Pipil (Nawat/Náhuat)

Pipil is an Uto-Aztecan language spoken by about 3,000 people in parts of El Salvador, particularly in the departments of Sonsonate and Ahuachapán. Since the 1990s there have been various efforts to revive and revitalise the language, including the Nawat Language Recovery Initiative. Thanks to these grassroots movements, which receive no government support, the number of speakers of Pipil rose from about 200 in the 1980s to 3,000 in 2009.

Pipil is a descendent of the Nahuatl spoken by Aztecs who fled from Mexico in 900 AD to escape persecution by Olmecs. Over time their language changed and is no longer mutually intelligible with Nahuatl. They settled in what would become El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama, though today their language is only spoken in El Salvador having become extinct elsewhere.

Pipil alphabet and pronunciation

There are several different ways to write Pipil. The one shown here is used by the Iniciativa de Recuperación del Idioma Nawat (IRIN).

Pipil alphabet and pronunciation

Source: http://www.computing.dcu.ie/https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idioma_pipil

Download an alphabet chart for Pipil (Excel)

Sample text

Muchi ne tay gen tu weyga nestiwit tamagixti genga tik ekneliat wan ipal wan gichiwtiwit ipal ma munegigan ne se pal ne se.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Sample videos in and about Pipil


Information about the Pipil/Nawat language

Online Nawat lessons

Ne Bibliaj Tik Nawat (The Bible in Nawat)

Uto-Aztecan languages

Comanche, Cora, Hopi, Huarijio, Huichol, Ivilyuat / Cahuilla, Kawaiisu, Luiseño, Mayo, Mono, O'odham, Nahuatl, Northern Paiute, Pipil, Serrano, Shoshone, Southern Paiute, Tarahumara, Tepehuán (Northern), Tepehuán (Southeastern), Tepehuán (Southwestern), Timbisha, Tongva, Yaqui

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 03.10.21


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