Chontal Maya (Yoko t'an)

Chontal Maya is a Cholan-Tzeltalan Mayan language spoken by about 61,000 people in central parts of the state of Tabasco in southern Mexico, particularly in the municipalities of Nacajuca, Centla, Centro, Jonuta and Macuspana.

Chontal Maya is also known as Tabasco Chontal or Chontal de Tabasco. Dialects include Nacajuca (Central), Centla (Northern), Macuspana (Southern) and Tamulte (Eastern).

The word Chontal comes from the Nahuatl word chontalli (foreigner, stranger), which is what the Aztec people called the Tabascan Maya people. Speakers of Chontal Maya call their language Yoko t’an ("the true language").

Chontal Maya can be written with the Latin alphabet. There are some publications in the language, including a dictionary, grammar and other texts.

Chontal Maya alphabet

Chontal Maya alphabet


Download an alphabet chart for Chontal Maya (Excel)

Sample text

Uts'aykun ajnoxi'pap jink'in jumka' uchen ch'uyu' tuchëmp'elib ka' uyële' ke ya' uxe të ajtë chëmo tan kaj. Uyubkan nëmte' t'ok noj uk'e tuba untu wichu'. Jini na'piyo'jo, ke ya'ajo' ch'ijka'të xëmba, ulaj pasejo'të ankëre t'ok bak'ët, mach uchëninte kaxkune ubëk'tesan, sek'unejo' uchënen ajjchëme. Upete jinda unume machto ujëlëkna jink'in uxe të ajtë chëmo. Uyëlkan ke ajyumka' une ulaj ëlë, no'onla mach muyila kwa'uyële'.
Alejandrina Hernández Jerónimo

Translation (Spanish)

Cuenta el abuelo que cuando el duende chifla por los cuatro puntos cardinales, avisa que alguien del pueblo morirá. Lo acompaña el ladrido fuerte de un perro. Las gallinas, estando tranquilas caminando, corren despavoridas, nadie ve quién las asusta, más si ven a la muerte. Esto ocurre unos días antes que suceda el deceso. Se dice que el duende es el que les avisa a todos ellos, pero muchos no interpretamos el mensaje.
Alejandrina Hernández Jerónimo


Translation (English)

Grandpa says that when the goblin whistles around the four cardinal points, he warns that someone from the town will die. He is accompanied by the loud barking of a dog. The chickens, being calm walking, run terrified, nobody sees who scares them, especially if they see death. This occurs a few days before the death occurs. It is said that the goblin is the one who warns all of them, but many of us do not interpret the message.

Videos in and about Chontal Maya


Information about Chontal MayaЧонтальский_язык

Mayan languages

Achi, Akatek, Awakatek, Chontal Maya, Ch’ol, Chorti, Chuj, Huasteco, Itzaʼ, Ixil, Jakaltek, Kaqchikel, Ki'che', Lacandon, Mam, Mocho’, Mopan, Poqomam, Poqomchiʼ, Q’anjob’al, Q'eqchi', Sakapultek, Sipakapense, Tektitek, Tojolabal, Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Tz'utujil, Uspantek, Yucatec Maya

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page created: 01.12.21. Last modified: 06.05.22


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