Author: Mayaglot

Book of Phrases, Compact Dictionary (Q’eqchi’)

This publication is a useful resource for those traveling in areas where Q’eqchi’ is spoken or for anyone who wants to learn this Mayan language. This includes tourists and volunteers working in Q’eqchi’ communities. This book is also designed to be useful to speakers of Q’eqchi’ who want to work or study in English-speaking countries. The trilingual format in this book will also be useful for speakers of Q’eqchi’ in Belize who already speak English but who don’t speak Spanish and want to learn it. There is also a bilingual dictionary that include terms that travelers are likely to need to find.

Q’eqchi’ Phrases and Dictionary

To buy a print copy of this book, click here.

Twenty-Nine Ways to Say ‘Thank You’ in Mayan Languages

On this day of gratitude, multiply the ways that you can say ‘Thanks’!

29 Ways to Say Thank You in Mayan Languages

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.

Now Available: The Mayan Languages (Routledge Language Family Series) 1st Edition

by Judith Aissen (Editor),‎ Nora C. England (Editor),‎ Roberto Zavala Maldonado (Editor)

From the publisher:

The Mayan Languages presents a comprehensive survey of the language family associated with the Classic Mayan civilization (AD 200–900), a family whose individual languages are still spoken today by at least six million indigenous Maya in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras.

This unique resource is an ideal reference for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students of Mayan languages and linguistics. Written by a team of experts in the field, The Mayan Languages presents in-depth accounts of the linguistic features that characterize the thirty-one languages of the family, their historical evolution, and the social context in which they are spoken.

The Mayan Languages:

  • provides detailed grammatical sketches of approximately a third of the Mayan languages, representing most of the branches of the family;
  • includes a section on the historical development of the family, as well as an entirely new sketch of the grammar of “Classic Maya” as represented in the hieroglyphic script;
  • provides detailed state-of-the-art discussions of the principal advances in grammatical analysis of Mayan languages;
  • includes ample discussion of the use of the languages in social, conversational, and poetic contexts.

Consisting of topical chapters on the history, sociolinguistics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, discourse structure, and acquisition of the Mayan languages, this book will be a resource for researchers and other readers with an interest in historical linguistics, linguistic anthropology, language acquisition, and linguistic typology.

Lacandon Maya-Spanish-English Dictionary


From the Publisher:

Around 1700 AD the Lacandon Maya took refuge in the forest lowlands of Chiapas, Mexico, and in western Peten, Guatemala. They were never conquered by the Spanish and thus maintained many of their cultural practices well into the twentieth century. Their language belongs to the Yucatecan branch of the Maya language, a branch that is believed to have begun to diversify at least one thousand years ago. Today the Lacandon are split into northern and southern linguistic groups. This dictionary focuses on the southern Lacandon of Lacanja. Following the same trilingual format as Hofling’s Mopan Maya-Spanish-English Dictionary, this reference contains pronunciation and grammatical information. It is a hybrid of a root dictionary and one with words in alphabetical order; words can be looked up in these two different ways, making it easy to use for both native and nonnative speakers. It accommodates Spanish speakers who wish to learn Lacandon and in the future is likely to be helpful to Lacandon-speaking children, who increasingly use Spanish outside the home, while preserving a record of this indigenous language.

About the Author:

Charles Andrew Hofling is emeritus professor of anthropology at Southern Illinois University, USA. He is the author of Itzaj Maya Grammar (University of Utah Press 2000) and (University of Utah Press 2011).

A Dictionary of Ch’orti’ – now available


From the Publisher:

Of extant languages, Ch’orti’ Mayan is the closest to ancient the Maya hieroglyphic script, but it is a language that is decreasing in usage. In southern Guatemala where it is spoken, many children no longer learn it, as Spanish dominates most experiences. From linguistic and anthropological data gathered over many years, Kerry Hull has created the largest and most complete Ch’orti’ Mayan dictionary to date. With nearly 9,000 entries, this trilingual dictionary of Ch’orti’, Spanish, and English preserves ancient words and concepts that were vital to this culture in the past.

Each entry contains examples of Ch’orti’ sentences along with their translations. Each term is defined grammatically and linked to a grammatical index. Variations due to age and region are noted. Additionally, extensive cultural and linguistic annotations accompany many entries, providing detailed looks into Ch’orti’ daily life, mythology, flora and fauna, healing, ritual, and food. Hull worked closely with native speakers, including traditional ritual specialists, and presents that work here in a way that is easily accessible to scholars and laypersons alike.

Editorial Reviews

“Professor Hull’s dictionary is the product of one who is not only a competent linguist, but one who is a fluent speaker of the Ch’orti’ language. More importantly, he is meticulously careful with the data.”

—John S. Robertson, Emeritus Professor of Linguistics, Brigham Young University

“Thorough, systematic, well researched, and easy to use. This dictionary will be the standard used by me and anyone else interested in the Ch’orti’ language.”
—Brent Metz, Department of Anthropology, University of Kansas

About the Author

Kerry Hull is currently a professor in the Department of Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University. He is author of An Abbreviated Dictionary of Ch’orti’ Mayan, and coeditor of ChortiMaya Area: Past and Present and of Parallel Worlds: Genre, Discourse, and Poetics in Contemporary, Colonial, and Classic Maya Literature.

22 ways to say ‘I love you’ in Mayan

22 ways to say 'I love you' in Mayan

22 ways to say ‘I love you’ in Mayan

Prevalence of Mayan Languages Spoken in Guatemala

For further visualizations of these data, follow these links to detail for Number of Speakers and Geographic Area. You can also download the data worksheets there.

Prevalence of Mayan Languages in Guatemala (data table)

Prevalence of Mayan Languages in Guatemala

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: 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!

New Version of Q’eqchi’ ~ English Dictionary Available

Q’eqchi’ Mayan Dictionary
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on White paper
492 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0692602096 (Custom)
ISBN-10: 0692602097
BISAC: Foreign Language Study / Native American Languages

This dictionary builds upon the Q’eqchi’ Mayan Thematic Dictionary previously published from this database. In this version the arrangement of entries in the Q’eqchi’-to-English section is presented alphabetically rather than by theme. This approach offers advantages to native Q’eqchi’ speakers learning English in that one can more easily locate the Q’eqchi’ word in question and learn its English equivalent(s).

There are three principal sections in this dictionary:

• Section I contains a simple introduction to Q’eqchi’ orthography and pronunciation for English speakers that are new to Q’eqchi’, as well as a comprehensive overview of Q’eqchi’ grammar that outlines the principal parts of speech and how they are formed into proper inflections, conjugations, and sentences. This grammar is new to this version of the dictionary and as far as I can tell it is the only Q’eqchi’ grammar written in English available in print.

• Section II is an alphabetical list of Q’eqchi’ words followed by their parts of speech and English equivalent(s). Many of the entries are illustrated. This section also contains a number of new and updated entries not found in the first edition of the Q’eqchi’ Mayan Thematic Dictionary.

• Section III is a reversal index that contains an alphabetical listing of the English words corresponding to all of the Q’eqchi’ entries in Section II.

The dictionary also includes helpful notes on grammatical usage and evidence for borrowed words where possible. In addition, this version includes entries for many Q’eqchi’ place names and their etymologies and English meanings. While not yet complete, these entries are not found in the first edition of the Q’eqchi’ Mayan Thematic Dictionary.

Q’eqchi’ ~ English Dictionary Now Online


Follow this link to access an experimental online version of the Q’eqchi’ ~ English dictionary.  This dictionary combines features of both traditional bilingual dictionaries and vocabularies used for language learning. It is a thematic dictionary, since one view of the content is an arrangement of entries by theme, rather than alphabetically. This approach offers advantages to students as a vocabulary builder, to writers as a thesaurus, and to linguists as an insight into the structure and usage of the language. There are also full alphabetical lists of all 8,500 entries in both Q’eqchi’ to English and English to Q’eqchi’.  Additionally, there are also supporting pages that include a simple introduction to Q’eqchi’ orthography and pronunciation for English speakers that are new to Q’eqchi’ as well as notes on works consulted in the compilation of the dictionary and definitions of abbreviations used.

Feedback is welcome. Work is already underway on an expanded and revised version of the dictionary, perhaps to be published in 2016. Updates on its progress will be published on Mayaglot as they become available.

Greetings (in 20 Mayan languages)

View and download the following file with formal greetings in 20 different languages from the Mayan family (including Spanish and English translations):

Formal Greetings in 20 Mayan Languages (Mayan, Spanish, English)

Formal Greetings in 20 Mayan Languages

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