What is the Official Language of Mexico? Hint: It's Not Spanish
Mexico is a culturally diverse nation, says an article. It has a variety of indigenous languages widely spoken by the entire population.
Mexico's Many Languages
Originally, there 198 indigenous languages in the country. 130 of the 198 had already gone extinct. Currently, there are only 68 indigenous languages spoken by Mexicans and they are still at a threat of extinction. This is one reason why the Mexican government is making significant efforts to help the survival of the remaining languages.
The Widely Spoken Language in Mexico
Spanish is the widely spoken language in the country. However, the government had not officially proclaimed it as the country's official language. In 2002, the country's government had promulgated the law of linguistic rights. This law aims to protect indigenous languages in Mexico.
Revival Efforts to Mexican Native Languages
Even if Spanish is the most popularly spoken language in the country, the government still does not recognize it as Mexico's official language. The reason behind this is that the country wants to promote its native languages over languages spoken in foreign nations.
Mexico is recognized by the constitution as a multilingual nation. Also, there are relevant efforts by the government in the promotion of indigenous language by providing support to Linguistic Rights.
Currently, the country recognizes a total of 62 indigenous languages. These are the country's co-official languages.
The Battle between the Spanish Language and Native Dialect
There is a difficult battle between the native dialects and the Spanish language for dominance among the Mexican youth. The Mexican youth is perceived to prefer speaking the Spanish language instead of their local dialect.
Based on official statistics, there are 21 critically endangered local languages while 38 of them are labeled as definitely endangered.
The Three Major Indigenous Dialects in Mexico
The three major indigenous dialects in Mexico are the Nahuati Language, Yucatec Maya language, and the Mixtec Language.
The Nahuati language is the most popular native language among Mexico. It is part of the Uto-Aztecan family that originated in the United State's southwestern region. Records reveal that approximately 500 speakers of the language came from central Mexico. After a century, the language transformed into a popular language among the locals of the country.
The Yucatec Maya language is the second most popular native dialect in Mexico. It is also popularly known as Maya. This is a 5,000-year-old language. Speakers of this language can be found in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Finally, the Mixtec Language is the third most spoken dialect in the country. This language originates from the Oto-Manguean family. The language was developed around the now called Guerrero, Puebla, and Oaxaca.
Foreign Languages in the Country
Foreign migrants in the country had significantly affected the spoken language in Mexico. The arrival of migrants had resulted in the import of foreign languages. These languages had resulted in natives abandoning their native languages to foreign ones. Some of the foreign languages that arrived in the country are Japanese, Greek, English, Italian, German, Portuguese, Arabic, French, and Chinese.
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