8) The Languages in Oaxaca are Languages – not Dialects

We respected the views of a Brigada participant who saw our item…




entitled, “3) Spanish School for Missionaries and Cross Cultural Christians.” We’ll leave their identities somewhat anonymous, but they shared, in response, “Thank you for all your work in making all this information available! You do an amazing job! [blush; so nice] Just one small comment (correction?) to item #3, where you say “16 major language groups, with 155 dialects.” Please help us make the world, at least the “world” that reads Brigada!, understand that the languages spoken in Oaxaca are NOT dialects but languages in their own right. Unless you consider Italian, Portuguese, Spanish all dialects of Latin. [smile] The 16 (or however many you count) major language groups are like saying “the Romance languages, the Germanic languages” etc. Within those major language groups or families, are LANGUAGES that are related to each other but mutually unintelligible. [A person who] speaks Quiatoni Zapotec, one of the 40+ Zapotec languages, can not easily or in any depth communicate with speakers of different Zapotecs. … You can think of it like this: Zapotec is the “last name” (giving the language group/family) and Quiatoni is the first name, usually from the town or area where the language is spoken. So all Zapotec languages have a “family resemblance” because they are related but each is an individual, just like in human families. Thanks for your understandiing and help in getting the Word out!” And thank you for your thoughtful response (correction)! You are 100% correct!


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