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Achi Language (Kubul, Rabinal)

Language: Achi is a Maya language spoken by about 50,000 people in Guatemala. Achi is an agglutinative language with fairly free word order-- although Achi sentences are usually verb-initial like most other Mayan languages, SVO word order is also commonly used. The Achi language is closely related to Quiché Maya and many linguists consider it a dialect of Quiche, although the two groups have distinct ethnic and historical identities.

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Names: Achi is the people's own name for themselves and their language. It comes from the native word meaning "man." Other spellings that are commonly used include Achí, Achi', Achíes, Maya Achi, and Achi Maya. There are two Achi dialects, Rabinal Achi (also known as Rab'ina:l, Rabinal Quiché, Rabinal K'iche', or Chicaj Achi) and Cubulco Achi (also known as Kubul, Kub'u:l, or Cubulco Quiché.)

Our Achi Language Materials

Achi Vocabulary
     Our list of vocabulary words in the Achi language, with comparison to words in other Mayan languages.
Achi Maya Pronunciation Guide:
    How to pronounce Achi words.
Achi Animal Words:
     Illustrated glossary of animal words in the Achi language.
Achi Body Parts:
    Online and printable worksheets showing parts of the body in Achi.
Achi Colors:
    Worksheet showing color words in Achi.
Achi Numbers:
     Worksheet showing how to count in the Achi language.

Achi Language Resources

AILLA: Achi:
    Archive of Achi language recordings available for download.
Chola’j Ch’a’teem Achi:
    Online Spanish-Achi glossary, with some audio clips of spoken words.
Mayan Placenames in Guatemala:
    Chart of Guatemalan place names in Achi and other Mayan languages.
Lord's Prayer in Cubulco Achi: * Rabinal Achí Genesis:
    Achi translations of Christian prayers and Bible passages.
The Bible in Achi Rabinal (traditional orthography): * The Bible in Achi Rabinal (new orthography):
    Translations of the New Testament into the Achi language using two different spelling systems.
Lengua Achí
     Information on the Achi language, including a linguistic map of Guatemala. Page in Spanish.
House of Languages: Achi'
     Information about Achi' language usage.
Rabinal Achi' * Cubulco Achi':
     Demographic information about Achi from the Ethnologue of Languages.
Rabinal Achi' Language Tree:
    Theories about Achi's language relationships compiled by Linguist List.
Achí Language Structures:
    Achi linguistic profile and academic bibliography.
Mayan Language Books For Purchase:
    Sales of language materials in Achi and other Mayan languages.

Books for sale on the Achis
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Gramatica del Idioma Achi:
     Book about the Achi language in Spanish.
Maya Achi Marimba Music In Guatemala:
     Book on the musical traditions of the Maya Achi.
Rabinal Achi: A Mayan Drama of War and Sacrifice:
     English translation of a pre-Columbian Mayan play.
We Were Taught to Plant Corn Not to Kill
     Essays and artwork by Guatemalan Mayas about the 20th-century violence that rocked their communities.
The Ancient Maya:
    Excellent historical overview of ancient Mayan civilization in general.
Native Books:
    Evolving list of books about Mayas and Native Americans in general.

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Achi Culture and History

Healing Begins for the Maya Achi People * Maya Achi: The Story of a Forced Resettlement:
    Stories about the violence and displacement suffered by Achi people in the 1980's.
Just What I Learned From My Grandmother:
    Article about traditional agriculture in Maya Achi communities.

Links, References, and Additional Information

  Endangered Languages Project: Achi:
  Bibliography of Achi language resources.
  Wikipedia: Achi:
  Encyclopedia articles on the Achi Indians and their language.
  Los Achies * Pueblo Achí * Idioma Achí:
  Information about the Achi tribe in Spanish.

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