Q'eqchi' or Kekchi is a Mayan language spoken by about 500,000
people in Guatemala and Belize. Q'eqchi' speakers are
found mainly in the departments of Alta Verapaz, Petén, Izabal,
Baja Verapaz, and El Quiché of Guatemala, and in the Toledo
district of Belize.
A number of orthographies have been developed for Q'eqchi', two
of which are widely used: one was developed in the 1950s and 1960s
by researchers from the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL),
particularly Guillermo Sedat, Francis Eachus and Ruth Carlson.
This orthography was used to produce a Q'eqchi' version of the
Bible and a number of other texts and remains popular even though
it is no longer considered standard. A newer orthography developed
in 1980s and 1990s by the Proyecto Lingüistico Francisco Marroquin
has become the standard written form of Q'eqchi' in Guatemala.
Literature in Q'eqchi' includes educational texts, religious texts,
and a few collections of folk tales and other stories, as well as
some government documents.
Sample text in Q'eqchi'
Chijunil li poyanam juntaq'eet wankil xloq'al naq nake'yo'la, ut
kama' ak reheb' naq wan xna'leb'eb ut nake'reek'a rib', tento naq
te'xk'am rib' sa' usilal chirib'ilrib'eb'.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with
reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)