Introduction to Nahuatl: Lesson 2

The prefix system for I, you, you all, we and no prefix system for they, he, she and it works for verbs the same way it does for nouns.

The verb to sleep is cochi.

Now, using the prefix system…

?I sleep|Nicochi

?You sleep|Ticochi

?He sleeps|Cochi

?The woman sleeps|Cochi in cihuātl

To make verbs plural, you just add an h at the end.

The verb to sleep in plural is cochih.

?We sleep|Ticochih

?You sleep|Ancochih

?They sleep|Cochih

?The men sleep|Cochih in tlācah

Now that we know how verbs work, we can tell people where we live.

The verb chanti has 2 different meanings, to live in (as inhabit, dwell) and to be from (as I’m from…). It depends on context for you to know what is the specific case in a conversation.

Mexico in Nahuatl is Mēxihco.

When talking about places, you have to specify if it’s here or there, which are nicān and ōmpa respectively.

?I live (here in) Mexico|Nichanti nicān Mēxihco

?We are from (there) Mexico|Tichantih ōmpa Mēxihco

In Nahuatl, many country names come directly from Spanish:

China = China; France = Francia; Israel = Israel; Russia = Rusia

?You all live (there in) China|Anchantih ōmpa China

Some country names with j and soft g in it change to x in Nahuatl:

Egypt = Exipto; Japan = Xapon

?You live (here in) Japan|Tichanti nicān Xapon

Country names with the word land, which is tlālpan in Nahuatl:

England = Inglatlālpan; Germany (Deutschland) = Teutontlālpan; Iceland = Iztlālpan; Netherlands = Tlanitlālpan; New Zealand = Yāncuic Zetlālpan; Thailand = Taitlālpan

?I’m from (there) Germany|Nichanti ōmpa Teutontlālpan

Country names ending in tlān or lān, which means in the place of:

Argentina = Arxentitlān; Australia = Australlān; Brazil = Brazillān; Canada = Canauhtlān; Italy = Itallān; Portugal = Portōcallān; Spain (Castile) = Caxtillān

?She is from (here) Spain|Chanti nicān Caxtillān

?The man lives (there in) Brazil|Chanti in tlācatl ōmpa Brazillān

Now that you can tell where you live, or where you are from, you can also tell what languages you speak.

The verb to speak is tlahtoa.

The word for language is tlahtōlli.

The word for Nahuatl language is Nāhuatlahtōlli.

?I speak Nahuatl|Nitlahtoa Nāhuatlahtōlli

To ask people what language they speak, you just add a question mark in writing and raise your voice when speaking.

The word for German language is Teutontlahtōlli.

?Do you speak German?|Titlahtoa Teutontlahtōlli?

The word for English language is Inglatlahtōlli.

?Does the woman speak English?|Tlahtoa in cihuātl Inglatlahtōlli?

Can you guess the word for Chinese language?

?Chinese language|Chinatlahtōlli

?Do you all speak Chinese?|Antlahtoah Chinatlahtōlli?

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