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Author: Edward Polanco

How to Pronounce Colors and Numbers in Nahuatl

How to Pronounce Colors and Numbers in Nahuatl

This page is intended for academic use as a tool to help students hear a native speaker of Nahuatl (Catalina de la Cruz Cruz) pronounce words and phrases. None of the files on this page or the rest of the site should be used without prior consent, and can never be used for commercial purposes.

Esta página fue creada para uso académico solamente con el fin de que los estudiantes del náhuatl pueden escuchar a una nativo hablante (Catalina de la Cruz Cruz) pronunciar palabras y frases. Ninguna parte de esta página o sitio se puede usar sin consentimiento previo y expreso. Ninguna parte se podrá usar para propósitos comerciales.

 

Numbers – Numeros

The pronunciations contained in this section were recorded in the style of la Huasteca Veracruzana. Other variants (i.e., dialects) of Nahuatl might vary in certain constructions or pronunciation, but most are very similar. It is also important to note that the Nahua counting system, like most Mesoamerican systems, is vigesimal. In other words, it is a system that goes by 20, unlike decimal Western counting systems that go by 10. Here you are given the first set of 20 numbers, in a future post you will see higher powers.


0

      yonce

1

      ce

2

      ome

3

      eyi

4

      nahui

5

      macuilli

6

      chicuace

7

      chicome

8

      chicueyi

9

      chiucnahui

10

      mahtlactli

11

      mahtlactli-huan-ce

12

      mahtlactli-huan-ome

13

      mahtlactli-huan-eyi

14

      mahtlactli-huan-nahui

15

      caxtolli

16

      caxtolli-huan-ce

17

      caxtolli-huan-ome

18

      caxtolli-huan-eyi

19

      caxtolli-huan-nahui

20

      cempohualli

 

Colors – Colores

Again, the pronunciations and conventions contained in this section were done in the style of la Huasteca Veracruzana, which might vary starkly with other dialects in this particular subject.


Red/Rojo

      chichiltic

Purple/Morado

      camohtic

Brown/ Café

      cafentic

Blue/Azul

      azultic

Transparent/Transparente

      atzalantic

Orange/Anaranjado

      achilcoz

Black/Negro

      yayahuic

Green/Verde

      xoxoctic

Grey/Gris

      tenextic

Multicolor

      cuicuiltic

Pink/Rosa

      cuahuencho

Yellow/Amarillo

      coztic

Beige

      chocoxtic

White/Blanco

      chipahuac

 

Researching in the Biblioteca Nacional de España

Researching in the Biblioteca Nacional de España

The Biblioteca Nacional de España is probably the first place you want to visit in Spain when you are conducting research. Why? Because you get a cool ID card with your name on it, that will be useful when registering for other archives and libraries.

The link posted above will lead you to the BNE’s webpage. There you can find their catalog. They have a pretty large collection of codices and manuscripts created or pertaining to Latin America. There is an even larger corpus of information pertaining to Iberia.

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Hours of  Operation

Their summer hours are from M-F 9:00AM to 7:30PM. Check their website for non-summer hours.

What You Need to Register

  • A letter of introduction from your adviser or department chair
  • Your passport (if you are not a Spanish citizen)
  • Your driver’s license or some other form of official ID that has your mailing address.
    • if you do not provide this, you will need to present some kind of document (typically mail) that proves your mailing address.

How to Get There

The BNE is located on Paseo de Recoletas.

Best ways to get there:

  • Metro
    • Get off on the Recoletas stop and walk about 100 feet
    • Uber or Cab
    • Walking (depending on how far you are)

Tips and Tricks

  • Always bring a 1€ coin. You will need it to use your locker. If you forget one, you can get a plastic coin from one of the guards by registering with your BNE ID card. This will add a few minutes to your entrance and exit, so try to avoid that.
  • Visit the BNE exhibit on the ground floor. Ask one of the archivists or guards how to get there. It is free, and interesting.
  • Walk about a mile south on Paseo de Recoletas and visit the Museo del Prado.

What You Can Take Inside

For the most part, Spanish archives will rework your archival kit. First and foremost, most large archives do not permit photography, and thus they will not allow you to bring a camera in. Guards will check your stuff when entering and exiting the building and consultation rooms. Thus, I would pack light and make sure to not violate any of their norms.

  • A pencil
  • An eraser
  • A notepad without any stickers insider. If stickers are present, you cannot bring it in.
  • A laptop
  • Headphones
  • A magnifying glass
  • A small clear bag to carry your stuff, I use my small archival kit bag.

Where to Eat

  • Your best option is the BNE’s cafeteria. A menu del dia will set you back 7.50€. I walked around the first few days and I asked people both in the BNE and out, and the next cheapest price will be about 10€.
  • Bring your own lunch. This option might be cheaper, but depending on your setup, it might not be practical.
Meal Times in Central Mexico

Meal Times in Central Mexico

One thing that is always a topic of conversation for people new to Mexico is meal times. Mexicans also seem to be intrigued about meal times in the US, and portions for said meals. Knowing the terms and times is important because in Mexico City and many other parts of central and southern Mexico people use different terms that foreigners are not used to, and the times are also very different. It is crucial to use the right terms, otherwise you might create some confusion. By the time I was about a month into my Fulbright trip, I was eating on the following schedule, and it seemed natural to me. I will say that I didn’t always eat the same things Mexicans ate, but I did eat around the same time.

Desayuno 7-10AM

  • This is usually the first meal of the day, and it is relatively light. People have yogurt, cereal, sandwiches or something of the sort. A 20150823_195619lot of street food sold around breakfast time include: tamales, tacos, yogurt with fruit, gelatin, tortas de tamal, tacos, and chilaquiles to name a few.
  • The verb you want to use here is desayunar, not comer. Unlike English (in the US) where we don’t say I broke-fast, or I lunched, in Mexican Spanish (espeically in the center) you use verbs for the actual meal you had. Although this might be confusing to you as a foreigner at first, it is great because it actually eliminates confusing what meal you are talking about.

La Comida 2-4PM

  • This meal is pretty heavy and it usually starts around 2PM and ends around 4PM. As a person who has lived almost my entire life in the United States, I am used to having lunch around noon. I also grew up calling lunch either lunche or almuerzo in Spanish. Both of those terms do not fly in CDMX and people will be confused and, immediately know you aren’t from those parts. Hitting la comida before 1 will probably lead you to empty/unopened restaurants and possibly unfresh food. Sure eating before 2PM will help you beat the hora de la comida rush,  but you will miss out on some good restaurants and meeting new interesting people. Not to mention, potentially risk your belly’s health.  Overall, la comida will be the biggest meal of the day.
  • The interesting thing here is that like other meal times, la comida has its own verb. For example:¿ya comiste? Would not mean, “Did you eat?” Instead, it would mean, “Did you have lunch?” I hit some confusing moments with this in 2015 with some roomates in CDMX. While cooking dinner I asked them if they had comido, and they would say “si, ya comí como a las cuatro.” Which seemed like a very early dinner for me, which it was, but he or she was expressing that they ate lunch at 5. When I expressed that I felt it was early for dinner, they responded by saying, “bueno, comí a las cuatro pero voy a cenar a las 9 mas o menos.” After a few days of this confusion, I finally caught on and I realized that I was using the wrong verb. I had to ask, ¿ya cenaste? Which leads me to the next category.
  • One final clarification. If someone says “voy por comida” they are more than likely referring to food in general. If they say, “voy por la comida” they are talking about lunch, not food in general.

Cena 8-11PM

  • The cena is usually fairly late, although there is variation. I would say that in my experience most Mexicans that eat at home usually have coffee and a pastry, or a tamale etc. IMG_20151028_212949On special occasions, or when you go out with friends this seems to change a bit, but most people typically have smallish portions for this meal. More than likely because people end up eating cena anywhere from 8-11pm.
Geeking Out With a Magnifying Glass

Geeking Out With a Magnifying Glass

I recently added a new piece to my archival kit, which I will share with you here, so we can geek out together. A few people in the archive have noticed my new toy, and after trying it out they usually fall in love. Yet, as a proud archive rat I realize that most people, including my loved ones, do not care about archival documents nor my archival toys.

IMGP8697

The item in question is a foldable 5X magnifying glass. The great thing about this glass is that you can place it on the document, right where you want, and show someone else what you want them to inspect. This means that you can also leave it on a page, write something down, and return to your magnification without skipping a beat. This is very helpful when you are looking at a very dense document. Another thing I love about this glass is its clarity, you can see very fine detail in the ink and the pen strokes that were used. This was particularly useful for me recently when I was trying to match the writing of an anonymous letter to an individual that seemed to be a match.IMGP8698

Foldability, yet another great feature that this glass boasts. You can fold it up, and stick in its pouch and it takes up very little room. I still carry my pocket magnifying glass in my kit, because I do find that they can both be useful, but more and more I find myself going for the foldable. Also, not all archives will let you place a magnifying glass on the actual documents, thus having both can be helpful.

Check the pictures below for more foldable fun!

 

Researching at the Archivo Histórico de la Casa de Moneda de México

Researching at the Archivo Histórico de la Casa de Moneda de México

AHCMMThe AHCMM is located in the Museo Numismático Nacional in the Centro Historico in CDMX. The neighborhood is hectic and not pleasing to the eye, but it is safe during the day as long you take precautions. The AHCMM has documents started from the mid seventeenth century and the bulk of its material really begins in the eighteenth. People interested in minting and mining in central Mexico will find gems here. Yet, there are also some nuggets regarding indigenous peoples in New Spain at large.

Consultation Hours:

8:30AM to 3:30PM, Mon-Fri

How to arrive:

This area is not the safest in the world, but you should be able to navigate around without any problems if you take precautions. Do not use your cellphone or any other device without paying attention to your surroundings. Make sure you keep all of your valuables tucked away in your backpack or pockets. There are tons of cops and as long as you are vigilant, you should be fine. I would advise you to stay clear of this area at night, unless you know someone (or are someone) from the area. If you are having trouble finding the archive, ask for Argentina y Bolivia. I think finding those streets will be your best bet.

There are four main ways to get to the AHCMM:

  • Metro: Get to the blue line and get off on Allende, or from the Green line get off on Lagunilla.
  • Metrobus: Get to the linea 4 and get off on Republica de Argentina and walk North on Republica de Argentina and make a right on Bolivia.
  • Ecobici, there is an ecobici station on Argentina and the San Ildefonso alley.
  • Taxi or UBER: like always this will be the most expensive option. Ask for the Rebulica de Argentina and Repuplica de Bolivia or the Museo Numismático Nacional.

Consultation/ Image Reproduction

  • Transcribing
    • You can either type your transcriptions on a laptop, or write them down on paper.
  • Photography and Reproduction
    • You can take digital pictures of images at no cost.

What You Need to Register:

  • Letter of Introduction (typically from your adviser)

What You Need to Consult Documents:

Researching at the Archivo del Cabildo Catedral Metropolitano de Mexico

Researching at the Archivo del Cabildo Catedral Metropolitano de Mexico

The Archivo del Cabildo is located in the Northwest corner of the Cathedral de la Ciudad de México. Finding the Zocalo or the Cathedral should be very easy, and finding the Archive is also easy but I will stress that you should not ask the average person if they can help you find the Cabildo Archive– they will have no clue. Instead, find the Cathedral and then proceed to the Northwest corner or ask someone that works for the Cathedral to direct you towards the archive.

In the Cabildo Archive you will find documents and records that pertain to the building and upkeep of the Cathedral beginning in the sixteenth century.

Consultation Hours:

4PM to 8PM, Tue-Fri (Yes, PM)

10AM-2PM, Saturdays (Yes, they are open on Saturday)

How to arrive:

Here is a big helpful tip, if you get lost, ask for the Zocalo, the Plaza de la Constitucion, or la Catedral de Mexico. I would not ask for the the Cabildo Archive until you are in the Cathedral.

There are four main ways to get to the Cabildo Archive:

  • Metro: Get to the blue line and get off on the Zocalo stop.
  • Metrobus: Get to the linea 4 and get off on Republica de Argentina and walk south on Republica de Brazil to the Zocalo.
  • Ecobici, there is an ecobici station on the Northwest end of the Cathedral.
  • Taxi or UBER: like always this will be the most expensive option. Ask for the Zocalo or the Catedral.

Consultation/ Image Reproduction

  • Transcribing
    • You can either type your transcriptions on a laptop, or write them down on paper.
  • Photography and Reproduction
    • You can take digital pictures of images for at no cost, as long as you do not photograph an entire volume.

What You Need to Register:

  • Letter of Introduction (typically from your adviser)

What You Need to Consult Documents:

Where to eat:

Fun Fact:

  • The opening scenes of James Bond Spectre (2015) were filmed in CDMX and one of the main parts includes a series of shots in the Zocalo were you can see the Palace and the Cathedral.

Researching in the Archivo Histórico del Arzobispado de México

Researching in the Archivo Histórico del Arzobispado de México

The AHAM is located in Roma Norte and is very easy to access, and when your done, you’re in ROMA NORTE! Their collection includes documents from the sixteenth century until the present, and houses mostly documents that were created within the archdiocese of Mexico that do not have to do with the day-to-day business of the Cathedral, those documents are likely to be found in the Cabildo Archive.

The address is: Calle Durango #90 First Floor, Cuahtehmoc, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico

 

Be careful as of 3/8/2016 Google Maps shows the AHAM about a block and half from where it should be. Search the address instead, like the map below.

Consultation Hours:

9AM to 3PM, M-F

How to arrive:

Here is a big helpful tip, if you get lost, ask for the Plaza Rio de Janiero or the Arquidiocesis Primada de México, or worst case scenario the Glorieta Insurgentes, more people are likely to know where that is.

There are four main ways to get to the AHAM:

  • Metro and Metrobus: The Metro Insurgentes stop is your best bet. Once you are in the glorieta insurgentes you will exit south on the walkway that leads to Jalapa. Walk past Puebla and make a left on Durango. Walk through the Plaza Rio de Janiero and once you are on the Durango once more look for #90 which will be near the corner with Cordoba.
  • Ecobici, there is an ecobici station about one block away from the AHAM.
  • Taxi or UBER: like always this will be the most expensive option. Ask for the Plaza Rio de Janiero or the Arquidiocesis Primada de México

Consultation/ Image Reproduction

  • Transcribing
    • You can either type your transcriptions on a laptop, or write them down on paper.
  • Photography and Reproduction
    • You can take digital pictures of images for 1 MXN per picture. You can also obtain digital reproductions (scanned) for the price of 1 MXN per image. Due to the fact that there is poor lighting in the consultation area, I would go with the scanned copies.

What You Need to Register:

  • Letter of Introduction (typically from your adviser)
  • Government issued Identification Card (you will leave this at the front desk when you first enter)

What You Need to Consult Documents:

Where to eat:

The AHAM is located in a fantastic place in terms of safety and food. Usually when I go I just snack and work until they close. However, you will be able to find a bunch of great places to eat by just walking a couple blocks or taking an ecobici.

Places where you must eat:

Fun Fact:

  • Parts of the movie Total Recall (1990) were filmed in CDMX, one of the scenes was filmed in the Glorieta Insurgentes.

The Importance of Signatures in Mexico

The Importance of Signatures in Mexico

Signatures are important in Mexico in a variety of contexts. Here I will be talking about credit cards and IDs. Many people in the United States write “See ID” on the back of their cards in an attempt to encourage merchants to ask for an ID during each purchase. In my experience this rarely works, and I seldom get IDed. The worst thing you could do is not sign your credit card and have a blank strip on the back of your card just ready to be signed by someone that might steal your wallet or card.

 

In Mexico, most merchants WILL check the back of your card, and will often ask to see your ID. The important thing to know is that the merchant will check the signature on your ID or passport and if it’s not a near 100% match to what you signed on the receipt and on your card, they may fuss about it. It is unbelievably important that you sign your receipts and credit cards the way that you signed your passport or whatever ID you use during your transactions.

This will also apply to any type of formal business you conduct. People will often want to see an ID, and they will compare your signature. If they do not match 100%, they will ask you to resign and perhaps even begin to question if you indeed are the person you claim to be. Safe yourself some time and trouble, be mindful about how you sign.