• Up to 7,000 different languages are estimated to be spoken around the world
  • Mandarin Chinese, English, Spanish, Hindi, Arabic, Bengali, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, German and French are world’s most widely spoken languages, according to UNESCO
  • Languages are grouped into families that share a common ancestry
  • English is related to German and Dutch, and all are part of Indo-European family of languages
  • Also includes French, Spanish and Italian, which come from Latin
  • 2,200 of the world’s languages can be found in Asia, while Europe has 260

BBC Languages

Ray Gillon speaks 18 languages. To be precise, he only speaks eight fluently. His grasp on the other 10 is merely conversational.

Throw anything at him in Portuguese, Thai, Turkish, Russian, Polish, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Bulgarian or Mandarin and he will banter back.

In the UK, where there has been a growing anxiety over the failure to learn additional languages, Gillon might seem to be a bit of an anomaly. More and more children have been giving up languages since the last government made learning foreign languages optional in England from the age of 14.

Publisher HarperCollins has been searching for the UK’s most multilingual student, and has discovered a 20-year-old Oxford University undergraduate who can speak 11 languages. And a new book, Babel No More: The Search for the World’s Most Extraordinary Language Learners, by Michael Erard, suggests Gillon is among a set of people who are learning languages for fun.


Tlaocolxochi ixayoticaya ic nichuipana in nocuic nicuicani,
niquimilnamiqui in tepilhuan,
in teintoque,
in tlaçotitoque in campa in ximohuaya,
in oteuctico, in otlatocatico in tlallia icpac,
in quetzalhuahuaciuhtoque in chalchiuhteintoque in tepilhuan,
in maoc imixpan in maoc oquitlani;
in ye itto in tlalticpac iximachoca in tloque in nahuaque.

Y yo ya hue nitlaocolcuicaya in niquimilnamiqui in tepilhuan,
ma zan itla ninocuepa,
ma niquimonana,
ma niquinhualquixti in ompa in ximoayan,
ma oc oppa tihua in tlalticpac,
ma oc quimahuizoqui in tepilhuan in ticmahuizoa,
azo huel yehuantin tlatlazomahuizozquia in ipalnemohualoni,
quemmach tomazehual in tlazaniuh ticmatican in ticnopillahueliloque ic choca in noyollo nino tlalnamiquiliz huipana in nicuicani choquiztica tlaocoltica nitlalnamiquia.

Manozo zan nicmati in nechcaquizque intla itla yectli cuicatl niquimehuili in ompa ximohuayan,
ma ic niquipapacti,
ma ic niquimacotlaza inin tonez inin chichinaquiliz in tepilhuan.
Cuix on machiaz?
Quennel nihualnellaquahua?
Aquen manian ompa niquimontocaz?
Ano niquin nonotztaciz in ye yuh quin in tlalticpac.

nahuatl poetry

Ancient Nahuatl poetry, containing the Nahuatl text of XXVII ancient Mexican poems (1887)


Author: Brinton, Daniel Garrison, 1837-1899
Subject: Nahuatl language — Texts
Publisher: Philadelphia, D. G. Brinton
Possible copyright status: NOT_IN_COPYRIGHT
Language: English
Call number: nrlf_ucb:GLAD-84021879
Digitizing sponsor: MSN
Book contributor: University of California Libraries
Collection: cdl; americana
Scanfactors: 1

Full catalog record: MARCXML

[Open Library icon]This book has an editable web page on Open Library



1. Ninoyolnonotza, campa nicuiz yectli, ahuiaca xochitl:—Ac nitlatlaniz? Manozo yehuatl nictlatlani in quetzal huitzitziltin, in chalchiuh huitzitzicatzin; manozo ye nictlatlani in zaquan papalotl; ca yehuantin in machiz, ommati, campa cueponi in yectli ahuiac xochitl, tla nitlahuihuiltequi in nican acxoyatzinitzcanquauhtla, manoze nitlahuihuiltequi in tlauhquecholxochiquauhtla; oncan huihuitolihui ahuach tonameyotoc in oncan mocehcemelquixtia; azo oncan niquimittaz intla onechittitique; nocuexanco nictemaz ic niquintlapaloz in tepilhuan, ic niquimellelquixtiz in teteuctin.

2. Tlacazo nican nemi, ye nicaqui in ixochicuicatzin yuhqui tepetl quinnananquilia; tlacazo itlan in meyaquetzalatl, xiuhtotoameyalli, oncan mocuica, momotla, mocuica; nananquilia in centzontlatolli; azo quinnananquilia in coyoltototl, ayacachiçahuacatimani, in nepapan tlazocuicani totome. Oncan quiyectenehua in tlalticpaque hueltetozcatemique.

3. Nic itoaya, nitlaocoltzatzia; ma namechellelti y tlazohuane, niman cactimotlalique, niman hualtato in quetzal huitzitziltin. Aquin tictemohua, cuicanitzine? Niman niquinnanquilia niquimilhuia: Campa catqui in yectli, ahuiac xochitl ic niquimellelquixtiz in amohuampotzitzinhuan? Niman onechicacahuatzque ca nican tlatimitzittitili ticuicani azo nelli ic tiquimellelquixtiz in toquichpohuan in teteuctin.

4. Tepeitic tonacatlalpa, xochitlalpa nechcalaquiqueo oncan on ahuachtotonameyotimani, oncan niquittacaya in nepapan tlazoahuiac xochitl, tlazohuelic xochitl ahuach quequentoc, ayauhcozamalotonameyotimani, oncan nechilhuia, xixochitetequi, in catlehuatl toconnequiz, ma mellelquiza in ticuicani, tiquinmacataciz in tocnihuan in teteuctin in quellelquixtizque in tlalticpaque.

5. Auh nicnocuecuexantia in nepapan ahuiacxochitl, in huel teyolquima, in huel tetlamachti, nic itoaya manozo aca tohuanti hual calaquini, ma cenca miec in ticmamani; auh ca tel ye onimatico nitlanonotztahciz imixpan in tocnihuan nican mochipa tiqualtetequizque in tlazo nepapan ahuiac xochitl ihuan ticuiquihui in nepapan yectliyancuicatl ic tiquimellelquixtizque in tocnihuan in tlalticpactlaca in tepilhuan quauhtliya ocelotl.

6. Ca moch nicuitoya in nicuicani ic niquimicpac xochiti in tepilhuan inic niquimapan in can in mac niquinten; niman niquehuaya yectli yacuicatl ic netimalolo in tepilhuan ixpan in tloque in nahuaque, auh in atley y maceuallo.

7. Can quicuiz? Can quitlaz in huelic xochitl? Auh cuix nohuan aciz aya in xochitlalpan, in tonacatlalpan, in atley y macehuallo in nentlamati? Intla y tlacohua in tlalticpac ca çan quitemacehualtica in tloque in nahuaque, in tlalticpac; ye nican ic chocan noyollo noconilnamiquia in ompa onitlachiato y xochitlalpana nicuicani.

8. Auh nic itoaya tlacazo amo qualcan in tlalticpac ye nican, tlacazo occecni in huilohuayan, in oncan ca in netlamachtilli; tlezannen in tlalticpac? tlacazo occecni yoliliz ximoayan, ma ompa niauh, ma ompa inhuan noncuicati in nepapan tlazototome, ma ompa nicnotlamachti yectliya xochitl ahuiaca xochitl, in teyolquima, in zan tepacca, teahuiaca yhuintia, in zan tepacca, ahuiaca yhuintia.

Casa de México

A B r i e f D i c t i o n a r y o f C o m m o n T e r m s

Nahuatl language varies according to the state where you are, some words are spelled starting with a “K” while another with a “C” for the same word, even the last letters maybe altered depending on your location in Mexico. We try to use the most common terms below.

Kalli – house, casa
Tlazocamatli – thank you, gracias
Tonatiuh – sun, sol
Meztli – moon, luna
Azteka – from Aztekatl (meaning from Aztlan), de Aztekatl (significa de Aztlan)
Tlatoa – speak, hablar
Ikniuhtli – friend, amigo
Nehuatl – I, yo
Tehuatl – you, tu
Niltze – hi, hola
Amo – no
Kema – yes, si

Titlatoa Nahuatl? – do you speak Nahuatl? Tu hablas Nahuatl?
Kema, Nitlatoa Nahuatl – yes, I speak Nahuatl, Si, Yo hablo Nahuatl
Amo, Nitlato Nahuatl – no, I do not speak Nahuatl. No hablo Nahuatl
Ken Motoka? – what is your name?, Cual es tu numbre?
Nehuatl Notoka… – my name is…, mi nombre es …
Kanin Tichanti? – where do you live?, donde es tu vives?
Nehuatl Nichanti… – I Live…, yo vivo…
Kenin Otimo Uika – how are you doing?, como as estado?
Hue Kaulli – very good, muy bien
Kualli – good, bueno

Cihuatl – woman, mujer
Tlacatl – man, hombre
Nantlil – mother, madre
Tahtll – father, padre
Ikniuh – brother, hermano
Hueltiuh – sister, hermana
Cuacualti – beautiful, bonita
Papakiliztli – happy, feliz
Yoliliztli – life, vida
Yollotl – heart, corazon
Itacatl – food, comida
Cintlaolli – corn, maize
Atl – water, agua
Atoyaatl – river, rio
Mixtli – cloud, nube
Ehekatl – wind, viento
Kiauitl – rain, lluvia
Tletl – fire, fuego
Ayauhcozamalotl – rainbow, arco iris
Cicitlaltin – stars, estrellas
Ilhuitl – day, dia
Yoal – night, la noche
Axan – today, hoy
Cualcan – tomorrrow morning, manana
Nian – here, aqui

G e m s & M i n e r a l s
Chalchiuitl – jade
Itztli – obsidian, obsidiana
Tecalli – onix
Iztactehulotl – rock quartz or crystal, cristal de roca
Huitzitzilteepatl – opal , opalo
Teoxihuitl – turquoise, turquesa
Apozonalli – amber, ambar
Tlaquauacteepatl – diamond, diamante
Tlapaltehuilotl – amathist, amatista
Quetzalxoquiyae – emerald, esmeralda
Cuacocoztic – ruby, rubí
Epyollotli – pearl, perla
Matlalxihuitl – saffire, zafiro

N u m b e r s
Ce – one, uno
Ome – two, dos
Yeyi – three, tres
Nahui – four, cuatro
Macuil – five, cinco
Chicuacen – six, seis
Chicome – seven, siete
Chicuei – eight, ocho
Chihnahui – nine, nueve
Matlactli – ten, diez


Mexico-Tenochtitlan ou, de manière abrégée, Tenochtitlan, est l’ancienne capitale (« huey altepetl ») de l’empire aztèque. Elle fut bâtie sur une île située sur le lac Texcoco (dont une grande partie a été asséchée par la suite). Elle était coupée par de longues avenues, traversée par des canaux et reliée au continent par des chaussées. En 1521, les conquistadors espagnols, sous les ordres d’Hernán Cortés, détruisirent une grande partie de la ville, et plus particulièrement tout ce qui pouvait rappeler les cultes idolâtres aztèques, puis y fondèrent Mexico, qui devint la capitale de la vice-royauté de Nouvelle-Espagne.