The Colonization of Mexico and the Effect on the Nahuatl Dialect

Faculty Sponsor

Erica Sponberg


Arts and Sciences


Department of Foreign Languages

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-3-2019


History is a part of who we are and how a society is shape. Every detail, every event in history has an effect on how we communicate and how the language differs from place to place. In this presentation I will focused on the Aztecs great civilization, how they were forced to learn the colonizers language and adopt their religion as well.

Before Spaniards arrived in Mexico, there was a great civilization called the Aztecs. When the colonizers arrived in 1521, they claimed to come in peace, saying that they only wanted to educate the Aztecs. The Aztecs had no interest in learning the language nor the religion, because of that they were torture and made into slaves, not only that but many died due to the diseases that Spaniards brought with them. Since many Aztecs died after the colonization, their language became almost extinct. People in the valley of Mexico speak the modern version of Nahuatl called Nahuan. The modern version of Nahuatl is basically made of the original and a mixture of Spanish. Now days, Spanish is spoken in Mexico, Central and South America but it differs from region to region. Everyone has a different vocabulary and ways of using the language. For example, I am from Mexico and we called children niños, while in El Salvador they called children Cipote or Bicho, although we both speak Spanish our speech community is different because we were colonized in different times and our great civilizations were also different.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

My name is Daniela Rios Aguilar; I am a sophomore at Valparaiso University, majoring in Spanish and Secondary Education. I was born and raise in Mexico and I am really close to my roots that is why I have decided to talk about the Aztecs and how colonization had an impact in their speech community. Because of my roots and my heritage I find fascinating to know more about the history of my ancestors. It is also amazing to me the variety of the language depending on the region and how much the region is changing culturally. After college I hope to teach Spanish and to teach my students that even though every region speaks Spanish, they all speak differently and that its beautiful in every way.

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