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Last Updated: Thursday, August 14,2003

Pronunciation of Aztec Names

There is a base language called Nuatla. It was spoken by the Aztecs as the first Spanish who visited them. The Spanish recorded it, and unfortunately their spelling is often used for the names of Aztec deities. Why unfortunately? Well English and Spanish do not always pronounce things the same.

Tthe Spanish also destroyed most of the glyphs (pictured sounds) that constituted the Aztec's alphabet but the priests also preserved a few of their deer skin manuscripts and so we have some of the original 'sound symbols' of the Aztecs. See Aztec Writing for more details.

Spelling of Quetzacoatl in English is the Spanish spelling. QUE is not like in 'question' but like in the Spanish "Que passa?" which sounds like "KAY PASSA". (Actually it sounds close to "kuh passa" but let the scholars think they can speak it)

We are indebted to web pages maintained by David K. Jordan Professor of Anthropology & Provost, Earl Warren College, UCSD and to the really fun pages on Cat Names (by Culture) researched by Dominic Marks and found at Magic Names for Mystic Cats, for the pronunciation rules, and their applications.

The conventions to convey phonetic sounds are these: The official pronounciation rules are these: