tecpaocelotl (tecpaocelotl) wrote,

Google to add Maya, Nahuatl languages to search engine


As many of you already know, Google is planning to have Maya and Nahuatl in their search engine. When people think of these two terms, they romanticize and think these languages are simple, but complex to understand. What many of you probably don't know is that there are many Mayan languages and that there are many different Nahuatl dialects.

My only concern is they just jumble Nahuatl together or just use classical Nahuatl (which no one except Miguel Leon-Portilla knows how to speak.) and only using Yucatec Mayan but labeling it as Mayan when there are many Mayan languages as you can see here:

Mayan is a very generic word to describe very diverse groups each with its own language and would probably be the hardest for Google to actually do especially when they don't have a certain language in mind.There are many Mayan communities from Mexico to all of Central America. Each region has its own history, culture, language etc. Latin is to Mayan as Spanish and French is to Yucatec and K'iche'.

With Nahuatl it would be more easier since it's dialects, but there are a few things that would make it a bit difficult would be the pronouns, structure, and a few words. With just the I pronoun (not including how it's spelled which you can 2x with the number I'll give you) there's about 6 different ways that it is said. Sentence structure can be very simple to very "Spanishized". Then there are words that could be different from one community to another. Also, there is different words for post conquest objects, either two Nahuatl words combined to name it or a "Nahuatlized" Spanish word. Finally the famous "tl" at the end of certain words are pronounced 3 different ways, but spelled in 4 ways that I know of. English is to Nahuatl as British English and West Coast English is to Nahuatl from Puebla and Nahuatl from Guerrero.

I just hope Google will learn from previous companies ignorance on the great languages of this continent for example when Microsoft announced many years ago that would add Quechua (which they thought only was one language) to it's latest version of Microsoft Operating System (Vista at the time) & Office (Windows 7 at the time) and only to discover that there are many dialects and only had 3 different dialects in its programs.
Tags: debunk, language, maya, mayan, nahua, nahuatl

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