How Did Mexico Start Speaking Spanish?

Video Why Mexicans Speak Spanish: Take a quick look at any list of places around Mexico and you’ll immediately notice a pattern: places like Tlatelolco and Chihuaha aren’t Spanish at all – they come from Nahuatl, the language of the ancient Aztecs. Apparently, we all said something different on this side of the pond before 1492. So how did Mexico start speaking Spanish? It’s actually quite an interesting historical trip. Ready? Read: why do Mexicans speak Spanish

Short and dirty version

The most obvious reason why Mexicans started speaking Spanish is because it was a former Spanish colony. Spanish general Hernán Cortes arrived in what is now Mexico City in 1519. After conquering the Aztec empire, the Spanish Royal Family held its position as the “Copy of Mexico” until 1821. Making sense, right? The new rulers simply brought their language with them, along with their religion, legal system, and some expensive tax obligations.Seems confusing? It is “The History of Mexico” according to Diego Rivera

Why did Mexico start speaking Spanish – And still does?

If you look at other former colonies, you will note that the use of the conqueror’s language was not automatic. The Philippines returned to Tagalog shortly after their independence, and India has never really lost its rich linguistic diversity. speak spanish completely? Due to a combination of historical and political reasons that took place over the course of 300 years. Not all of them were beautiful, but they made Mexico (and Latin America) the wonderful region it is now.

Mexico and its language: A love story

The Spaniards held Mexico and much of Latin America for more than 300 years, beginning in the early 16th century and up until the 19th century. Compare that to the British Raj, or the time during which the Dutch were in Indonesia, which has only reached the 200-year mark. several times.

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Local languages ​​(and leadership) are mixed

Just as fortified and magnificent as the city of Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City) back then, but the truth is that the Aztecs were not functioning as well as a society when Cortes arrived. The Aztecs had just finished conquering a series of smaller local kingdoms, such as the Toltecs, Olmeps, and Zapotecs.Aztec city-states before the ConquestDiverse? Of course! Peaceful? Not so much Each has its own language or dialect. At the time of Cortes’ arrival, the local nobles knew Nahuatl, but most of the population spoke older languages.

At first, two languages ​​are easier than twenty

Immediately after the conquest, the Spaniards realized that the existing power structures of the Aztec empire could be used to bolster their own power. Since they couldn’t deal directly with dozens of different groups, they asked the Aztec nobles to mediate. They also established a network of schools to educate the children of the old Amerindian nobility to feel part of the Kingdom. There, they learned both Spanish and Nahuatl, along with Spanish law and Catholicism.

Then a secret language becomes dangerous

Royal attitudes towards vernacular languages ​​changed in the late 18th century, which were turbulent years across both Europe and the Americas. Back in Europe, the Spaniards dealt with a major war of succession, seducing the Catalan and Aragonese minorities. These uprisings were very close to being successful, and they were greatly aided by the fact that Americans now had a common language that most Spaniards could not understand.The Pueblo . uprisingSanta Fe, 1680: Pueblo Revolt Because of this, in 1770, King Charles IV ordered that all official business be conducted in Spanish. The Spanish royal family also began actively persecuting Nahuatl-speaking people (and Quechua speakers in Peru) on the grounds that these languages ​​were “barbaric and pagan”.

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Independence doesn’t improve everything

Read more: Rythm Bot Not Working – How to Fix Discord Issues Rythm Bot‍After Mexico gained independence, the native languages ​​didn’t enjoy a resurgence like the tagalog did in the Philippines. and culture with the Spaniards. Throughout much of the 19th and early 20th centuries, most schools punished children from rural villages for using native languages ​​in class. Native Nahuatl and Zapotec speakers are also discriminated against because of their accent.

So are these languages ​​out of stock?

In short: no. About six million Mexicans still speak one of 68 indigenous languages. Nahuatl is still spoken by more than a million people. More than 100,000 also speak Yucatec, Maya and Zapotec. However, many others have very few speakers and are in danger of disappearing altogether. The Mexican government is currently investing heavily in preserving these languages, tasking linguists with documenting their vocabulary. For example, check out this hip hop artist by Juchitan who rapped in Zapotec:

How can you help?

Often, it’s hard to connect with the culture of a foreign country. However, it is not impossible. Traces of indigenous culture and philosophy can be felt throughout Mexican culture. By learning to see a country the way its inhabitants see it, you will be able to understand it and appreciate it better, away from cliches and prejudices. It’s beneficial to learn Spanish first – and Lingopie has the resources to help you learn Spanish by immersing yourself without leaving home. Read more: Why do cowboys wear chaps

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