Ch’ol (Lakty’añ)

Ch’ol is member of the Cholan branch of the Mayan language family. It is spoken in the north central part of the Mexican state of Chiapas. There are two main dialects of Ch’ol: Ch’ol of Tila and Ch’ol of Timbalá. The former is spoken by about 43,870 people in the villages of Tila, Vicente Guerrero, Chivalito and Limar in Chiapas. The latter has about 90,000 speakers in the villages of Tumbalá, Sabanilla, Misijá, Limar, Chivalita and Vicente Guerrero.

Ch’ol is also known as Chol, Lak t’an, Lak ty’añ. It is closely related to Ch'orti', which is spoken in Guatemala and Honduras, and to Chontal Maya, which is spoken in Tabasco in Mexico. These languages are the most conservative of Mayan languages, and are thought to be the closest to Classical Maya.

There are some programs in Ch’ol in a radio station in Xpujil in Campeche. Ch’ol is used as a medium of instruction in the first years of some primary schools.

Ch’ol alphabet and pronunciation

This alphabet for Ch’ol was develped by Diaz Peñate and first proposed in 1992. It was adopted by writers, teachers and linguists in 2010 under the auspices of INALI (Instituto Nacional de Lenguas Indígenas).

Ch’ol alphabet and pronunciation


There are several other ways to write Ch’ol. The most noticable difference is the use of the letter ʌ for the /ɨ/ sound.

Ch’ol alphabet and pronunciation

Download alphabet charts for Ch’ol (Excel)

Some details provided by Michael Peter Füstumum

Sample video in Ch’ol

Information about Ch’ol | Numbers | Tower of Babel


Information about Ch’ol’ol_language’ol

Mayan languages

Achi, Akatek, Awakatek, Chontal Maya, Ch’ol, Chorti, Chuj, Huasteco, Itzaʼ, Ixil, Jakaltek, Kaqchikel, Ki'che', Lacandon, Mam, Mocho’, Mopan, Poqomam, Poqomchiʼ, Q’anjob’al, Q'eqchi', Sakapultek, Sipakapense, Tektitek, Tojolabal, Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Tz'utujil, Uspantek, Yucatec Maya

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 20.04.24


Green Web Hosting - Kualo

Why not share this page:

If you like this site and find it useful, you can support it by making a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or by contributing in other ways. Omniglot is how I make my living.


Note: all links on this site to, and are affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you click on any of them and buy something. So by clicking on these links you can help to support this site.

Get a 30-day Free Trial of Amazon Prime (UK)