Ki’che’ is a group of Mayan languages spoken
in the central highlands of Guatemala by about 890,000 people.
It is known as Quiché in Spanish. Ki’che’
is a national language of Guatemala, but is not an offical
The main dialects of Ki’che’ are sufficiently
different from each other to be considered separate languages.
The most widely-spoken dialect in Central Ki’che’,
which is taught in schools and used in the media.
The are a number of different ways to write Ki’che’
developed by Proyecto Lingüístico Francisco Marroquín, the
Summer Institute of Linguistics and the Academia de Lenguas
Mayas de Guatemala (ALMG), and others, including the classical
orthography created by Father Francisco Ximénez (1666-1729) which he used to the Popol Vuh. The Popol Vuh, or Popol Wuj ("Book of the Community/People"), is a collection
of stories of the Post Classic K'iche' kingdom. The orthography
shown below is used by the ALMG.
Ki’che’ alphabet and pronunciation
Sample text (from the Popol Vuh/Wuj)
Are utzijoxik wa’e
katolona puch upa kaj
This is the account of how
all was in suspense,
and empty was the expanse of the sky.