Autonomous Indigenous People Who Speak Nahuatl]

Walter O. Koenig amoxtli at
Tue Aug 28 17:41:47 UTC 2007

I was recently contacted by a prisoner from Arizona who wrote a  
letter in excellent english asking me for Nahuatl resources. I have  
heard from several sources that prisoners were using Nahuatl to  
communicate with one another so the guards would not understand them.  
In fact, I know someone who was asked by prison authorities not to  
provide Nahuatl resources. Does anyone know more about this, and if  
you have received letters from prisoners how do you respond to them?  
The prisoner evidently got my address from the Nahua Newsletter.

Best Wishes,

Walter O. Koenig

On Aug 28, 2007, at 9:56 AM, John F. Schwaller wrote:

> 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?
>> _______________________________________________
>> Nahuatl mailing list
>> Nahuatl at
> -- 
> *****************************
> John F. Schwaller
> President
> SUNY - Potsdam
> 44 Pierrepont Ave.
> Potsdam, NY  13676
> Tel. 315-267-2100
> FAX 315-267-2496
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