The Aztec Language

By the beginning of the sixteenth century, Nahuatl, the Aztec tongue had become the common language of the entire country (Soustelle, 232). The language popularity had something to do with it's linguistic advantages- it was easy to pronounce and the sounds distinct, and allowed for the further creation of necessary vocabulary. The language allowed the Aztecs to communicate easily all forms of thought, as well as facilitating the propagation of Aztec philosophy through out their kingdom.

However, no written language was ever created that directly coincided with Nahuatl. Their system of writing was a compromise between ideogram, phoneticism, and pictography (Soustelle, 233). Each picture or symbol represented a syllable, and these syllables were combined to create a word. For example, the city Otlatitlan was symbolized by a reed, otlatl , and teeth, tlan . Color was also used to communicate thought by adding variety to the syllables. This written form was used to compose poetry, articulate the laws, write literature and all other notations of thought.

The pronunciation of Aztec words

Written by Talli Somekh.