A language of Guatemala

Alternate Names
Cacche’, Kekchi’, Kekchí, Ketchi’, Quecchi’

800,000 (2009 SIL), increasing. Total users in all countries: 817,600.


Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, and El Quiché departments; Izabal department: north from the lake; Petén department: south of Flores.

Language Maps
Language Status

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


Alta Verapaz Cobán. Only slight dialect differences.


VOS; negatives before verb; verbal affixation marks person and gender, passives and voice; 19 consonant and 15 vowel phonemes; nontonal.

Language Use

All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Spanish [spa]. Used as L2 by K’iche’ [quc], Poqomchi’ [poh].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 10%–30%. Literacy rate in L2: 22%. Taught in primary and secondary schools. Literature. Radio. TV. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Texts. Bible: 1988–2012. Agency: Academy of Mayan Languages.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Traditional religion, Christian.

Also spoken in:

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