Pre-Hispanic Zapotec writing was very complicated. While
our writing is phonetic and uses letters to make words
from combinations of sounds, pre-Hispanic Zapotec writing
was partly phonetic (where some glyphs represented sounds)
and partly ideographic (where certain glyphs represented
ideas). Not surprisingly, many features of ancient Zapaotec
writing and symbols remain to be deciphered.
is one of eleven languages spoken in Oaxaca. Of the
eleven languages spoken, Amuzgo, Chatino, Zapotec,
Chinantec, Chocho, Ixcatec, Mazatec, Popoloco, Cuicatec,
Mixtec, and Trique, belong to the Otomangue family.
Mixe and Zoque belong to the Mixe-Zoque family. And Chontal,
Hahuantl, and Huave represent their own families.
The Otomangue languages are tonal; the meaning of a word
may depend on the register in which it is pronounced.
The languages in the Otomongue family have common
roots but are totally different languages and not simply
A few Zapotec translations:
Guens sa bisui yubtu