The Languages of Guatemala


In Guatemala, there are 25 official languages, including Spanish, 22 Mayan languages, and two other indigenous languages–Garífuna and Xinca. Three of the most commonly spoken languages by indigenous Mayans in the United States are:

The following organizations have great resources about indigenous languages, and may have useful resources for teacher, foster care providers, and other social service providers working with indigenous language speakers who are learning Spanish and/or English.

  1. Popol Mayab’ is a website that regularly publishes resources on Mayan language and culture, and it also is active  on facebook. From downloadable PDFs of Spanish-Indigenous Language dictionaries to great infographics, this is a great resource.
  2. Academia de Lenguas Mayas de Guatemala. This organization has many linguistic projects throughout Guatemala’s indigenous communities, including online Diccionarios Hablados  for each of the 22 Mayan languages (click español).
  3. Fundación Proyecto Lingüístico Francisco Marroquín. This organization and language school has published bilingual dictionaries and grammar guides for decades.

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