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They say you can find anything on the Internet, and that’s almost true–until it comes to obscure Native American languages spoken in Mexico.

Today I am giving you a short wordlist of the Huastec language, something that I have not been able to find even among websites in Spanish. Thus, this post seems to be the first ever of its kind, and I hope it is of use to whoever happens to find it, whether through the marvels of search engines, or otherwise.

  • kaknamal – thank you
  • kamap – teeth
  • tumรญn – money
  • bakan – tortilla
  • xikach – girl
  • Dios tilabli – God bless you
  • atรกtal – brother in Christ
  • ha’ – water
  • nรฉnek – Hello, how are you?
  • Tรฉnek – Huastec
  • wana tukapu’ – let’s eat
  • xi’รญn – hair
  • wits – flower
  • uxkwe – wife

Many thanks to Virginia Lรกzaro and her husband Manuel, as well as Federico Reyes and Josรฉ Hernรกndez Fรฉlix for providing me with these words. I admire all of these people for their zeal in spreading the Gospel and also for their wish to pass on their ancestral language.

About the Huastecs – The Huastec tribe is a native people of Mexico, inhabiting the area known as the Huasteca. Their language is Mayan, and totally unrelated to Nahuatl. To this day it remains a mystery why this Mayan people lives so far north separated from the rest of the Mayas, but there are various theories concerning this. The Huastecs today have adopted much of the European culture, although they have retained their language and style of architecture. They are generally short in stature.

Concerning pronunciation – I know very little about the phonology of the Huastec language, but the words above have been transcribed to the best of my ability using Spanish orthography (with the added letters K and W). The apostrophe ‘ represents a glottal stop, and X is used for the English <sh> sound. Stress is indicated as in Spanish.

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