The World of Info


Cities in MEXICO

Mexico city Playa del carmen Riviera maya


The official language in Mexico is Spanish, and it is also spoken by an increasing number of Indians. However, there are still some seven million people who do not speak Spanish, let alone write it. Because of its population size, Mexico is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world.

Many words are derived from the many indigenous languages. Through Spanish, some Native American words have entered Dutch, e.g.:

Náhuatl Spanish Dutch

Tomatl tomate tomato

Xócoatl chocolate chocolate

Within the Native American languages 59 language groups can be distinguished, of which the Náhuatl has the widest spread.

Some Náhuatl words:

Atl - water michi - fish
Auakatl - avocado nojpali - cactus
Ayotl - turtle okuili - caterpillar
Chichiltik - red oselotl - jaguar
Elotl - corn papalotl - butterfly
Istak - white sitlali - star
Itakatl - food siuatl - woman
Itkuintli - dog tekolotl - owl
Kalatl - frog tepetl - hill
Kali - house tlaxkali - tortillas
Kili - parrot tliltik - black
Kimichi - rat tlitl - fire
Coatl - snake teocuitla - gold
Kolotl - scorpion tokatl - spider
Kostik - yellow owlotl - bird
Koyotl - coyote xochitl - flower
Kuakuake - beetle
Kuautli - eagle
Masatl - deer

The main language families are Uto-Aztec (including Náhuatl), Oto-Manque, Zoque-Mixe-Totonak (including Zapoteeks), Maya-Quiché and Taraskan. Uto-Aztec also includes the languages spoken Comanches, Pima, Shoshones and other tribes of western North America.

Languages spoken by over 100,000 residents in Mexico Languages spoken by over 100,000 residents in MexicoPhoto: Yavidaxiu in the public domain

The Aztecs used pictograms to communicate through writing. Some images symbolized ideas and thoughts, and others were used to indicate the tone of individual syllables.

The name Mexico comes from the Aztecs: literally means "mexi'co", "in the navel of the agave", a common fruit in Mexico.

Since 1994, after the first uprising in Chiapas, bilingual education has been given to Indian children.

Mayan hieroglyphs have only been deciphered for a few years and have been found on stone stelae, buildings or e.g. on fig bark.

Mayan languages, MexicoMayan languages, MexicoPhoto: GNU CC 3.0 Unported no changes made


Daling, T. / Mexico : mensen, politiek, economie, cultuur, milieu
Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen / Novib

Dunlop, F. / Mexico
Van Reemst,


Rokebrand, R. / Mexico

Rummel, J. / Mexico
Chelsea House Publishers

Wagenvoort, E. / Reishandboek Mexico

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info