BanderasNews
Puerto Vallarta Weather Report
Welcome to Puerto Vallarta's liveliest website!
Contact UsSearch
Why Vallarta?Vallarta WeddingsRestaurantsWeatherPhoto GalleriesToday's EventsMaps
 NEWS/HOME
 AROUND THE BAY
 AROUND THE REPUBLIC
 AROUND THE AMERICAS
 THE BIG PICTURE
 BUSINESS NEWS
 TECHNOLOGY NEWS
 WEIRD NEWS
 EDITORIALS
 ENTERTAINMENT
 VALLARTA LIVING
 PV REAL ESTATE
 TRAVEL / OUTDOORS
 HEALTH / BEAUTY
 SPORTS
 DAZED & CONFUSED
 PHOTOGRAPHY
 CLASSIFIEDS
 READERS CORNER
 BANDERAS NEWS TEAM
Sign up NOW!

Free Newsletter!
Puerto Vallarta News NetworkNews Around the Republic of Mexico | February 2008 

Mexico City Mayor Wants to Revive Aztec Language
email this pageprint this pageemail usMica Rosenberg - Reuters
go to original



 
Mexico City – Mexico City mayor Marcelo Ebrard wants all city employees, from hospital workers to bus drivers, to learn the Aztec language Nahuatl in an effort to revive the ancient tongue, the city government said.

Leftist Ebrard, seen as a possible presidential candidate in 2012, presented his government's development plan this week translated for the first time into Nahuatl.

“This publication is not just a symbolic act, it is the first step to institutionalizing the use of Nahuatl in the government,” his office said a statement.

The next step will be offering Nahuatl classes to city government officials, including the mayor and his cabinet, and distributing booklets about indigenous culture to 300,000 public servants, said Rosa Marquez who runs the program.

Nahuatl gave the world words like “tomato”, “chocolate”, and “avocado”, all of which were consumed in ancient Mexico.

The native language dominated central Mexico over 1,000 years ago and is still spoken by some 1.4 million of Mexico's 107 million people today but it fell from widespread use after the Spanish conquered Mexico in the early 16th century.

Mexico City, home to only, 30,000 Nahuatl speakers is already providing translators in hospitals and courts but wants desk workers to learn the basics of the language in classroom sessions and online courses.

Many Nahuatl speakers are migrants who come from poverty-stricken towns to find jobs as street vendors or as domestic workers since indigenous people suffer higher levels of discrimination, said Marquez.

“Our native languages are disappearing, they are now mostly spoken only at home,” she said.

Since 1930 the percentage of people who speak one of Mexico's 62 native languages has fallen by almost 10 percentage points to 6.7 percent in 2005, according to the country's census. The language drive is the latest eye-catching initiative from Ebrard, who installed a huge ice rink in the main Zocalo square over Christmas and set up “beaches” of sand in public parks.



In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving
the included information for research and educational purposes • m3 © 2008 BanderasNews ® all rights reserved • carpe aestus