That’s good morning in this week’s #WeeklyTongue: K’iche’ Mayan.
K’iche’ is a Mayan language spoken by over 2 million people in Guatemala, around 300,000 of whom are monolingual.
There are 5 main dialects of K’iche’. When it comes to pronunciation, some dialects still use the 10 vowel sound system of previous varieties of the language. However, other dialects use a 6 vowel sound system. Interesting, huh?
Verbs in K’iche’ can be quite complex, with both possible prefixes and suffixes to denote subject, aspect, mood, and status (for example, is the verb transitive or intransitive? Indicative or imperative?).
The traditional word order of the language is verb-object-subject, and despite language purists attempts to maintain this, the influence of Spanish (subject-verb-object) means that many speakers alternate between different word orders.
Want to start speaking K’iche’ Mayan?
Jae, sakiric - good morning
Sakiric, nan - good morning (to a woman)
Sakiric, tat - good morning (to a man)
A utz a wach? - How are you?
Utz ya, maltiox chawe. E ri awe, a utz a wach? - I’m doing well thanks. How are you?
Chwek chic - see you tomorrow
Ch’abej chic - speak later
Cawil awib -take care (informal)
Taking it further…
Some K’iche’ phrases: http://www.mission.net/guatemala/quetzaltenango/page.php?lang=eng&pg_id=1894
Info about the grammar of K’iche’: http://aboutworldlanguages.com/kiche
Dictionary, grammar, alphabet: http://www.iglesiacatolica.org.gt/bibliakiche/idioma.htm
K’iche’ to English dictionary:
Do you speak K’iche’? We’re always open to new submissions of native speakers speaking their languages! Why not submit a video today?