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MEXICO: Languages

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LANGUAGES


Spanish is the official and predominant language of Mexico, spoken to some extent by nearly the entire population. Dozens of indigenous languages exist, but are spoken by relatively few. However, some of these languages, particularly Nahuatl, have had a significant impact on Mexican Spanish, lending words that are not found in the Spanish of Spain or the rest of Latin America. This is especially evident in the names of common plants and animals, such as the use of "zopilote" instead of the standard "buitre" as a translation of "vulture". Some words such as "escuincle/a", which literally means dog but has taken on the meaning of "child", have become common in the daily vocabulary of Mexico. Other words from Nahuatl have been incorporated into Spanish throughout Latin America, and even English, such as tomato, chocolate, coyote and avocado.

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