Autonomous Indigenous People Who Speak Nahuatl]

John F. Schwaller schwallr at
Tue Aug 28 16:56:09 UTC 2007

A month does not go by that someone from around the US contacts me to 
try to find a Nahuatl interpreter for some proceeding.  So in fact there 
are mono-lingual Nahuatl speakers here in the US.  I would, however, 
posit on the basis of no empirical data, that many of the Nahuatl 
speakers here are also bi-lingual in Spanish and as such when confronted 
with a problem are forced to rely on Spanish, since the courts and 
offices have Spanish interpreters.  Similarly, I know for a fact hat the 
prisons of California and Arizona have significant Nahuatl speaking 
populations because I am continually contacted by other prisoners, and 
by guards, about how to learn the language.  So, I know that there are 
fairly large numbers of Nahuatl speakers here in the US.

Kier Salmon wrote:
> 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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> Nahuatl at

John F. Schwaller
SUNY - Potsdam
44 Pierrepont Ave.
Potsdam, NY  13676
Tel. 315-267-2100
FAX 315-267-2496

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