Category: Q’eqchi’ Language

Mayan Languages in Belize

The most recent Population and Housing Census of Belize (2010) reports three Mayan languages in use in the country: Q’eqchi’, Mopan, and Yucatec. While there were only about 2,500 hundred speakers of Yucatec Mayan remaining in Belize, for Q’eqchi’ and Mopan the numbers are much larger. Most Q’eqchi’ speakers are concentrated in the southernmost district of Toledo, while Mopan speakers are reported in significant numbers in Toledo but also in Stann Creek district as well. Total Q’eqchi’ speakers were reported at 17,581 (13,597 in Toledo) and total Mopan speakers of 10,649 (about half of which live in Toledo as well.) All told, the population of the Toledo district of Belize is reported to be about two-thirds Mayan-speaking (68.4%).

Attached is a one-page summary of the rural villages of the Toledo District with information about their ethnicity and economic activities taken from the 2000 national census and subsequent reports. A majority of the villages are mostly or partly Q’eqchi’-speaking. Note: the largest town in Toledo is Punta Gorda (not included in the table of rural villages below), which itself has a very diverse population of about 5,500.

Audio files of Q’eqchi’ phrases uploaded

Voice recordings of 160 basic phrases in both Q’eqchi’ and English were recently uploaded to the experimental online version of the Q’eqchi’ ~ English dictionary project. They can be accessed by following this link: http://mayaglot.com/qeqchi_web_lex_2/categories/index.htm and then navigating to the Category titled “Kok’ Raqal Aatin / Basic Phrases” in the left-side pane (the fifth category up from the bottom). The phrases that appear in the category in the right-side pane will show a speaker icon for each entry which can be clicked to listen to the audio file.

Note: Not all browsers support the plug-in technology used with these recordings. If you get a message that it won’t work in your browser, your best bet is to try another browser that supports this type of playback.

Aajel ru ninb’antioxi re Laj Juan Carlos Coy (Fundación San Mateo, Senahú) ut re Lix Po (Julian Moon li xk’ab’a’ sa’ Inkles) intenq’ankil rik’ineb’ li xyaab’asinkil li kok’ raqal aatin sa’ Q’eqchi’ ut sa’ Inkles—chaab’ilex laa’ex!

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