Kʼicheʼ love poem


Le aremowem pa le ja'

Are je'likalaj nutzij,

Par aninaq kasachik (kab'ek)

Par le uk'isb'al "katinloq'oj"

Translated into Kʼicheʼ by Manuel Jamínez Tambriz
Kʼicheʼ love poem

Book of poetry "La Glace"
Original version
French poem

Kʼicheʼ language

Here is my little love poem translated into k'iche 'maya (quiche, qach'abel). Quiché is a Mayan language, close to Kaqchikel and Kekchi, spoken in north-west of the capital Guatemala, between Quetzaltenango and Ixcan, and not only in the department of Quiché. There are also k'iche' speakers in Mexico, which has a large diaspora of Quiché Indians.

There are still 300,000 people who speak only this language, for over a million speakers in Guatemala and Mexico, two countries where quiche language has the status of national language. It is the most spoken of all 23 Mayan languages in Guatemala.

If one finds many dialects of this language, with some of them sometimes considered to be distinct, it is the central dialect which is most common and used in the media and for education. The Popol Vuh is the most famous work in classical K'iche.


As for other languages the translation can not be literal. Here the words "mirror" and "poem" have been replaced to give "reflection in water" and "words", because in this language as in many others, they are concepts or objects that did not exist before the colonizers come. The translator preferred this way of translating rather than using two newly constructed words.

One of the three words for a mirror is "lemow", but here it is expressed with a word that means "reflection".

1. Le aremowem pa le ja'
"Tu reflejo en el agua

2. are je'likalaj nutzij,
es mi palabramas bella

3. par aninaq kasachik (kab'ek)
pero,rapido desaparece,

4. par le uk'isb'al "katinloq'oj"
pero mi ultimo "te amo"
Greater Quichean languages
Sacapultek - Tt'zu'tujil - Sipakapa - Kekchi
Poem translated into Kʼicheʼ (523 languages)