Happy New Year...

Ian Mursell Ian.Mursell at btinternet.com
Sat Jan 2 17:40:23 UTC 2010

Cheers, Michael, thank you so much for taking the trouble to help on this.
I know it's a bit of a silly question - it goes without saying that I'm not
expecting Christmas to be 'translated' into Náhuatl! - but it was a genuine
enquiry from a student, and, I think, in its way intriguing...



> ----- 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
> xiuitl!
> 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
> comment.
> 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
> tla:catiliztli"
> 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!"
> Michael
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