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Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 decade ago

What language was spoken in Mexico before the Spanish came to Mexico?

And it wasn't spanish, only knowledgeable answers please. Is remants of that original language in the spanish language of today? Are there any Mexicans who know how to speak the original language fluently? Is it taught in schools or universities in Mexico?

Update:

Skincancer, I gave you a thumbs up for your pithy post.

Update 2:

The same could be said about Native American languages. Most of those are now extinct. Although I did work with a navajo who was fluent.

Update 3:

Why is Sexy Mama getting so many thumbs downs?

7 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Let's just say this. Mexico has 54 official languages and english isn't one of them.

    Just counting all of the different dialects alone, there's over 200 indian languages spoken in Mexico City. It's almost a godsend that spanish is such an important lamguage or everyone would have a hard time communicating with eachother.

    Despite the cataplasmic amount of official indian languages, only 9% of mexicans are fluent in one.

    Nahuatl (the modern version of the language the aztecs spoke) is the language with most speakers with about 3 million. Despite this huge number, very few people in Mexico City can still speak it. As with many places around the world, the language was still big 100 years ago, but with modernization, billingual parents only taught their kids spanish and the language started to die off. Most speakers today are over 90 years old and these are the youngins'. I've heard there's some villages in southern Mexico City where there's a lot of young people voluntairly leanring their heritage, but I live in the north of the city and the idea of travelling in traffic for 4 hours just to find out isn't a very good idea.

    The language is still heavily spoken in Veracruz, Puebla and some parts of Oaxaca. My dad speaks fluent nahuatl, but he learned it as an adult and he's not mexican. Sadly I can't speak it. :( You will be pleased to know that chocolate comes from a nahuatl word meaning "bitter drink"; just a small cultural fact.

    Other prominent indian languages are Otomí (god, that is the most Non-computer friendly language I've ever seen. Half of the symbols of it can't even be written with a keyboard), Mazahua, Cora, Lacandón, Mayan, Tarahumara, Huichol (my favorite mesoamerican language BTW), Zapotec, Mixtec (Pope John Paul II was fluent in this language) and Tzotzil to name a few.

    The actual name of the country Mexico is an obvious homage to the other name of the Aztecs -> Mexicas. Some people say that the very name of the country is offensive because it says the country is only formed by Aztecs and not other indian tribes because of this.

    Source(s): I live in Mexico City.
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  • 4 years ago

    Before In Spanish

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Náhuatl was the language spoken by the Aztecs.

    Many Spanish words have been borrowed from Náhuatl and through Spanish they have been propagated to other languages.

    You'll have answers to your questions here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nahuatl

    .

    Source(s): linguist -
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    there were many ethnics groups (mazahua, maya, otomi, mexicas, etc.)with their own customs and own language, remember that Mexico were bigger than now Im not sure how many different dialects are now like 52 or 62 with their variants are like 150, there are many groups that still talking dialects and they still in a relatively close society.(like tzotziles in Chiapas) but some other are very small and they could dissapear. The SEP (public education secretary) edits books in dialect for some communities but just in elementary school.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    many languages! Nahuatl was only one; there were many tribal languages such as Sonora and tlixtchuan. many of these are now extinct, wiped out by the invaders or their diseases

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Nahuatl, but don't know how to speak it.

    There are some parts in the south where they still speak it.

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  • it is called Dialecto i think. it is the Spanish word for dialect. the people in the state of Oaxaca speak it, as they do not know Spanish. i don't know what the Oaxacans call it though. if you need any more info try the wikipedia under dialect or oaxaca

    oops sorry my hubby just said costellano. but still try wikipedia

    Source(s): my husband is from mexico.
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