35 Essential Nahuatl Phrases You Need to Know
35 Essential Nahuatl Phrases You Need to Know

35 Essential Nahuatl Phrases You Need to Know

A major is indigenous language of Mexico is the Nahuatl language. Nahuatl words are quite different from Spanish words but have influenced the lingua franca Mexican Spanish. So what did the language of the Aztec Empire sound like? Well here are a few Nahuatl phrases and Nahuatl words for you. Just the essential ones.

Nahuatl Word for Hello

  1. Niltze – Hello
  2. Nequi – Hi
  3. Pialli – Greetings
  4. Hui – Hi there
  5. Tialitstok – Good to see you

Please note that these translations might not be direct equivalents of “hello” as expressions of greeting can vary in different languages and cultures. The native language of the Aztecs must be understood in its cultural context.

Nahuatl Word for Thank You

  1. Tlazocamati – Thank You
  2. Tlazohcamati – Thank You very much
  3. Tlazo – Thanks
  4. Camati – I thank you
  5. Tlazotomatili – I give you thanks

Just as with greetings, keep in mind that these translations may not directly correspond to “thank you” as expressions of gratitude can vary among different languages and cultures. These are the closest translations and may differ from ways of expressing gratitude in other languages.

Introducing Yourself in Nahuatl

  1. Notocah – I’m
  2. Niyolpaka – My name is
  3. Notoka – I come from
  4. Niyolti – I live in
  5. Notlacatilli – I am a

Remember, these phrases are used for basic introductions. The dynamics of introduction can vary greatly among different cultures and languages, so these translations are as close as possible to the concept of introducing oneself in English.

Nahuatl Word for Goodbye

  1. Ticmitlazotla – Goodbye
  2. Mixpantzinco – Bye
  3. Cualli oc se toca – See you later
  4. Mopixcauhqui – Until we meet again
  5. Tlacotmotlazotla – Farewell

As with greetings and expressions of gratitude, it’s important to remember that goodbye expressions can vary significantly among different languages and cultures. The phrases listed above are the closest equivalents to saying goodbye in English within the context of the Nahuatl language.

Saying Yes in Nahuatl

  1. Queni – Yes
  2. Aocni – Yes, indeed
  3. Cenca oc – Definitely yes
  4. Auh quey – Yes, it is so
  5. Ca ce – Yes, that’s right

These are the closest translations to “yes” in the Nahuatl language. As with other expressions, these may not correspond directly to the English affirmative “yes”, as agreement or affirmation can vary among different languages and cultures.

Saying No in Nahuatl

  1. Ahmo – No
  2. Ahmo ca – It’s not so
  3. Ahmo cihuapilli – No, lady
  4. Ahmo ya – Not yet
  5. Ahmo huecauh – Not anymore

As with other expressions, these translations may not directly correspond to the English negative “no”, as the expressions of disagreement or denial can vary among different languages and cultures. These terms listed above are the closest equivalents to saying “no” in English within the context of the Nahuatl language.

Saying Maybe in Nahuatl

  1. Cencah – Maybe
  2. Auh cencah – Maybe so
  3. Cencah oc – Perhaps
  4. Cencah ye – It might be
  5. Cencah queni – Possibly

Just like with other expressions, these translations may not exactly align with the English term “maybe”, as expressions of uncertainty or possibility can vary significantly among different languages and cultures. However, these terms listed above are the closest equivalents to saying “maybe” in English within the context of the Nahuatl language.

Some Nahuatl words have made a big impact on neighboring languages.

Nahuatl word coyōtl

The word ‘coyōtl’ originates from Nahuatl, the language of the Aztec people. It’s the Nahuatl term for ‘coyote’, a species of canine native to North America. The term was adopted into Spanish during the colonial period as ‘coyote’, and from there it made its way into English and other languages. This is a prime example of how Nahuatl has influenced other languages, leaving a lasting linguistic legacy.

Nahuatl word āhuacatl

The term ‘āhuacatl’ is another noteworthy contribution from the Nahuatl language. The word is the Nahuatl term for ‘avocado’, a fruit native to south-central Mexico. The fruit was highly valued by the Aztecs, and the term ‘āhuacatl’ was cemented in the local vernacular. During the Spanish colonization, the term was adopted into Spanish as ‘aguacate’. It was later Anglicized to its present form ‘avocado’ in English. This etymological journey of the word ‘āhuacatl’ to ‘avocado’ further exemplifies the far-reaching influence of the Nahuatl language.

Nahuatl word cacahuatl

Another fascinating word that originates from Nahuatl is ‘cacahuatl’, which refers to ‘cacao’. Cacao beans were a highly valued commodity in the Aztec society, often used as a form of currency, and also ground into a bitter beverage consumed by the elite. The word ‘cacahuatl’ was later adopted into Spanish as ‘cacao’. As the popularity of the cacao bean spread to Europe, the term was anglicized and eventually became ‘cocoa’ in English. The transformation of ‘cacahuatl’ to ‘cocoa’ showcases yet another example of Nahuatl’s significant influence on global vernacular.

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