Translation:El Coloquio de los Doce

El Coloquio de los Doce  (1524) 
Anonymous, translated from Spanish by Wikisource
"El Coloquio de los Doce" ("The Formal Conversation of the Twelve") is an early Spanish colonial manuscript, dated to 1524, that records dialog between the last tlatimine, or Aztec wise men, and the Spanish missionaries.

The full name of the manuscript is "Colloquios y Doctrina Cristiana con que los Doze Frayles de San Francisco enbiados por el Papa Adriano Sesto y por el Emperador Carlos Quinto convirtieron a los Indios de la Nueva Espanya, en lengua mexicana y espanyola. 1524". Originally written in old Spanish and translated to English by Wikipedia's Nanahuatzin.

Here an Aztec addresses the missionaries:

Lords, respected lords: You have traveled much to get to this land.
Here in front of you,
we contemplate you, we ignorant people...
And now, what are we going to tell you?
What is what we must address to your ears?
Are we something indeed?
We are just vulgar people...
By means of a translator we will answer,
we will return the breath and the word
about the lord of the near and far. (ometeotl /omecihuatl)
It's by his word, that we risk ourselves,
that we put ourselves in danger...
Maybe this is our loss,
maybe is our destruction,
where are we going to be taken?
Where should we go?
We are vulgar people
we are perishable, we are mortal.
Let us die, let us perish,
since our gods are dead.
But there should be peace on your
hearts and your body,
we will break a little,
we will show a little,
the secret, the ark of the lord, our God
You said
that we did not know
about the lord of the near and far,
about of one who created earth and sky.
you said
That our gods are not true.
This is a new word,
this that you have spoken.
This is why we are disturbed,
this is why we are annoyed.
Because our ancestors,
the ones that had been,
the ones that had lived on this earth,
they did not speak like that.
They give us the ways of life,
they take by true,
they give cult,
they honored the gods......
they teach us the ways of the cult,
all the ways to honor the gods.
That way we put the mouth on earth,
by them we bleed us,
we accomplished our votes,
we burn copal
and offered sacrifice.


We know to whom we owe life.
To whom we owe birth,
to whom we owe to be beget
to whom we owe to grow,
and how to invoke...


Hear milords
do not harm your people.
Do not let disgrace to be carried,
to let it perish...
tranquil, and friendly,
take this account, milords,
of what is needed.


Here are the ones who rule us,
the ones that take us,
the ones that have the world in charge.
Is it not enough that we are defeated?
that we are taken away?
that we are taken from our rulers?
If in this place we are to stand,
we will be prisoners.
So Do with us what you want,
This is what we have spoken,
what we answered,
to your breath,
to your word,
oh lords!
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This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.


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