Columbia University offers beginner Nahuatl, one of the most widely spoken indigenous languages of the Americas with approximately 1.5 million speakers concentrated in central Mexico. As a result of increased migration, Nahuatl speaking communities exist in the United States, including New York City. Nahuatl played an important role in the history of Mexico, as “classical” Nahuatl was the lingua franca of the Mexica people, founders of the Aztec Empire. Columbia approaches Nahuatl as a vital living language, present in different cultural and social spheres of “nahua” speaking communities, and values the dialectal and cultural diversity of the Nahuatl language spoken in Mexico.
Nahuatl is offered on this cycle:
- Fall: Introduction to Nahuatl Language I
- Spring: Introduction to Nahuatl Language II and Comprehensive Introduction to Nahuatl I/II
Check the current and upcoming semester’s course offerings for more information.
Angel Vicente Ferrer is a native nahua speaker of the Tepeteno Tlataluquitepec community in Puebla, and a PhD student in American Indian Linguistics at the Center for Research and Higher Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS- Mexico City). He has taught Nahuatl language courses at Puebla Autonomous University’s Faculty of Arts (BUAP), where he collaborated in the project titled “Linguistic Communities in the City of Puebla,” coordinated by the Linguistics Academic Body. In 2013 he participated in the “Nahua Dialectology” project coordinated by the National Institute of Indigenous Languages in Mexico (INALI).