Kʼicheʼ (also spelled Kiche and Qʼicheʼ) is a Maya language spoken in the western highlands of Guatemala. It is one of the most widely spoken indigenous languages in the country, with over two million speakers. Kʼicheʼ belongs to the Maya family of languages, which includes more than 30 languages spoken in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras. The Maya family is part of the larger Mesoamerican language family, which includes languages spoken in Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America. Kʼicheʼ has three main dialects: Eastern Kʼicheʼ, Central Kʼicheʼ, and Western Kʼicheʼ. Eastern Kʼicheʼ is spoken in the departments of Quiché and Huehuetenango. Central Kʼicheʼ is spoken in the department of Sololá. Western Kʼicheʼ is spoken in the departments of Totonicapán and Quetzaltenango. The language is also spoken by minorities in the Mexican states of Chiapas and Veracruz. Kʼicheʼ has a rich literary tradition. The best-known work in the language is the Popol Vuh, a Maya sacred text. The Popol Vuh was written in the 16th century, but it is thought to be based on older oral traditions. Other notable works in Kʼicheʼ include the Annals of the Cakchiquels, a history of the Cakchiquel people written in the 15th century; the Rabinal Achi, a drama from the 18th century; and the Kʼicheʼ-Spanish dictionary compiled by Father Domingo de Vico in the 17th century. Kʼicheʼ is also the language of a growing body of modern literature, including poetry, short stories, and novels. Kʼicheʼ is written using the Latin alphabet. In addition, there is a system of Maya glyphs, which was used for writing the language before the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century. Kʼicheʼ is one of the twenty-three officially recognized languages in Guatemala. It is taught in some primary schools and there is a program of radio broadcasts in the language.

Language group

Mayan languages

Language locales, regions and scripts

Kʼicheʼ, Guatemala, Latin
Kʼicheʼ, Guatemala
Kʼicheʼ, Latin