Ki’che’ (Qatzijob'al)

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 language.

The main dialects of Ki’che’ are sufficiently different from each other to be considered separate languages. The most widely-spoken dialect is Central Ki’che’, which is taught in schools and used in the media.

The are a number of different ways to write Ki’che’. One was developed by the Proyecto Lingüístico Francisco Marroquín. Another was devised by the Summer Institute of Linguistics and the Academia de Lenguas Mayas de Guatemala (ALMG).

There are a number of other orthographies, 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

Ki’che’ alphabet and pronunciation

Sample text (from the Popol Vuh/Wuj)

Are utzijoxik wa’e
k’a katz’ininoq,
k’a kachamamoq,
k’a kasilanik,
k’a kalolinik,
katolona puch upa kaj


This is the account of how
all was in suspense,
all calm,
in silence;
all motionless,
and empty was the expanse of the sky.


Sample videos in Ki’che’

Information about Ki’che’ | Tower of Babel


Information about Ki’che’’iche’_language

Ki’che’ dictionaries

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 last modified: 14.12.21


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