Mayan Language

There are actually many Mayan languages. Each region has its dialect such as Yucatec in the Yucatan, or Ch’ol in Chiapas. In total there are 31 know dialects in the Mayan language family.

Mayan Language Map.png

Very much like there are old versions of English and French that were spoken in ancient times, the language spoken by the ancient Maya was probably an earlier form of Ch’olti’ and Ch’orti’ that is now called “Classic Mayan”.

Pronounciation Guide

How do you pronounce Maya as well as some of the names of Maya people and cities?

Answers are below, just click to hear how they are pronounced!


Maya Cities



Chichen Itza     


Maya names

Ajaw / Ahau (Ruler, King)     

Pakal (famous king of Palenque)     

Hunaphu (one of the Hero Twins)     

Xbalanque (one of the Hero Twins)     

Maya Writing and the Calendar

Hieroglyph (Maya writing system)

Haab (Solar Calendar)

Tzolkin (Sacred Calendar)


Cacao (Bean from which chocolate is made)

Huipil (Traditional blouse that Maya women wear)

Pizote (Cute animal living in the Maya rainforest)

[The] Popul Vuh (Creation story of the Maya)

Pok-ta-pok (The Maya ballgame)