Uspantek (Uspanteko)

Uspantek is a Quichean-Mamean Mayan language spoken mainly in western Guatemala by about 5,130 people, particularly in the municipalities of Uspantán, Playa Grande and Chicamán in the department of Quiché.

The language is also known as Uspanteco, Uspanteko or Uspantec. It is an officially recognised language in Guatemala, and is used in literature and on the radio.

Uspantek is written with the Latin alphabet, although few Uspantek speakers are literate in their language.

Uspantek alphabet and pronunciation

Uspantek alphabet and pronunciation


Uspantek has two tones: a high tone, which can be marked with an acute accent (e.g. ráqan), and a falling tone, which can be indicated with an acute accent mark on the first vowel followed by an unmarked vowel (e.g. júun)

Download an alphabet chart for Uspantek (Excel)

Hear how to pronounce the uspantek alphabet:

Sample text (John 1:1-4)

  1. Cuando xcholmajch jwich kˈijsak, wiˈchak jun ri jbˈij Yoloj y ri jbˈij Yoloj jiˈ wiˈ riqˈui Kakaj Dios y Diosiˈn.
  2. Y ri jbˈij Yoloj wiˈchak riqˈui Kakaj Dios cuando xcholmajch jwich kˈijsak.
  3. Jwiˈl re xansaj juntir ri wiˈtak wich ulew y lecj jwiˈl Kakaj Dios y taˈ ni jono kelen ri xansaj jwiˈl Kakaj Dios miti jwiˈl re.
  4. Y jwiˈlke re titaˈmaj tzilaj cˈaslemal riqˈui Kakaj Dios lecj ri taˈ jqˈuisic y tzilaj cˈaslemal li riˈ chapcaˈ jun kˈakˈ ri tisakabˈsan re ranmak juntir cristian wich ulew.



  1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
  2. The same was in the beginning with God.
  3. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
  4. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.


Sample videos in and about Uspantek


Information about Uspantek

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

Date created: 10.12.21. Last modified: 10.12.21


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