Metaʼ is a language spoken in the southern region of the Mexican state of Chiapas. It is one of the Mayan languages, which are spoken by around 6 million people in southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras. The word metaʼ means 'mountain' in Metaʼ, and the language is also known as Chicomuceltec, after the name of the people who once inhabited the area where it is spoken.
Metaʼ is a tonal language, which means that the meaning of a word can change depending on the pitch of the speaker's voice. There are three tones in Metaʼ: high, middle and low. For example, the word for 'sun' can mean either 'day' or 'year', depending on the tone in which it is spoken.
There are around 1,000 speakers of Metaʼ, most of whom are over the age of 60. The language is not commonly used in everyday conversation, but is still used in ceremonies and for storytelling.
Metaʼ is an endangered language, as many young people in the area no longer learn it. However, there are efforts underway to revive the language and ensure its continued use.