The Republic of Guatemala is a main American nation that to be the cradle of the Mayan civilization, which offers it immense cultural heritage as well as the great Spanish influence from the colonial duration after the conquest.

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The main language in Guatemala is Spanish, although that is used as a 2nd or 3rd language by many of its occupants as the populace is written of a huge variety of ethnic teams that do up more than 75% that the complete population.

In the pre-Colombian period the Nahuatl language existed, in which the word for Guatemala (Quauhtlemallan) means “land that trees”. This language to be not kept in this an ar of Mesoamerica as it was in Aztec region (now Mexico) because the multiple languages of the powerful Mayan society were predominant.

There room 24 language in the country in total: 21 that them room Mayan languages spoken in landscape areas, Xinca spoken in the south east of the country, Garifuna in the Atlantic coast, and also Spanish mainly in urban areas.

There are plenty of words in Guatemalan Spanish, so-called “regionalisms” the are unique to the country. These words use specific sounds and letters the are really common in Mayan languages, such together “ch”, “x” pronounced as “sh”, prefixes such as “ix”, etc., which are clear indications the the affect of aboriginal languages. Of this words, the majority that have “x” room adjectives.

There are additionally several words, numerous of which space in hazard of being lost if they have not currently fallen right into disuse, i beg your pardon name aboriginal plants, trees and also animals.

Other usual features are the lack of differentiation between the pronunciation of S, C and Z, such as in the Spanish native Spain, and the “yeismo” (the joint of “ll” together “y”) that is common in main America, with the exemption of Costa Rica.

Mayan languages

Guatemala’s “Mayan languages” are linguistic variations that emerged because world were be separated by great distances. This supposed that the differences became ever larger, to the point that differences could be checked out generating in every place, through the result of unique languages in each place and population.

The 21 language are:



It is an Amerindian language the does no belong to the household of Mayan languages and is still talked in the south east of the country.

Xinca originates from an unknown, isolated, familyknown as the Xinca branch the languages.


It is the language talked in the Atlantic coast regionand the belongs come the Arawak family of language in the Caribbean branch.

It is talked by descendants of black Africans.

As discussed earlier, today there are many unique Guatemalan words and regionalisms that space used and passed down from generation to generation.

This is the clear influence of XInca and the Mayan languages, words the were transformed and adapted, becoming many that the common terms at this time used by people of every ages.

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They are words that save syllables that carry the letter “x”, almost always in ~ the beginning, and also depending on the word or term, the is written through “ch” or”sh”. There are other words the come native the valuation “h’ui” that have been transformed into syllables favor “güi” and also “güe”.

Some instances of this words, and their definition in neutral Spanish, can be:

shuco = sucio (dirty)cholco = sin dientes (no teeth)chilero = bonito, bueno (pretty, good)chucho = perro, tacaño (dog, miserly)chola = cabeza (head)sheca = inteligente, cabeza (intelligent, head)canche = rubio (blonde)chafa = del ejército (from the Army)chanchuyo = hacertrampa (to cheat)chonte = policía (police)cusha = aguardiente (brandy)güiro = niño (child)ishto = niño (child)mish = tímido (shy)muchá = aleros, grupo de amigos (eaves, group of friends)puchis = expresión de asombro (expression that astonishment)sho = hacer silencio (be quiet)talishte = resistente (resistant)tusha = desear mala suerte (to wish bad luck)