Sidrubrik

Learn the mayan language q'anjob'al

Q'anjob'al is spoken by more than 100.000 people and is the most important language in several districts in the north of
Huehuetenango, Guatemala. It is closed related to the languages chuj, jakalteko, akateko and tojolab'al (Mexico). We use the
spanish alphabet (where j is pronounced as "ch"), and some more caracters combined with the sign ' that means a "glottal stop" - a sound created in the throat (k', q', t', ch', tx', tz'). The caracter b is written as b' to stress a harder b-sound than in spanish. The caracter
xh means a soft sh-sound. X is a harder sh-sound.           

The mayan languages are constructed by prefix och suffix.
Exemple (clic on the word to listen):
Oqinb'eyoq = I will go. The word consists of
oq (indicating time:
Future)
in (indicating the subject: I)
b'ey (the root of the verb walk) and oq (indicating the aspect, here showing future/posibility). If you learn some prefix, verbs and pronouns, you can easily comopse complete frases.

Syntax

Q'anjob'al is a VSO-language, it means that subject and object is followed by the verb.
Exemple (clic on the word to listen): Maxinjatx' xim nal = I have harvested the corn.
Max (indicates passed time) (subject: I) jatx'(verb: harvest) xim (defined article for corn) nal (object: corn, read corncob).

These prefix indicate different time aspects

Present time: chi (before verbs starting with a vowel: ch- )
Passed time:
max (before verbs strating with a vowel: x- )
Future time:
oq

Pronouns

Ayinti - I (with a verb: in-)
Achti' - you (witha verb: ach-)
Naq - he
Ix - she
Ayonti' - we (with a verb: on-)
Ayexti' - you (with a verb: ex-)
Eb' - they (the word also indicates plural)

Small uesful words and expressions

Ja - yes
Maj - no
Yuj wal dios - thank you!
Jilkob'a - see you!
Watx' - good
B'aytal ay - where are.
Ton - let's go!
Ay mi - is there..?
Watx' mi a k'ul - how are you?

Q'anjob'al is one of the mayan language that still use a certain
definite article for different kind of nouns or classes. As shown in the example above, the word
xim (or ixim) is the definite article for everything that has to do with corn. Ch'en is used for everything made of stone. It is also used for objects of metal. The word ch'en means today stone, pieces of metal and is also the word for money.To say the machete (definite article) we say ch'en machit. If we add the word tu after the noun we also indicate that we mean that machete over there. If we add ti after the noun we mean this
machete here.

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