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From Mayan Languages Glossary
Ver esta página en español Chiwila' we wuj pa ch'ab'al K'iche' Cheerilaq li hu a'in sa' aatinob'aal Q'eqchi'


QAJUNAJIHAQ QIB' SA' KOMONIL

QAMULIJ QIB' QONOJEL

"Before, we had to be silent to survive, now we have to speak not to become extinct.” - Anonymous

"It always seems impossible until it's done." - Nelson Mandela

"Let there be freedom for the Indians, wherever they may be in the American Continent or elsewhere in the world, because while they are alive, a glow of hope will be alive as well as a true concept of life." - Rigoberta Menchú

We hear these words and immediately recognize a call to action. There is too much cultural beauty contained in our languages for us to stand by and witness them become lost to history. Our Mayan languages are not a relic of a past civilization. Our languages, our words, and our cultures are alive, vibrant, and strong. By participating in the Mayan Languages Preservation and Digitization Project, we ensure that our languages will continue to thrive beyond boundaries and time. Passing on our heritage through a legacy of language is essential to this mission and we invite all to join with us to make the preservation of languages a reality.


WELCOME TO THE MAYAN LANGUAGES PRESERVATION AND DIGITIZATION PROJECT: 5 NO'J

Want to get in touch? Email us at contact@mayanlanguages.wiki

CATEGORIES

Use the links below to reference terms by category. You may also find terms using the Search icon in side bar menu.

Legal Terms
Rights for Immigrants
Medical Terms
Mental Health Terms
Social Services Terms
Education Terms
Alphabets
Kinship Terms
Numbers
Basic Phrases
Types of Work
Day Names (Mayan Calendar)
Food Terms
Clothing Terms
Household Terms
Nature Terms
Emotions Terms
Animal Terms
Weights & Measures
Pronouns
Colors Terms
Neologisms
Surnames
Interactive Education
Civic Engagement Terms
All Terms

ABOUT THE LANGUAGES

Acerca de K'iche' Acerca deQ'eqchi' Acerca deIxil Acerca deMam Acerca deAkateko Acerca deQ'anjob'al Acerca deChuj Acerca deJakaltek Acerca deKaqchikel

The power of the digital world opens up endless possibilities for preserving and sharing knowledge. The Mayan Languages Preservation and Digitization Project, facilitated by the MasterWord Institute, harnesses this power to safeguard the richness of Mayan languages for generations to come. This project is a partnership with no hidden conditions, creating a platform for Mayan language professionals and scholars to curate a comprehensive, open-source glossary.

We honor and value the critical role each Mayan speaker has in shaping this project. By sharing your unique linguistic knowledge, you're not only strengthening your community's access to essential resources such as education, healthcare, and law, but you're also sharing the beauty of your languages and culture with the world. This is your platform, your heritage, and your voice resonating globally. We stand with you in the belief that language rights are human rights. The Mayan Languages Preservation and Digitization Project reaffirms this truth. Together, we're not just preserving languages, but acknowledging, celebrating, and sharing the invaluable cultural wealth embodied in them.

PROJECT OVERVIEW

The Mayan Languages Preservation and Digitization Project is an open-source language digitization initiative created for and by Mayan Language Professionals in Guatemala and throughout North and Central America. We engage with academic professionals in anthropology, linguistics, cultural and area studies , and computer sciences to provide online services and learning with a goal of preserving Mayan languages and cultures. We are specifically dedicated to collaboration with Mayan language speakers who share our desire to ensure long-term survival of the many vibrant and evolving Indigenous languages in Guatemala and its surrounding regions. We maintain that the soul of a culture exists through and by language and invite all who wish to contribute to the preservation of Mayan languages to share in their love and knowledge of the soul of the Mayan cultures.

The power of the digital world opens up endless possibilities for preserving and sharing knowledge. The Mayan Languages Preservation Project, facilitated by the MasterWord Institute, harnesses this power to safeguard the richness of Mayan languages for generations to come. This project is a partnership with no hidden conditions, creating a platform for Mayan language professionals and scholars to curate a comprehensive, open-source glossary.

We honor and value the critical role each Mayan speaker has in shaping this project. By sharing your unique linguistic knowledge, you're not only strengthening your community's access to essential resources such as education, healthcare, and law, but you're also sharing the beauty of your languages and culture with the world. This is your platform, your heritage, and your voice resonating globally.

We stand with you in the belief that language rights are human rights. The Mayan Languages Preservation Project reaffirms this truth. Together, we're not just preserving languages, but acknowledging, celebrating, and sharing the invaluable cultural wealth embodied in them. We affirm our activism and vision of equality for all humanity by engaging in the struggle to ensure that speakers of all languages have equal access to speak, to learn, to write, and to express themselves freely in the language of their choice. Although this idea is altruistic to us who are active in language preservation and revitalization, there are more than 500 years of oppression to acknowledge during which our languages were oppressed, denigrated, and explicitly forbidden in daily use. From the time of sustained European presence, Indigenous peoples of the Americas have struggled against extinction of its peoples and languages and cultures. We continue in this struggle to ensure that no one person, family, nor linguistic community suffers further discrimination based on enthnoinguistic identity. We assert that Mayan languages and cultures are not relics of a past civilization. Rather, our languages, cultures, and our communities continue to grow, evolve, and develop resources to take our rightful place as leaders in education and thought.

VISION

The Mayan Languages Preservation and Digitization Project has been created to recognize the importance and necessity of providing essential services to Mayan language speakers who, at present, are underrepresented in the United States. This project promotes the preservation of Mayan languages through its continued use in educational and professional settings and encourages increased awareness of these languages as native speakers become more engaged and less marginalized in our larger society, with the long-term goal of increased inclusivity, equity, and diversity.

MasterWord and MasterWord Institute have provided a space for this glossary in an open-source format to offer language professionals a space to share knowledge and provide an authoritative categorical list of terms to use in legal and medical settings. Essential to this mission is the idea that native Mayan language speakers lead in the growth of this project and encourage participation from their respective language communities in an effort that ensures preservation of Mayan languages by Mayan language speakers. We encourage collaboration with speakers whose primary language is Indigenous, Mayan language speakers who are newly arrived in the United States, language professionals who work with Mayan language speakers, and academics with a working knowledge and proficiency of Mayan languages. By establishing a collaborative process in the U.S. and Guatemala, our project will encompass all 20 of Guatemala’s existing Mayan languages that will create an authoritative and comprehensive glossary by and for Mayan language speakers. As we grow the project, we fully expect to add an extensive list of categories to the existing legal and medical terminology, including an expanded categorical list of terms that will promote increased literacy in Mayan language speakers in the fields of technology, finance, education, and recreation.

OVERALL GOALS

Increasing Awareness of Mayan Languages in the Global Community

The Mayan Languages Preservation and Digitization Project places MasterWord and the MasterWord Institute in a prime position to aid in these causes. The United Nations has established a forum, the International Decade of Indigenous Languages, to celebrate, preserve, and revitalize interest in indigenous languages. Moreover, The Decade promotes numerous causes that will aid in preserving and promoting indigenous languages and to elevate the importance of indigenous languages globally by officially recognizing their cultural value. We envision that our project will promote cultural benefits of Mayan languages and establish their worth in society’s collective conscience. Most people are unaware of the millions of Mayan language speakers who currently inhabit regions from Central America to the Northern reaches of the western hemisphere. They may only envision the Maya as a lost civilization. Our project will play an integral role in increasing awareness of vibrant, contemporary Mayan language communities. Whether in Coban, Guatemala, or Houston, TX, the Maya story endures with the continued use of their languages. In telling their story, we will make Mayan languages accessible in the fields of technology, finance, education, medicine, and beyond.

Providing Outreach and Collaboration

For true collaboration to take place, MasterWord and the MasterWord Institute will continue to reach out to language professional colleagues and institutions of higher learning that have a history and focus on Mayan language preservation and research topics that involve Mayan-speaking communities in the United States and Guatemala. We have made this online open-source glossary accessible and user-friendly so we can get as many entries from as many people as possible. Along with a myriad of individuals and institutions of higher learning, there is a growing presence of Mayan language speakers in the U.S. who can contribute with their knowledge and skills to drive this project forward. It is imperative for our team to demonstrate our passion for this project and its vision to prospective collaborators. This process has already begun, but there is much more to do to make our project available to collaborators who will nurture and grow it alongside the MasterWord Institute.

Connecting Cultures and Supporting Mayan Language Communities in the U.S.

At present, there is a growing need in the United States for language professionals who can offer consistent and accurate services in Mayan languages. This is most evident in legal and medical settings, where service providers are often unable to find the resources to adequately fill these roles. Our project affords us the opportunity to meet this need for recently arrived Mayan language speakers in the U.S. and offer them practical resources. The MasterWord Institute will also lead in the field and serve as the standard in meeting the demands of newly arrived Mayan language speakers as they engage with professionals in health care, mental health, education, and the legal system. The MasterWord Institute and the Mayan Languages Preservation Project will pave the way in supporting these communities as they interact with and engage in a new way of life in the United States. Most Mayan language immigrants have never had access to many of the services available in the U.S., and they are unaware of their rights. Furthermore, as they pertain to marginalized language groups, they are unable to fully participate in their new context or partake in all it has to offer. By further equipping language professionals with verified and specialized vocabulary, this project and its glossary will increase the consistency and quality of language access services for new immigrants. Unfortunately, in medical and legal settings, Mayan language speakers are often paired with Spanish-English interpreters, even when it’s not their strongest language. This is due to many factors, including lack of recognition of the native languages from predominantly Spanish-speaking countries and an increasing need of qualified language professionals to meet that demand. We hope to change this situation through the glossary and additional resources, as well as through community outreach and cross-cultural collaboration.

LONG TERM GOALS

  1. Expand the project to all 20 Guatemalan Mayan languages and multiple subjects.
  2. Become the foundation for creating tools that will allow to translate textbooks into Mayan languages and bring education in Mayan languages to the Mayan Communities.  Research shows that a child/person cannot learn a new subject and a new language at the same time, and according to UNESCO 40% of the world does not have access to education in their own language, we want to change this for the Mayan people and enable access to education and success for Mayan communities. Read the Creole Solutions blog post
  3. Find ways using the latest in technology to make Mayan speakers fully digitally present, thus creating equitable access to educational, financial and other opportunities available to speakers of mainstream languages.
  4. Become a case study and a success story that can be used by speakers of other marginalized languages or languages that are not fully digitally present today, thus creating a roadmap for access to the digital economy for the 3 billion people in the world that don’t have access to the internet Davos 2022, and estimated 80% of online content is available in only one of 10 languages: English, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Arabic, Portuguese, German, French, Russian, and Korean.
  5. Consumers International blog

HOW TO ENGAGE

We currently have moderators for K'iche', Q'eqchi', Kaqchikel, Q'anjob'al, Chuj, Mam, Akateko, Tz'otz'il, and Tzeltal. We are looking to add moderators who are native speakers in more of the Mayan languages of Guatemala and Mexico as a head of engagement for each respective language. Please submit the form linked below if you are interested in becoming a moderator for your language:

Mayan Languages Wiki Moderator Application Form