Happy New Year...

Michael McCafferty mmccaffe at indiana.edu
Fri Jan 1 19:01:33 UTC 2010

----- Forwarded message from Ian.Mursell at btinternet.com -----
    Date: Thu, 31 Dec 2009 11:05:46 +0000
    From: Ian Mursell <Ian.Mursell at btinternet.com>
Reply-To: Ian Mursell <Ian.Mursell at btinternet.com>
Subject: [Nahuat-l] Happy New Year...
      To: Nahuatl at lists.famsi.org

³I'm Japanese.  Please teach me Nahuatl.
  How to write in Nahuatl is not understood and it embarrasses it though I
want to write the sentence of
"Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!".  I¹m keen to know..  Please correct
the sentence that I wrote.

  The original text : Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
  In Spanish          : ¡Feliz Navidad y próspero año nuevo!

  My sentence      : Kuali Tlakatilisiluitl iuan tlasempaktiani yankuik

Hello, Ian, and happy new year!

This request is interesting as it brings up a couple of questions.

As I'm not a native speaker of Nahuatl, I can't say for sure what is 
possible in today's language for such a "command". Maybe one of the 
list members who is currently working with native speakers could 

However, my "instinctual" feeling about such a wish for "classical" 
Nahuatl would be that, unlike a wish in English or Spanish, one would 
use a verb in the optative mood along with an introductory particle in 
the form of /ma:/ or /tla:/.

For "Merry Christmas!" I would go with "Ma: xiccemilhuiti cualli 

employing the verb cemilhuitia 'to spend a whole day (ilhuitl)'.

Regarding "próspero año nuevo!" my question would be of a semantic 
nature. Can a *year* be *prosperous*? Or can only people be prosperous? 
I would go with the latter, again using a verb in the optative mood:

"Ma: xonmocuilto:no i:pan yancuic xihuitl!"

In all:

"Ma: xiccemilhuiti cualli tla:catiliztli i:huan ma xonmocuilto:no i:pan 
yancuic xihuitl!"


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