The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Mexico’s Ancient Languages Re-emerge in Literature

    It’s a linguistic reconquista. Artists, poets and writers are finding new voices in pre-Columbian Mexico, whose denizens spoke an estimated 130 languages. From Mazatec, still spoken by 220,000 in northern Oaxaca, to Tarascan, spoken in the highlands of the Michoacán, a new market is growing for books in translation. Today, 1 in 5 Mexicans identify as indigenous — some 25.5 million — and more than half of those consider an indigenous language their native tongue, establishing a market that’s not just lucrative, but something that’s driving debates about readers’ identity.

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