Languages on Lago Atitlan Guatemala

The languages spoken by the locals of Lago Atitlan Guatemala, in addition to Spanish their second language, their language of school and business.

Languages Spoken on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Understanding indigenous languages requires patience and diligence, and extreme amounts of collaboration. Please help with this page, as I understand, it should be possible for others to collaborate to specify with languages are spoken  the many villages on the Google map below.

Please, do not help, unless you feel 100 percent sure you are correct.

I have started studying Tz'utujil with Maria from the village of San Pedro la Laguna. She is highly educated, and great teacher, I am hoping she can help the map proceed towards clarity.

Thank you,
Andy Graham

View Lago Atitlan Guatemala Mayan Languages in a larger map

The Kaqchikel, or Kaqchiquel, language (in modern orthography; formerly also spelled Cakchiquel or Cakchiquiel) is an indigenous Mesoamerican language and a member of the Quichean–Mamean branch of the Mayan languages family. It is spoken by the indigenous Kaqchikel people in central Guatemala. It is closely related to the K'iche' (Quiché) and Tz'utujil languages.

San Pedro de Laguna
Tz'utujil (or Tz'utujiil) is a Mayan language spoken by the Tz'utujil people in the region to the south of Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. Tz'utujil is closely related to its larger neighbors, Kaqchikel and K'iche'. Today approximately 84,000 speak Tz'utujil as their mother tongue. The two Tz'utijil dialects are Eastern Tz'utijil (50,000 speakers in 1998) and Western Tz'utijil (33,800 speakers in 1990).

The majority of the Tz'utujil people have Spanish as their second language, although many of the older people, or those in more remote locations do not. Many children also do not learn Spanish until they go to school around the age of five although more importance is now being placed upon it due to the influx of tourism into the region. Spanish is used in written communication.

K’iche’ (pronounced ) (Quiché in Spanish, Qatzijob'al "our language" to its speakers) is a group of languages that are part of the Mayan language family. They are spoken by many K'iche' people in the central highlands of Guatemala. With close to a million speakers (some 7% of Guatemala's population), the K'iche' complex is the second-most widely spoken language in the country after Spanish. Most speakers of K'iche' languages also have at least a working knowledge of Spanish except in some isolated rural villages.

There is substantial dialectal variation, and the main dialects are considered to be separate languages. Most speakers use Central K'iche', which is the most commonly used in the media and education. Other lects include West Central, San Andrés, Joyabaj, Eastern, Nahualá and Cunén. Although K'iche' languages are national languages and not the official language of Guatemala, and the first-language literacy rate is low, K'iche' is increasingly taught in schools and used on radio.

The most famous work in the Classical K'iche' language is the Popol Vuh (Popol Wu'uj in modern spelling).

Language Map Guatemala


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