Pronunciation Guide

Word stress in Nahuatl is always on the second-to-last syllable, no matter how long the word is.  The following words will be capitalized to emphasize the stress of the loudest syllable in the word: 

Chimalli - chi- MA- lli

Mexica - Me- XI- ca

Quechquemitl - Quech- QUE- mitl

Tlailnamiquiliztli - Tla - il - na - mi - qui - LIZ - tl

   Below is a chart that describes the pronunciation of each of the letters as used in the book.  If the pronunciation is not clear from the chart, please see the video that on this page (coming soon).

Letter When used as.. Sounds Examples Phonetic
C Ca/Co/Que/Qui
the 'K' sound  Mexica, Cohuatl, Quechquemitl, Quiahuitl Meh-shee-kah, Koh-watl, Kech-keh-meetl, Kee-ah-weetl
C Ce/Ci
the 'S' sound Chicuace, Cihuatl Chee-kwa-seh, Seeh-watl 
Ch Ch the 'Ch' sound  Chimalli Chee-mah-lee
Cu- cua/cue/cui
the 'Kwa' sound Tlacualli, mocuepa, itzcuintli Tlah-kwa-lee, Moh-kwe-pah, eets-kween-tlee
H* h/j/' the aspirated 'h' sound or glottal stop in 'Uh-oh'* Ticuazqueh Tee-kwas-keh
Hu- Hua/hue/hui
the 'W' sound Yalhua, Hueli, Huiptla yal-wah, weh-lee, weep-tla
L l  / ll  the 'L' sound Calli Cah-lee
M m the 'M' sound Macuilli Mah-kwee-lee
N n the 'N' sound Nantli Nan-tlee
P p the 'P' sound Paquiliztli Pah-kee-lees-tlee
T** t the 'T' sound ** Michtin Meech-teen
TL*** tl the 'TL' sound*** Tlali, Colotl Tlah-lee, Koh-lotl
TZ tz/ts the 'Ts' sound Quetzalli Keh-tsah-lee
X x the 'Sh" sound Xicolatl Shee-koh-latl
Y y the 'Y' sound Yoli Yoh-lee
Z z / s the 'S' sound Tlazohtla Tlah-soh-tla
A a the 'Ah' sound Tlacatl Tlah-katl
E e the 'Eh' sound Petlatl Peh-tlatl
I i the 'EE' sound Piali Pee-ah-lee
O o the 'O' sound Yolotl Yo-lotl
* Depending on the region, the glottal stop may be pronounced as a softly aspirated 'h' or as a glottal stop.  A glottal stop is an interruption of sound that you hear between the two syllables in 'Uh-Oh' 
** The 'T' is closer to a Spanish 'T' than the English 'T'.  The Spanish 'T' is made with the tongue between the teeth rather than behind the teeth as in English.
*** This sound is made by placing the tongue between the teeth and expelling air quickly through both sides of the mouth.
Diego Juarez ViverosComment