''[[Baja California|Baja California]] [[ Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Baja_California_Language_and_Languages| Language and Languages]] ''
Most materials used in Mexican research are written in Spanish. However, you do not need to speak or read Spanish to do research in Mexican records. However, you will need to know some key words and phrases to understand the records.
In 1889, Antonio García Cubas estimated that 38% of Mexicans spoke an indigenous language, down from 60% in 1820. By the end of the 20th century, this figure had fallen to 6%.
In the early history of Mexico after the Spanish conquest, the spiritual leaders knew Latin, and where schools were established, Latin was a required subject
. So you may find some Latin terms included in church records.
Hundreds of native languages and dialects existed although very few written records survived the European conquest. Of these the
Náuatl language, spoken by the Aztecs of the Central Plateau region, is predominant, followed by the Mayan of the Yucatan Pennisula and Northern Central America. The Zapoteco, Mixteco, and Otomi languages , follow in importance.
In the early records a great many Indian words, especially names and localities, found their way into the Spanish language. Many of them were modified to make them more pronounceable to the Spanish conquerors.
Spanish phonetics may affect the way names appear in genealogical records. For example, the names of your ancestor may vary from record to record in Spanish. For help in understanding name variations, see [[Mexico Names, Personal]].
=== Language Aids ===
The Family History Library provides the following aids:
:SPANISH LANGUAGE- DICTIONARIES
And remember that a great free resource is always [http://translate.google.com
Baja_California]] [[Category: Language_and_Languages]]