Talk Mexican

Firstly we need to establish that there is actually no specific Mexican Language.

Mexico is inhabited by approximately 109 million people making it the 11th most populous country in the world. There are 12 million indigenous people in Mexico from a variety of ethnic groups. Because of this diversity of these ethnic groups the constitution of Mexico defines the country as a pluricultural nation. The principal language is Spanish but there are 63 indigenous languages also recognized as national languages.  The most dominant of these languages is Nahuatl. It is the primary language of more than a million Mexicans. The others include Mixteco, Zapoteco, Quechua, Aymara, Guaraní and some Mayan languages.   Eighty percent of those Mexicans who speak an indigenous language also speak Spanish.

A lot of Mexican inhabitants speak German, Italian, French and English, to name just a few, but these languages are not officially recognized by the government or protected by law.  This is despite the fact that more people speak those languages than some of the recognised indigenous languages.  Historically, Mexican laws have restricted or prohibited the use of foreign languages in mass media (radio and TV), on public road signs, business storefronts and advertising billboards.

The constitution promotes “bilingual and intercultural education”.  In 2003 the Mexican Congress approved the General Law of Linguistic Rights of Indigenous Peoples which states that the indigenous languages “have the same validity [as Spanish] in their territory, location and context”. At the same time, legislators made no specific provisions for the official or legal status of the Spanish language. This law means that indigenous peoples can use their native language in communicating with government officials and request official documents in that language.

The diminution of the indigenous languages and the predominance of Spanish started with the arrival of Christopher Columbus to South America in 1492.

© 2009-2020

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *