This week, "Let's Learn Náhuatl" (Ma tiwelikan nawatl), was officially released, an app created to teach and preserve the indigenous Mexican Nahuatl language.
"In a sub-conscious way, you'll know some Náhuatl , you'll have heard the greetings, numbers, some verbs, maybe the animals, body parts, types of maize or scared places that govern the Nahuatl world."
The project is the result of a collaboration between Manuvo, the National Institute of Indigenous Languages, and the Laboratory of Digital Citizenship, and offers a playful experience for those interested in learning Náhuatl words and expressions (which originated in Acatlán, Guerrero).
The graphics were designed by the design collective Metzican who created all the visuals that accompany the application. They highlight the nuances between the various Mexican communities whilst carefully avoiding clichés.
Presently in Mexico there are around 1,586,884 speakers of náhuatl or mexikatl (‘mexicano’) living across the country. The aim of this initiative is to utilise technology as a mechanism to "disseminate and generate interest in the indigenous languages, the community's way of living and the cosmology of the indigenous villages in Mexico".
Also in development is an app to learn purépecha, (the language spoken mainly in the northwestern region of Michoacan) which will similarly represent the identity of the village.
The app "Let's Learn Náhuatl" is available to download for free on IOS and Android. For more info, check out Manuvo.