A language of Guatemala

Alternate Names
Huehuetenango Mam, Kyol, Qyol, Qyol Mam, Qyool
B’anax Mam, Qyool Mam

478,000 in Guatemala (2003 census). Ethnic population: 617,000 (2003 census). Total users in all countries: 488,500.


Huehuetenango department: San Sebastián and other towns; Quetzaltenango and Retalhuleu departments; San Marcos department: Ixchiguán, San Juan Ostuncalco, San Martín Sacatepéquez, Sibinal, Tectitán. Dialects in San Miguel Ixtahuacán (18,000) and Concepción Tutapa (30,000).

Language Status

4 (Educational). Recognized language (2003, Law of National Languages, Decree 19).


Southern Mam (Mam Quetzalteco, Ostuncalco Mam, Quetzaltenango Mam, San Juan Ostuncalco Mam), Tajumulco Mam, Tacanec (Mamé, Tacaná Mam, Tiló, Western Mam), Central Mam (Comitancillo Mam, Mam Marquense, Mam Occidental, San Marcos Comitancillo Mam, Western Mam), Todos Santos Cuchumatán Mam (Todos Santos Mam). Tacanec is the most distinctive of all the Mam varieties. Lexical similarity: 77% between Tajumulco and Comitancillo dialects.



Language Use

Positive attitudes. Also use Spanish [spa]. Used as L2 by K’iche’ [quc].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L1: 1%–5%. Literacy rate in L2: 5%–37%. Taught in primary schools. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1993. Agency: Academy of Mayan Languages.


Latin script [Latn].

Also spoken in:

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