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Proudly Translating the Q’eqchi’ Language



The idea that Central America is entirely Spanish-speaking is simply not true. While Spanish is the official and majority language of most Central American countries (except in Belize), the region is home to countless indigenous languages from the pre-Columbian era. This is especially true in Guatemala, where indigenous peoples make up nearly half of the country’s population. Of them, more than 8% are Q’eqchi’, most of whom speak the Q’eqchi’ language (also spelled Kekchi, Kʼekchiʼ, or Kekchí).


Q’eqchi’ is classified as one of the national languages of Guatemala and constitutes the country’s third-biggest Maya language. However, as is the case with nearly all indigenous languages in the Americas, Q’eqchi’ is an endangered language, threatened by the widespread use and prestige of the colonizer language. In such a precarious situation, not many translation firms will work with languages like Q’eqchi’—after all, they’re after profits. But at TranslationServices.com, we’re different. We love all languages, and we understand how important minority languages like Q’eqchi’ are—which is why we’re so proud to have a Q’eqchi’ translation team.


For a free quote for our Q’eqchi’ translation services, send us a message today.


Q’eqchi’: an important relic of Guatemalan history

Q’eqchi’ is spoken in different parts of Guatemala, primarily the departments of Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Petén, Quiché, and Izabal, as well as Belize’s Toledo District. Historically, speakers were concentrated in Alta Verapaz and Baja Verapaz, these regions receiving the name Verapaz (“true peace”) in recognition of the Q’eqchi’ people’s peaceful relations with the Spanish. Over time, they migrated to other areas, either voluntarily or involuntarily through persecution or land displacement.


Q’eqchi’ grammar is complicated, with the language exhibiting ergative–absolutive alignment. This means that the subject of an intransitive sentence (e.g., “I see”) is treated the same grammatically as the object in a transitive sentence (e.g., “I see you”). Since both the subject and object are marked in the verb, the element order within verbs ends up being object-subject-verb. In wider Q’eqchi’ syntax, the default word order is verb-subject-object, but all other word orders are possible depending on the context. Notably, the word order can be influenced by the definiteness and animacy of the subject and object, introducing all sorts of subtle nuances into Q’eqchi’ texts.


Our Q’eqchi’ translators are proud of their language, and they’re proud to provide top-quality translations to and from it.


Why purchase Q’eqchi’ translation services?

The Q’eqchi’ people of Guatemala are proud of their language, which had been spoken in their ancestral homeland long before the Spanish colonized the region. Thus, Q’eqchi’ translation services can be great for historians or Q’eqchi’ people wishing to spread knowledge of their culture and language to outsiders through the translation of historical documents or traditional stories. Q’eqchi’ translation services are also well suited to creating more content in Q’eqchi’, whether that’s business materials for local companies, academic material for Q’eqchi’-language education, or entertainment content such as books, apps, websites, games, and more, which promotes the wider use of Q’eqchi’ and cultivates more pride in the language. Our Q’eqchi’ translators are excited to help, no matter what your goals are.


Ready to get started? Contact us today with the details of your Q’eqchi’ translation project.


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Professional human translation for any language, any topic