtli (young lady) – Ichpopochtin (young ladies)

In the variant we are studying, those are some of the words that they usually pluralize that way, but in some other variants, you can stick to the regular forms we saw in lesson 6 (plus the first one with the H ending we saw here). I know there are a couple of variants where they even use MEH ending for almost all words. However, I recommend you to at least get familiar with these irregular forms as well, just to be able to recognize them in a text or anything.

POSSESSIVE PRONOUNS

Now we are going to learn the possessive pronouns and how to use them:

No = my/mine
Mo = your/yours
I = his/her(s)/its
To = our/ours
Anmo = plural your/yours (in some variants they say “amo/imo…”)
In = their/theirs

When we use a possessive pronoun, we have to add it to the noun as a prefix (so it looks like one single word). For phonetic reasons, when the noun starts with a vowel, pronouns No, Mo, To and Anmo lose their final vowel, as we’ll see in the examples. Now, when using possessive pronouns, the ending suffers a change, but it’s quite simple: words that end with TL get that ending changed into UH, words with TLI and LI endings just lose that ending, and for the plurals all words get their ending changed into HUAN. Examples:

Xochitl (flower) – Noxochiuh (my flower) – Noxochihuan (my flowers)
Tochtli (rabbit) – Motoch (your rabbit) – Motochhuan (your rabbits)
Citlalli (star) – Icitlal (his/her star) – Icitlalhuan (his/her stars)
Amoxtli (book) – Tamox (our book) – Tamoxhuan (our books)
Atl (water) – Anmauh (your water) – Anmahuan (your waters)
Mazatl (deer) – Inmazauh (their deer) – Inmazahuan (their deers)

This is why we say “Quen motoca?” for “what’s your name?” (Lesson 3). Because “tocaitl” means “name”. Although this seems to be an irregular noun, because we don’t say “motocaiuh” but “motoca”:

Quen = how
Tocaitl = name

Notoca (my name)
Motoca (your name)
Itoca (his name)
Totoca (our name)
Anmotoca (your name, plural)
Intoca (their name)

Quen motoca? = what’s your name?
Notoca Mizton = My name is Mizton :)
Quen itoca mocniuh? = what’s your friend’s name? (Literally “how his-name, your-friend?”)
Icniuhtli = friend


Hope you liked it, next time we’ll see the reverential endings (very easy), to speak with respect :P See you next week! :D
Tlazohtlaliztli tlacuiloa ica miac tlapalli

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Re: ***NAHUATL COURSE***

Postby h.c.arthur » 2009-03-07, 18:45

This is awesome! I learned a bit about Nahuatl when I took a linguistics class on the indigenous languages of the americas. Now I'm really excited about learning some of the language. Thanks for posting the lessons!

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Re: ***NAHUATL COURSE***

Postby Mizton » 2009-03-07, 19:19

Hello Arthur, I am glad you are intrested in learning a bit about the modern version of the Aztec empire's language. Welcome to the Nahuatl course :D

Now to all, a little but interesting parenthesis in the course, to give you a list of some of the words in English that come from Nahuatl:

Chocolate (Xocolatl)
Coyote (Coyotl)
Tomato (Tomatl)
Avocado (Ahuacatl)
Ocelot (Ocelotl)
Chili (Chilli)
Chayote (Chayohtli)
Guacamole (Ahuacamolli)
Mezcal (Mexcalli)
Tequila (Tecuilan/ Tequillan)

Peace! 8-)
Tlazohtlaliztli tlacuiloa ica miac tlapalli

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Re: ***NAHUATL COURSE***

Postby Mizton » 2009-03-10, 20:03

LESSON 7

Hello people, welcome to lesson 7. Thanks for following.
So let’s see the endings for courtesy, respect. The first ending is TZINTLI. We use it in all nouns that have the regular endings (TL, TLI, LI), examples:

Ichpochtli (young lady) – Ichpochtzintli (honorable young lady, my lady)
Tlayolli (corn) – Tlayoltzintli (honorable corn)
Tahtli (father) – Tahtzintli (honorable father)
Nantli (mother) – Nantzintli (honorable mother)
Xochitl (flower) – Xochitzintli (honorable flower)

The nouns that don’t have any of the regular endings, and names as well, will have the ending TZIN added in order to make it a noun of courtesy, examples:

Michin (fish) – Michintzin (honorable fish)
Huehue (old/old man) – Huehuetzin (honorable old man)
Mayahuel (female name) - Mayahueltzin

Now, in plural, the ending for all nouns will be TZITZIN/ TZITZINTIN. Examples:

Tahtli (father) – Tahtin (fathers) – Tahtzitzin(tin) (honorable fathers)
Xochitl (flower) – Xochimeh (flowers) – Xochitzitzin(tin) (honorable flowers)

That’s the way we form nouns of courtesy or respect. Now, as usual, they will change a bit when using possessive pronouns. In singular, the ending will be TZIN as well, but for every noun, no matter what ending they have. Examples:

Noxochiuh (my flower) – Noxochitzin (my honorable flower)
Moteuh (your rock) – Motetzin (your honorable rock)
Icitlal (his star) – Icitlaltzin (his honorable star)

Finally, for plural we use the ending TZITZIHUAN. Examples:

Noxochihuan (my flowers) – Noxochitzitzihuan (my honorable flowers)
Motehuan (your rocks) – Motetzitzihuan (your honorable rocks)
Icitlalhuan (his stars) – Icitlaltzitzihuan (his honorable stars)

That’s pretty much all you need to know about nouns of courtesy. There’s a theory that says that this is the reason why Mexican Spanish speakers use so many diminutives when talking: agüita, por favorcito, abuelita, ahorita, rapidito, etc. A result of the need people had to use these tzin/tzintli endings for everything, to make the words softer to the listener. Interesting, huh.
So to summarize what we’ve seen about the noun, let’s give one final example using all forms:

Yolcatl – animal
Yolcameh – animals
Noyolcauh – my animal
Moyolcauh – your animal
Iyolcauh – his animal
Toyolcauh – our animal
Anmoyolcauh – your (plural) animal
Inyolcauh – their animal
Noyolcahuan – my animals
Yolcatzintli – honorable animal
Yolcatzitzintin – honorable animals
Noyolcatzitzihuan – my honorable animals

Now let’s see some phrases where in English you would use the verb “to be” which doesn’t really exist in Nahuatl, and let’s use the main demonstrative pronouns ININ (This) and INON (That). As in English, there is no gender in Nahuatl.

Inin huehue nocol = this old man is my grandfather
Inintzin huehuetzin nocoltzin = this honorable old man is my h. grandfather
Colli = grand father

Inin ilamatl nocih = this old lady is my grandmother
Initzin ilamatzintli nocihtzin = this honorable old lady is my h. grandmother
Ilamatl = old lady
Cihtli = grandmother

Inontzin cihuatzintli nonantzin = that honorable lady is my mother

Nocneuh itoca Marco = my brother’s name is Marco
Nocneuhtzin itocatzin Marco (with courtesy)

Finally, some extra vocabulary:
Quen/Quenin? = how?
Quen mihtoa…? = how is it said?/ how do you say…?
Tlen/tlein? = what?
Tlen quihtoznequi…? = what does it mean?/ what does… mean?
Tlahtolli = word / language
Ixayotl = tear
Cuitlatl = excrement
Teocuitlatl = gold (literally “divine excrement”)
Yolic = slow(ly)
Cenyeliztli = family
Ixhuitl = grandson/granddaughter
Cuacue = cow
Chichi = dog
Mizton/ Miztontli = cat (yay that's me 8-) )

Have fun, see you next week! :D
Tlazohtlaliztli tlacuiloa ica miac tlapalli

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Re: ***NAHUATL COURSE***

Postby ILuvEire » 2009-03-12, 23:27

Mizton wrote:Chocolate (Xocolatl)
Avocado (Ahuacatl)
Chili (Chilli)
Cacao (Cacahuatl / or from Mayan cacaw)
Guacamole (Ahuacamolli)
Tequila (Tecuilan/ Tequillan)


Nahuatl gave us all the most delicious words! Also, is "mole" a Nahuatl word?
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Re: ***NAHUATL COURSE***

Postby Mizton » 2009-03-13, 1:22

Yes, ILuvEire, actually as I wrote, Guacamole comes from Ahuacamolli, which comes from 2 words: Ahuacatl = avocado + Molli = mole, sauce...
Yes, nahuatl gave us all many delicious words :D hmmm Xocolatl.... :yep:
Tlazohtlaliztli tlacuiloa ica miac tlapalli


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