Indigenous Women Are Publishing the First Maya Works in Over 400 Years

I’D STUMBLED UPON TALLER LEÑATEROS—the “Woodlanders Workshop”—completely by chance. I was walking aimlessly through the pastel-hued streets of San Cristobal de las Casas, trying to get a feel for what my guidebook had described as southern Mexico’s “most beautiful colonial city.” One particular street was quiet, dusty, and less colorful than the rest. But there [...]

By |2019-08-21T16:18:18+00:00August 21st, 2019|Indigenous languages, Mayan script, Mexico|0 Comments

The confusing way Mexicans tell time

When I first stepped foot on Mexican soil, I spoke relatively good Spanish. I was by no means fluent, but I could hold a conversation. So when I asked a local ice-cream seller in downtown Guadalajara when he expected a new delivery of chocolate ice cream, and he said ‘ahorita’, which directly translates to ‘right [...]

By |2019-04-30T10:15:05+00:00April 30th, 2019|Language, Mexico, Spanish language|0 Comments

What is killing Mexico’s rich indigenous languages?

“I speak the sounds of the people of the rain” – If you ask the Mixteco people about their first language, the reply is just one example of Mexico’s rich linguistic diversity. Yet linguists, artists and human rights defenders are warning that Mexico is becoming increasingly monotone – and that discrimination, as well as repressive [...]

By |2018-11-02T12:31:58+00:00November 2nd, 2018|Indigenous languages, Mexico|0 Comments

The Mexican art of double entendre

As a Brit living in Mexico, I’ve discovered that many people are intrigued by whether or not I eat spicy food. I once had an entire conversation with a waiter in which he asked me where I was from, what language I spoke, where exactly England was, and finally ended with the question he was [...]

By |2018-08-24T01:14:11+00:00August 24th, 2018|Double entendre, Language, Mexico, Spanish language|0 Comments

The decline of Chinantec whistled speech in Mexico

The small village of San Pedro Sochiapam, deep in the mountainous region of the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, is home to the Chinantec people. Here steep footpaths end at chicken coops and cornfields grow on mountainsides, while the villagers clear brush with machetes and children enjoy ice-cream cones from a stall near the town [...]

By |2018-03-26T14:08:50+00:00March 26th, 2018|Language, Mexico, Whistled languages|0 Comments

Mexican women lead initiatives to rescue native tongues

When Gabriela Badillo traveled to Mérida, Yucatán, more than a decade ago, she encountered children who were timid about speaking the Mayan language. As she later came to understand, fear and discrimination were factors that affected the home teaching and use of the region’s native tongue. “Children were a bit embarrassed to speak Mayan. ... [...]

By |2018-02-22T00:21:56+00:00June 22nd, 2017|Indigenous languages, Language, Mexico|0 Comments

UCLA historian brings language of the Aztecs from ancient to contemporary times

The language of the Aztecs, Nahuatl, is undergoing a renaissance in Los Angeles, thanks in part to the efforts of a genial UCLA historian. Once the lingua franca of Mexico, Nahuatl [pronounced na’ wat] was eventually overtaken by Spanish. Today, the indigenous language is spoken only by 1.5 million people in Mexico, many of whom [...]

By |2017-06-16T12:58:21+00:00June 16th, 2017|Aztecs, Mexico, Nahuatl language|0 Comments

One Man’s Mission to Keep Aztecs’ Ancient Language Alive

There’s no dearth of culture and language in Southern California. The Census Bureau rates the 40 most common languages spoken by Americans — and 39 of them are spoken in L.A. At a church in Santa Ana, you’ll hear sounds that have resonated for thousands of years. Each Saturday morning, people gather to speak and [...]

By |2017-04-22T14:59:42+00:00April 24th, 2017|Aztecs, Language, Mexico, Nahuatl language|1 Comment

Indigenous lawmakers fear loss of languages

Mexico’s indigenous languages are at risk of being lost, warn several indigenous members of the Chamber of Deputies, who also see a major threat in persistent racism and discrimination against their culture by the greater Mexican society. Campeche Deputy Miguel Ángel Sulub is a native Maya speaker who believes that first languages should be taught [...]

By |2016-11-30T11:16:33+00:00November 30th, 2016|Indigenous languages, Mexico|0 Comments

Pope Francis in Mexico: Pontiff delivers mass in three indigenous languages during Chiapas visit

Pope Francis has travelled to Chiapas state, centre of Mexico's poor, indigenous south, to preside over a mass in native languages thanks to a new Vatican decree approving their use in liturgy. It will include readings, prayers and hymns in the three main indigenous languages of Chiapas: Tzeltal, Tzotzil and Chol, which are spoken by [...]