Autonomous Indigenous People Who Speak Nahuatl]

Kier Salmon k_salmon at
Tue Aug 28 16:10:14 UTC 2007

On Aug 28, 2007, at 8:05 AM, John F. Schwaller wrote:
> The top ten indigenous groups were:
> 	Náhuatl        2,563,000
> 	Maya            1,490,000
> 	Zapoteco        785,000
> 	Mixteco           764,000
> 	Otomí               566,000
> 	Tzetzal            547,000
> 	Tzotzil              514,000
> 	Totonaca        410,000
> 	Mazateco       339,000
> 	Chol                274,000
Looking at this strikes a question that has been in my mind.
I work as a spanish english medical and legal interpreter.  In the  
course of the last 18 months I have run into many people speaking one  
of the mayan dialects, Yucatec and Quiche being the most common,  
Zapotec and Mixtec as well as a few who speak Cora and Tarascan (or  
was it Tarahumara or was it Huichol *NW mountain range*?).  But never  
have I found people who are bilingual spanish nahuatl.  I wondered if  
it was because most nahuatl speakers ARE bilingual and thus I don't  
know about it.  But people chat with me and I find out from names and  
in general conversation about where they've come from.  The other  
explanation that comes to mind is that the nahua don't want to come  
to the USA... but then, why would the maya come in such numbers?
This is the rankest curiosity; since I am interested in learning to  
speak nahuatl, I've been paying attention and asking questions.  Does  
anybody have a hypothesis?
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