K’iche’

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A language of Guatemala

Alternate Names
Central K’iche’, Central Quiché, Chiquel, Qach’abel, Quiché
Population

2,330,000. 300,000 monolinguals.

Location

Central highlands, Totonicapán, southern El Quiché, eastern Sololá, eastern Quezaltenango departments; Quiché Department, Joyabaj municipality; southwest of Lake Atitlán, Quezaltenango, and Totonicapán departments; Chichicastenango and Chiché municipalities; Quiché Department, San Andrés Sajcabajá municipality.

Language Maps
Language Status

4 (Educational). Statutory language of national identity (2003, National Languages Act, Decree No. 19).

Dialects

Cunén Kiché, Eastern Kiché, Joyabaj Kiché, San Andrés Kiché, West Central Kiché.

Typology

SVO.

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains, interpreters required in courts, some bilingual schools, oral use in religious services. Positive attitudes. 100,000 also use Kaqchikel [cak]. 400,000 also use Spanish [spa]. 100,000 also use Tz’utujil [tzj]. Also use Mam [mam], Q’eqchi’ [kek].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Below 1%. Literacy rate in L2: 25%–35%. 40,000 readers, 20,000 can write. Taught in primary schools. Radio programs. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1995.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Traditional religion, Christian.