NAHUATL INFLUENCES IN TAGALOG

Culture and language are interrelated and one cannot exist without the other. As a nation evolves, so does its culture and language. There are about a thousand Spanish words currently used in the Philippines that have a great kinship to Mexican Spanish words. As a matter of fact, a range of native languages are of Nahuatl origin that were first integrated into Mexican Spanish, and which do not exist in European Spanish. It is believed that there are about 250 Nahuatl words or even more that are existing in the Filipino language. 



Picture
Language of Origin:
Nahuatl
Original Spelling:
camotli
Meaning:
sweet potato
Tagalog:
Kamote



Picture
Language of Origin:
Nahuatl
Original Spelling:
tzapotl
Meaning:
chico (fruit)
Tagalog:
Sapote/tsiko




Náhuatl is a set of correlated languages and dialects of the Nahuan (in tradition called "Aztecan") branch of the Uto- Aztecan family. This is spoken by Nahuan people, most of whom live in Central Mexico since at least the 7th century AD. It is the best documental of Native American languages. 

The Classical Náhuatl word (noun stem náhua, + absolutive –tl) has been depicted as a language that is purely etymology in root. Its words always has prefix, then several root concepts and a suffix. Some Náhuatl words could be very long because one can place as many root concepts or ideas as necessary. Its spelling has varied considerably since the time of the Spanish occupation. Here are some ways the word has been spelled Naoatl, Nauatl, Nahuatl, Nawatl. 

The language has been influenced by other Mesoamerican languages that are indigenous to the Mesoamerican cultural area, covering southern Mexico, all of Guatemala and Belize, and parts of Honduras and El Salvador.



Picture
Language of Origin:
Nahuatl
Original Spelling:
chilli
Meaning:
chili pepper
Tagalog:
Sili




Picture
Language of Origin:
Nahuatl
Original Spelling:
chocolatl
Meaning:
chocolate
Tagalog:
Tsokolate
(cho-co-la-te)




How did it all begin? Spanish colonization during the 16th century brought the Europeans and the native Americans to the Philippines. The Galleon trade was not only about economic exchange, but it was also a cultural interaction. Festivities were common and poetry writing contests were done in different languages. On the other hand, some Europeans who settled in the country intermarried with the Malayo-Polynesian population. This gave birth to the Filipino mestizo or individuals of mixed Malayo-Polynesian and Spanish descent. The native ethnic groups of the Philippines considered themselves Filipinos by the end of the Spanish colonial period.

Nahuatl along with other indigenous languages of Mexico are recognized as lenguas nacionales("national languages") in the regions where they are spoken, enjoying the same status as Spanish, which was promulgated in 2003 under Mexico‘s Ley General de Derechos LingüÍsticos de los Pueblos IndÍgenas ("General Law on the Linguistic Rights of Indigenous Peoples").


Sources:
http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Ethnic_groups%20in%20the% 20Philippines
http://knowledgerush.com/kr/encyclopedia/Nahuatl/
Floro L. Mercene (p.124) Manila Men in the New World: Filipino Migration to Mexico and the Americas from the 16th Century. Quezon City: The University of the Philippines Press, 2007
Fernando Nakpil Zialcita (p.228) Authentic though not exotic: essays on Filipino identity. Quezon City: Ateneo De Manila Univerisity Press, 2006
Frances E. Karttunen and James Lockhart (p.50) Nahuatl in the middle years: language contact phenomena in the texts of the Colonial Period. Berkely and Los Angeles California, London, England: University of California Publications in Linguistics,
1976
Frances Karttunen (p.xvii) An Analytical Dictionary of Nahuatl. Austin: University of Texas, 1983