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Languages of Guatemala

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Republic of Guatemala, República de Guatemala. 14,280,596. Indian 55%, Mestizo 44% (1990 WA). National or official language: Spanish. Literacy rate: 48% to 55%; Indian 0% to 25%, Mestizo 75% to 85%. Information mainly from M. K. Mayers 1965a, b; SIL 1952–1999. Blind population: 6,000 (1982 WCE). Deaf population: 100,000 to 650,014 (1998). Deaf institutions: 5. The number of languages listed for Guatemala is 56. Of those, 54 are living languages and 2 are extinct.

Living languages

Achi', Cubulco

[acc] 48,252 (2000 WCD). Central area west of Rabinal, Baja Verapaz Department. Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Quiche-Achi 
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Achi', Rabinal

[acr] 37,300 (1990 SIL). Central Rabinal area, Baja Verapaz Department. Alternate names: Rabinal K'iche'.  Dialects: Closest linguistically to Cubulco Achi'.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Quiche-Achi 
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Akateko

[knj] 48,500 in Guatemala (1998). Population total all countries: 58,600. San Miguel Acatán. Also spoken in Mexico, USA. Alternate names: Acateco, Acatec, San Miguel Acatán Kanjobal, Conob, Western Kanjobal, Western Q'anjob'al.  Classification: Mayan, Kanjobalan-Chujean, Kanjobalan, Kanjobal-Jacaltec 
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American Sign Language

[ase]   Alternate names: ASL, Ameslan.  Classification: Deaf sign language 
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Awakateko

[agu] 18,000 (1998 SIL). Western Huehuetenango Department. Alternate names: Aguacateco, Aguacatec.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Mamean, Ixilan 
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Ch'orti'

[caa] 30,000 in Guatemala (2000 Lubeck). Population total all countries: 30,010. Eastern border with Honduras, and into Honduras. Also spoken in Honduras. Classification: Mayan, Cholan-Tzeltalan, Cholan, Chorti 
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Chuj, Ixtatán

[cnm] 22,130 in Guatemala (1991 SIL). Population total all countries: 31,630. Western Huehuetenango Department. Also spoken in Mexico. Alternate names: Chuh, Chuje, Chuhe, Chuj de San Mateo Ixtatán.  Classification: Mayan, Kanjobalan-Chujean, Chujean 
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Chuj, San Sebastián Coatán

[cac] 19,458 (1991 SIL). Central western Coatán River area, western Huehuetenango Department. Classification: Mayan, Kanjobalan-Chujean, Chujean 
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Garifuna

[cab] 16,700 in Guatemala. Two villages on the northeast coast: Livingston and Puerto Barrios. Alternate names: Garífuna, Black Carib, Caribe, Central American Carib.  Classification: Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Caribbean 
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Guatemalan Sign Language

[gsm]   Classification: Deaf sign language 
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Itza'

[itz] 12 (1986 SIL). Ethnic population: 1,800 (2001). North central, north of Lake Petén Itzá in San José Petén, 15 minutes by auto from Flores. The language is extinct in Belize. Alternate names: Petén Itzá Maya, Yucatec Maya, Icaiche Maya, Maya.  Classification: Mayan, Yucatecan, Mopan-Itza  Nearly extinct.
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Ixil, Chajul

[ixj] 18,000 (1998 SIL). Quiché Department. Dialects: Ilom.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Mamean, Ixilan 
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Ixil, Nebaj

[ixi] 35,000 (1991 SIL). Nebaj area, Quiché Department. Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Mamean, Ixilan 
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Ixil, San Juan Cotzal

[ixl] 16,000 (1998 SIL). Quiché Department. Dialects: 70% to 75% intelligibility among the three Ixil languages.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Mamean, Ixilan 
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Jakalteko, Eastern

[jac] 11,000 (1998 SIL). Huehuetenango Department near Mexico border, Concepción Huista area. Alternate names: Jacalteco, Eastern.  Classification: Mayan, Kanjobalan-Chujean, Kanjobalan, Kanjobal-Jacaltec 
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Jakalteko, Western

[jai] 77,700 in Guatemala (1998). Population total all countries: 88,000. Huehuetenango Department, around Jakaltenango. Also spoken in Mexico. Alternate names: Western Jacalteco, Popti'.  Dialects: Eastern and Western Jakalteko understand each other's spoken languages, but not written text.  Classification: Mayan, Kanjobalan-Chujean, Kanjobalan, Kanjobal-Jacaltec 
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Kaqchikel, Akatenango Southwestern

[ckk] 500 (1997 SIL). Municipio of Akatenango, town of Akatenango. Alternate names: Acatenango Southwestern Cakchiquel.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Cakchiquel 
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Kaqchikel, Central

[cak] 132,200 (1990 SIL). Southern Guatemala, Chimaltenango Department. Alternate names: Cakchiquel, Kaqchiquel.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Cakchiquel 
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Kaqchikel, Eastern

[cke] 100,000 (1998 SIL). Northwest of and near Guatemala City, San Juan Sacatepéquez. Alternate names: Eastern Cakchiquel.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Cakchiquel 
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Kaqchikel, Northern

[ckc] 24,000 (2000 SIL). Ethnic population: 40,000. Central highlands, northeastern Chimaltenango Department, San Martín Jilotepeque Municipality in rural areas and towns of San Martín and Santa Ana Chimaltenango. Alternate names: Northern Cakchiquel.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Cakchiquel 
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Kaqchikel, Santa María de Jesús

[cki] 18,000 (2000 SIL). Southeast of Antigua, Sacatepéquez Department, Santa María de Jesus Municipality. Alternate names: Kach'ab'al, Santa María de Jesús Cakchiquel.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Cakchiquel 
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Kaqchikel, Santo Domingo Xenacoj

[ckj] 5,200 (1991 SIL). West of Guatemala City on the Pan American highway. Alternate names: Santo Domingo Xenacoj Cakchiquel, Xenacoj.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Cakchiquel 
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Kaqchikel, South Central

[ckd] 43,000 (1998 SIL). Pan American highway west of Guatemala City. Alternate names: South Central Cakchiquel.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Cakchiquel 
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Kaqchikel, Southern

[ckf] 43,000 (1993 SIL). Area south of Antigua. Alternate names: Southern Cakchiquel.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Cakchiquel 
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Kaqchikel, Western

[ckw] 77,000 (1998 SIL). Northern and eastern shores of Lake Atitlán, Departamento de Sololá. Alternate names: Western Cakchiquel.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Cakchiquel 
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Kaqchikel, Yepocapa Southwestern

[cbm] 8,000 (1991 SIL). Ethnic population: 15,000 (1991 SIL). Municipio of Yepocapa. Alternate names: Yepocapa Southwestern Cakchiquel.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Cakchiquel 
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Kaqchikel-K'iche' Mixed Language

[ckz] 2,000 (1998 SIL). Santiago, Sacatepéquez, Santa María Cauque aldea. Alternate names: Cauque Mixed Language.  Dialects: Speakers came from the K'iche' area in the colonial period. Older speakers show a base of K'iche'.  Classification: Mixed Language, Cakchiquel-Quiché 
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K'iche', Central

[quc] 1,900,000 (2000 SIL). Central highlands, Totonicapan, southern El Quiché, eastern Sololá, eastern Quezaltenango departments. Alternate names: Quiché, Central Quiché, Chiquel, Cachabel.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Quiche-Achi 
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K'iche', Cune'n

[cun] 9,000 (2000 Marhenke). Ethnic population: 9,000 including 7,000 and growing in the municipio plus 2,000 in Guatemala City (1993 Marhenke). K'iche' Department. Alternate names: Cunén Quiché, Northern Quiché, Chuil Quiché, Cunenteco Quiché, Cunenteco K'iche'.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Quiche-Achi 
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K'iche', Eastern

[quu] 100,000 (1991 SIL). Includes Chichicastenango and Chiché. Alternate names: East Central Quiché, Chichicastenango Eastern Quiché, Eastern Quiché.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Quiche-Achi 
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K'iche', Joyabaj

[quj] 54,298 (1991 SIL). Quiché Department. Alternate names: Joyabaj Quiché.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Quiche-Achi 
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K'iche', San Andre's

[qxi] 19,728 (1991 SIL). Quiché Department. Alternate names: San Andrés Sajcabajá Quiché.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Quiche-Achi 
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K'iche', West Central

[qut] 250,000 (1994 SIL). Southwest of Lake Atitlán, Quezaltenango, and Totonicapan departments. Alternate names: Southwestern Quiché, Cantel Quiché.  Dialects: Coastal K'iche', Western K'iche'.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Quiche-Achi 
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Mam, Central

[mvc] 100,000 (1992 SIL). San Marcos Department (10 towns). The towns of San Miguel Ixtahuacán (18,000) and Concepción Tutapa (30,000) could be considered dialects of Northern Mam. Alternate names: Comitancillo Mam, Western Mam, Mam Occidental, Mam Marquense, San Marcos Comitancillas Mam.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 77% between Tajumulco and Comitancillo.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Mamean, Mamean 
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Mam, Northern

[mam] 200,279 in Guatemala (2000 WCD). Population total all countries: 201,279. Western Huehuetenango Department (San Sebastián and other towns) and San Marcos Department; 17 towns. Also spoken in Mexico. Alternate names: Huehuetenango Mam.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Mamean, Mamean 
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Mam, Southern

[mms] 125,000 (1991 SIL). Quetzaltenango Department (9 towns), Retalhuleu Department (1 town); Western Ostuncalco area (San Juan Ostuncalco, San Martín Sacatepéquez, and other towns). Alternate names: San Juan Ostuncalco Mam, Ostuncalco Mam, Quetzaltenango Mam, Mam Quetzalteco.  Dialects: San Martín Sacatepéquez Mam (San Martín Chile Verde Mam).  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Mamean, Mamean 
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Mam, Tajumulco

[mpf] 35,000 (1992 SIL). San Marcos Department, Tajumulco and Ixchiguán towns. Dialects: Very different from Central Mam, although close geographically. Lexical similarity 77% with Comitancillo.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Mamean, Mamean 
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Mam, Todos Santos Cuchumatán

[mvj] 50,000 in Guatemala (1998 SIL). Population total all countries: 60,000. Huehuetenango Department, town of Todos Santos Cuchumatán. Also spoken in Mexico. Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Mamean, Mamean 
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Maya, Mopán

[mop] 2,600 in Guatemala (1990 SIL). Petén Department. Alternate names: Maya Mopán, Mopane.  Classification: Mayan, Yucatecan, Mopan-Itza 
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Poqomam, Central

[poc] 8,600 in Guatemala (1990 SIL). 9 kilometers northwest of Guatemala City, Chinautla. Also spoken in El Salvador. Alternate names: Central Pocomam, Pokomam, Pocomán.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Pocom 
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Poqomam, Eastern

[poa] 12,500 (1990 SIL). Eastern Guatemala, Jalapa Department, San Luis Jilotepeque. Alternate names: Pocomam Oriental, Eastern Pokomam.  Dialects: Possibly 50% intelligibility of Central Poqomam.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Pocom 
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Poqomam, Southern

[pou] 27,910 (1991 SIL). 20 kilometers south of Guatemala City. Alternate names: Palín Pocomam, Southern Pokomam.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Pocom 
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Poqomchi', Eastern

[poh] 42,164 (2000 WCD). Atla Verapaz Department. Alternate names: Tactic Pokomchí, Pocomchí, Poconchí, Pokonchí, Eastern Pokomchí.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Pocom 
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Poqomchi', Western

[pob] 50,000 (1998 SIL). Around San Cristobal. Alternate names: Western Pocomchí, Pocomchí, Poqomchi', Western Pokomchí.  Dialects: Santa Cruz Verapaz Poqomchi'.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Pocom 
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Q'anjob'al, Eastern

[kjb] 77,700 in Guatemala (1998). Huehuetenango Department, Santa Eulalia. Also spoken in USA. Alternate names: Santa Eulalia Kanjobal, Kanhobal, Qanjobal, Conob, Eastern Kanjobal.  Classification: Mayan, Kanjobalan-Chujean, Kanjobalan, Kanjobal-Jacaltec 
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Q'eqchi'

[kek] 400,000 in Guatemala (1998 SIL). Population total all countries: 421,286. Northern Alta Verapaz, southern Petén departments in Guatemala. Also spoken in Belize, El Salvador. Alternate names: Quecchi', Cacche', Ketchi', Kekchi'.  Dialects: Only slight dialect differences. Prestige dialect is Cobán, Alta Verapaz.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Kekchi 
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Sakapulteko

[quv] 36,823 (1991 SIL). Quiché Department, and some speakers in Guatemala City. Alternate names: Sacapulas K'iche', Sacapulteco.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Sacapulteco 
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Sipakapense

[qum] 8,000 (2000 SIL). Ethnic population: 12,000 or more (2000 E. Kindberg SIL). San Marcos Department. Alternate names: Sipacapeño, Sipacapa Quiché, Sipacapense.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Sipacapeno 
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Spanish

[spa] 4,673,000 in Guatemala (1995).  Alternate names: Español, Castellano.  Classification: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Ibero-Romance, West Iberian, Castilian 
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Tacanec

[mtz] 20,000 in Guatemala (1991 SIL). Population total all countries: 21,200. Western San Marcos Department; rural areas west of the town of Tacaná, western Guatemala border, and in Sibinal and Tectitán. Also spoken in Mexico. Alternate names: Tacaná Mam, Western Mam, Tiló, Mamé.  Dialects: The most distinctive of all the Mam varieties.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Mamean, Mamean 
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Tektiteko

[ttc] 1,265 in Guatemala (2000 WCD). Population total all countries: 2,265. Area of Tectitán, western Guatemala border. Also spoken in Mexico. Alternate names: Teco, "Teko", Tectitán Mam, Maya-Tekiteko, Tectiteco.  Dialects: Close to Mam.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Mamean, Mamean 
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Tz'utujil, Eastern

[tzj] 50,000 (1998 SIL). 17,000 monolinguals. Southern shore of Lake Atitlán, Sololá Department. Alternate names: Tzutujil Oriental, Santiago Atitlán Tzutujil, Tzutuhil.  Dialects: 99% of the people understand and speak Eastern Tz'utujil.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Tzutujil 
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Tz'utujil, Western

[tzt] 33,800 (1990 SIL). Southern Sololá area, southwestern shore of Lake Atitlán. Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Tzutujil 
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Uspanteko

[usp] 3,000 (1998 SIL). Quiché Department. The center is Las Pacayas. Alternate names: Uspanteco.  Classification: Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Uspantec 
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Extinct languages

Chicomuceltec

[cob] Extinct. Ethnic population: 100 in Guatemala (1982 GR).  Alternate names: Cakchiquel Mam.  Classification: Mayan, Huastecan 
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Xinca

[xin] Extinct. Southeastern. Alternate names: Szinca.  Dialects: Language may be related to Lenca.  Classification: Unclassified 
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