About K'iche'

From Mayan Languages Glossary


K'iche' is a Mayan language spoken primarily in Guatemala. It is one of the largest and most widely spoken indigenous languages in the country, with a rich history dating back to pre-Columbian times. It is estimated that there are 1,680,551 K’iche’ speakers in Guatemala with most of them located in the departments of Quiche, Huehuetenango, Quetzaltenango, San Marcos, Retalhuleu, and Sololá.


As an integral part of the Mayan language family, K'iche' holds significant cultural importance, serving as a vehicle for transmitting knowledge, traditions, and storytelling. K’iche’, as a language community, was adversely affected by external forces during Guatemala’s period of violence and civil conflict.


K'iche' has faced challenges to its preservation, such as language shift and the influence of other languages such as Spanish. However, the dedication of K'iche' speakers and linguists has led to the development of educational materials, community projects, and digital resources aimed at revitalizing the language and ensuring its continued use.