Mexican Language Facts

The most predominant Mexican language and most frequently used form of speech within the country is Spanish.

It is estimated however, that over six million people still speak indigenous languages throughout the landscape of modern day Mexico. This is a relatively small number in relation to the overall population. Due to the variety of languages currently spoken however, Mexico is rated as one of the most diverse countries in the world.

There are over 62 different languages still in circulation with influences from early Mayan communities alongside historical language forms from the Zapotec and Totanac cultures.

The Nahuatl languages are amongst the most widespread of indigenous Mexican languages. The Zapotec, Totanac and Mayan languages are also still evident though amongst various groups of people within the country.

Colourful Fabric in Mexican Market

Indigenous Languages in Mexico

The indigenous languages originate from the history of Mexico and the early civilizations. The Olmecs, Toltecs, Aztecs and Mayans all have remaining influences on current traditions and language.

Common indigenous languages include Yucatec Maya, Tzeltal Maya, Otomi, Mixtec, Mazatec and Tarascan. There are a wide variety of languages which
less than a hundred Mexican people currently speak.

When the Spanish arrived in the 16th century there was debate about
whether to conform to the currently popular Nahuatl language form or
whether to form Mexican Spanish speaking populations. There were many differing opinions throughout Mexican history regarding the existence and preservation of the indigenous languages.

A Handwritten Sign In Mexico Suburb

Diversity within Mexican Language

As we see today the vast majority of Mexican people currently speak Spanish as their main language.

However the diversity and range of variation in languages is still clearly
evident throughout the country. Many people today also take the decision
to learn a second language.

This can be particularly beneficial in recocgnised tourism areas and popular Mexican holiday locations.

Speaking a second language can be very useful and may improve a persons job prospects.

English, German, Italian and French are amongst the most popular and practiced of second languages throughout the country.

If you are planning to visit Riviera Maya on vacation, it is always a good idea to try and learn some basic Spanish before you go. To be honest I struggle with my pronunciation at times but I do try. The people that you may encounter will generally really appreciate your communication attempts and the extra effort taken to converse and converge in their form of Mexican language.

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