Nahuatl

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DamaNegra

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I know I'm being incredibly optimistic here... but is there anyone out there who speaks Nahuatl? Or is even interested in learning?

I'm trying to learn the language (which is proving to be a nice challenge!) and would love to find either someone to practice it, or someone who'd be willing to learn it with me.
 

DamaNegra

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Well, since there are no takers, I'll just use this thread to share my favorite bits of Nahuatl poetry :) I hope someone else finds these and enjoys. (English translation follows the Nahuatl original)

Melancholy alert!

Timiquini

Zan nicaqui itopyo ipetlacallo
¡ah in tepilhuan!
tiyoque timiquini
Timacehualtin, nahui, nahui,
in timoch tonyazque
timochi tonmiquizque
in tlalticpac

Zan yuhqui tlacuilolli
ah tonpupulihui
Zan yuhqui xochitl
in zan toncuetlahui
ya in tlalticpaa

Ya quetzalli ya zacuan,
xiuhquecholli itlaquechhuan,
tonpupulihui, tiyahui in ichan.
Xi yocoyacan, in antepilhuan,
cuauht'amocelo,
ma nel chalchiuitl,
ma nel teocuitlatl,
no ye ompa yazque
oncan on Ximohua

Zan tipopolihuizque
ayac mocahuaz.

¿Can nelpa tonyazque
in aic timiquizque?

Zan niccaqui itopyo ipetlacallo
¡ah in tepilhuan!
tiyoque timiquini.
Timacehualtin, nahui, nahui,
in timochi tonyazque,
timochi tonmiquizque in tlalticpac

- Nezahualcóyotl


I can feel what's secret, what's hidden:
¡Oh, lords!
Thus we are,
we are but mortal,
four by four, all of us men,
all of us shall leave
all of us shall die on earth

Like a painting
we will fade away.
Like a flower,
we shall wilt away
here upon earth.

Like a dress made of zacuan feathers,
the precious bird with the rubber neck,
we shall be spent.
Think on it, oh lords,
eagles and jaguars,
even if you were made of jade,
even if you were made of gold,
there too shall you go
to the fleshless place.

We will have to disappear
nothing shall stay behind.

¿Where will we go, where death is no more?
But, ¿shall that make me live in tears?

I can feel what's secret, what's hidden:
¡Oh, lords!
Thus we are,
we are but mortal,
four by four, all of us men,
all of us shall leave
all of us shall die on earth
 

Puma

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Very nice, Dama. Do you know who the four men were? (Weren't they the compass points or winds?)

If I were fifty years younger I might have been interested in working on learning some Nahuatl, but at this point in my life ... Best of luck to you in learning it. I think there should be some future potential in your endeavor. Puma
 
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Dave Hardy

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I read about Nezahaulcoyotl while I was doing research for an Aztec-era Sword & Sorcery tale. Wasn't he part of an alliance of kings that was a precursor to the Aztec Empire?

My knowledge of Nahautl is limited: coyotl, toamatl, chocolatl. Coyote, tomato, & chocolate.

I'm just stunned by the beauty & elaborate art of C American codices, Aztec & Mixtec in particular.
 

DamaNegra

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Very nice, Dama. Do you know who the four men were? (Weren't they the compass points or winds?)

No four men, just men leaving in fours. I may be getting confused with eight, but I believe variants of four were used as an euphemism for infinity in nahuatl.

I read about Nezahaulcoyotl while I was doing research for an Aztec-era Sword & Sorcery tale. Wasn't he part of an alliance of kings that was a precursor to the Aztec Empire?

My knowledge of Nahautl is limited: coyotl, toamatl, chocolatl. Coyote, tomato, & chocolate.

I'm just stunned by the beauty & elaborate art of C American codices, Aztec & Mixtec in particular.

Yes, Aztec culture was a thing of amazing beauty, which has sadly been overshadowed by the fact that they made human sacrifices.

Nezahualcóyotl was a king for Tezcoco, and you're absolutely right about him. He was also a great poet and philosopher, as you can see from this small sample :)
 

zanzjan

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Very cool. I'm working (off and on again, it's research-heavy and I'm time-limited) on a story that's loosely centered around parts of the Aztec creation myth found at the beginning of the Anales de Cuauhtitlan.

Are you fluent in Nahuatl? As odd as this may seem, I'd be interesting in knowing if there's a specific word/term in Nahuatl referencing the Roman-Catholic Pope.

Thanks for sharing (-:
 

DamaNegra

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Very cool. I'm working (off and on again, it's research-heavy and I'm time-limited) on a story that's loosely centered around parts of the Aztec creation myth found at the beginning of the Anales de Cuauhtitlan.

Are you fluent in Nahuatl? As odd as this may seem, I'd be interesting in knowing if there's a specific word/term in Nahuatl referencing the Roman-Catholic Pope.

Thanks for sharing (-:

Sadly, I'm just a beginner in learning Nahuatl :( haven't reached fluency yet. Of church-related words, I only really know the word for Bible (Huehuetlatolli). Sorry!
 

Elenitsa

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I love Nezahualcóyotl's poems too. Of course I don;t know Nahuatll, but I am in awe for the Aztec civilization.

And I had a story which happened a little around there ;)
 

zanzjan

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Sadly, I'm just a beginner in learning Nahuatl :( haven't reached fluency yet. Of church-related words, I only really know the word for Bible (Huehuetlatolli). Sorry!

No, that can come in handy too, thanks! (-:
 

DamaNegra

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Here's another one you guys might find interesting. It's actually a fragment from a longer dialouge, it's an answer from the Aztec tlamatinime (wise men) and teopixque (priests) to the franciscan monks that came to spread the word after the conquest. They are two fragments of the whole (I could show the whole if anyone's interested), but I find them to be the two most powerful fragments.

As usual, nahuatl version followed by English translation.

Anquimitlahuia
ca amo tictizimachilia
in Tloque Nauaque
In ilhuicahua, in tlalticpaque
Anquimitlahuia
ca amo nelli teteu in totehuan.
Ca yancuic tlatolli
in anquimitalhuia
auh ic titolapololtia
ic titotetzauia.
Ca in totechiuhcahua
in oyeco, in onemico tlalticpac
amo iuh quitotihui.
Ca yehuantin techmacatihui
in intlamanitiliz
yehoantin quineltocatihui,
quintlaiecultitihui,
quin mahuitzitlitiui in teteu
yehuantin techmachtitiaque
in ixquich in tlaiecolotiloca,
in immahuiztililoca,
inic imixpa titlalqua,
inic titizo,
inictitoxtlahua,
inic ticopaltema,
auh inic titlamictia.

[...]

Hui, totecuyhuane,
ma itla anquichihualtihtin
in amo cuitlapitzin, yn amatlapaltzin,
quenoc quilcahuaz,
quenoc quipoloz.
Ma oc ihuian, yocuxca,
xicmottilican, totecuiyhuame
in tlein monequi.
Ca amo huel toiollopachiui,
auh ca za ayamo tontocaqui
ayamo titonelchihua
tamechtoiolitlacalhuizque.
Ca nican onoque
in ahuaque in tepehuaque
in tetecuti in tlatoque
in quitqui in quimama
in cemanahuatl.
Mazanoc ye inio in oticcauhque
in oticpoloque in otoncuililoque,
in otocaualtiloque
in petatl in icpalli:
ca za oncan tonotiazque
ca tictizaccutiazque,
ma topan xicnochihilica
in tlein anquimonequiltizque.


Translation:

You said
that we do not know
the Lord of the Near and the Nigh
him to whom the earth and the heavens belong.
You said
that our gods were not true.
New word is this,
the word you talk,
by it we are disturbed,
by it we are upset.
Because our ancestors,
They who have been, they who have lived the earth,
they did not talk like this.
They gave us
their laws for life,
they held as true,
worshipped, honoured the gods.
They taught us
all their ways to worship them,
all their ways to honour the gods.
That way, before them we draw our mouth to the ground,
for them we bleed ourselves,
we keep our promises,
we burn copal,
and offer sacrifices.

[...]

Listen, our lords,
do not do anything
to your people
that will bring them ruin,
that will make them perish.
Calmly and friendly
consider, our lords,
what is necessary.
We cannot be peaceful,
and we certainly do not believe yet,
we do not take this for truth,
even if we offend you.
Here are
the lords, those who govern,
the ones who carry, who have under their care
the whole world.
It is enough that we have lost,
that you have taken from us,
that we have been forbidden
to govern ourselves.
If we remain in the same place,
we will be nothing but prisoners.
Do with us
what you will.
 

Kaiser-Kun

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I learned some in middle high for the spanish class... of course, since it was only memorize-repeat procedure, it evaporated from my mind the moment I finished the course.
 

SaraP

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I have to say that when this sub-forum was created, I would have never guessed this language would have its own thread. You people amaze me. :)
 

DamaNegra

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I have to say that when this sub-forum was created, I would have never guessed this language would have its own thread. You people amaze me. :)

Well, even small languages need their love, don't they? :) Besides, Nahuatl poetry is so beautiful I couldn't not share!
 

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