20 Animals In Kaqchikel (with Pronunciation)

I leave you a list of twenty animals (chicop) in Kaqchikel, in addition, the pronunciation of these words is included. It should be noted that, unlike Spanish, in Kaqchikel, animals do not have gender, that is, there is no ending in the word that differentiates the masculine from the feminine; in this Kaqchikel resembles English.

Kaqchikel is a Mayan language that is spoken in the highlands of central Guatemala. Currently, this language is spoken by a small community, made up of half a million people.

The spelling that will be used to write the terms was developed by the Academia de Lenguas Mayas de Guatemala.

20 Animals in the Kaqchikel language

1 – Tz’i

Tz’i is the Kaqchikel word for “dog.” The spelling tz ‘does not have a phonetic equivalent in Spanish, making it difficult to pronounce.

According to the International Phonetic Alphabet, “tz ‘” corresponds to the phoneme / ts / only glottalized, which means that it is pronounced with a greater air force, as in “Fitzgerald”. For its part, the vowel “i” corresponds to the pronunciation of Spanish.

2 – Masat

The word “masat” means “deer” in Kaqchikel. Unlike tz’i, the pronunciation of the word masat is simple, since it is read as if it were in Spanish. The phonetic transcription of this term is / masát /.

3 – B’alam

In kaqchikel, cheetah is said “b’alam”. The sound of b ‘resembles the phoneme “b” in Spanish, only it is implosive. This means that the sound is more muffled, like the final sound in the word “baobab.” The rest of the word has a pronunciation similar to that of Spanish.

4 – K’oy

The monkey is one of the animals with the letter m.

K’oy is the word for “monkey”. The spelling k ‘resembles the initial sounds of the words “house” and “cheese”; however, it is more glottal, that is, much stronger. The diphthong “oy” is identical to the Spanish in the word “morrocoy”.

5 – Ch’oy

In kaqchikel, “mouse” is said ch’oy. The ch ‘of the kaqchikel is similar to the initial sound of “chocolate”, but glottalized, since more air is expelled.

6 – Umül

“Umül” is rabbit in Kaqchikel. The pronunciation of “u” is the same as that of Spanish in “subject”. On the other hand, the “ü” sound does not exist in Spanish; This resembles the “oo” in English in “brotherhood”. Phonetically, it is transcribed [umʊl].

7 – Usmakab

Usmakab is “bee” in kaqchikel. In this case, the k is pronounced exactly like the initial “house” sound. The b ‘at the end is implosive and is not pronounced.

8 – Öm

In this Mayan language, öm is “spider”. The sound of the ö corresponds to an open o, which is not typical of Spanish; however, it can be presented in words like “fee”. This phoneme is typical of English, in words like “caught” and “saw”. On the other hand, the “m” has the same pronunciation as in Spanish.

9 – Tz’ikin

Cuckoo or cuckoo bird

Tz’ikin is “bird” in Kaqchikel. In terms of pronunciation, the initial sound is the same as “tz’i” (dog).

10 – Kot

Kot is “eagle” in Kaqchikel. This word is pronounced as if it were said in Spanish, the only difference is that the final sound, the “t”, is so soft that it is almost imperceptible.

11 – Turk

Turk is “owl” in Kaqchikel. The “r” in this word has a strong pronunciation, as in “car” or “railroad.” It resembles the word “Turk”, only it loses the final vowel sound.

12 – Tz’unün

hummingbird life cycle

Tz’unün means “hummingbird” in Kaqchikel. It has the same initial sound as “tz’i” (dog) and as “tz’ikin” (bird); In addition, it includes the ü of umül, a sound that, it should be noted, does not have an equivalent in the phonetic alphabet of Spanish.

13 – Kär

Kär means “fish”. The sound of the “ä” does not exist in Spanish. It resembles the relaxed sound in the English words “able”, “turtle” and “purple”. Phonetically, this symbol is represented by the symbol [ə]. The “r” at the end of the word “kär” is strong, as in “cigar”.

14 – Kumätz

In kaqchikel, “snake” is said kumätz. This word includes the vowel sound ä, which has no equivalent in Spanish and ends with the consonantal sound tz. The pronunciation of the tz resembles the final sounds in the word “carnets”.

15 – Kok

“Turtle” is said kok. This word can be pronounced like the Spanish word “coco”, only it loses the final vowel sound.

16 – Ixpeq

Toad.  An example of an animal with skin respiration.

Ixpeq means “toad”. Regarding pronunciation, the only sound that could represent a difficulty for Spanish speakers is that of the “x”. This phoneme is pronounced as a “sh”, which does not exist in the phonetic alphabet of Spanish. However, we produce it when we command silence.

17 – Kiej

“Horse” is said kiej. The “j” at the end of this word is pronounced aspirated, which means that the sound is weak, as in the Spanish of Venezuela or Colombia, and not glottal (as in Spain or Mexico).

18 – Ixpa’ch

Ixpa’ch means “lizard”. This word includes the spelling “x”, which is pronounced as in the English words “shower”, “she” or “ashes”.

19 – Täp

“Crab” is said täp. This word includes the vowel sound “ä” (no equivalent in Spanish). The -p at the end is almost imperceptible.

20 – Xi’l

“Cricket” is said xi’l. This word is pronounced “shil.”


  1. Kaqchikel Animal Words (Cakchiquel). Retrieved on March 29, 2017, from native-languaje.org.
  2. Kaqchikel pronunciation guide. Retrieved on March 29, 2017, from native-languaje.org.
  3. Canales, Cristina and Morrissey, Jane. Thanks, Matiox, Thanks, Hermano Pedro. Retrieved on March 29, 2017, from books.google.com.
  4. Kaqchikel words. Retrieved on March 29, 2017, from thephoenixprojects.org.
  5. Blair, Robert; Robertson, Jonh; Larry, Richman; Sansom, Greg; Salazar, Julio; Yool, Juan; and Choc, Alejandro (1981). Spanish-Cakchiquel-English dictionary. Garland Publishing, Inc. New York & London. Retrieved on March 29, 2017, from centurypubl.com.
  6. Kaqchikel. Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies Retrieved on March 29, 2017, from latamst.ku.edu.
  7. Rosetta Project, Cakchiquel. Retrieved on March 29, 2017, from archive.org.

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