Postby Mol_Bolom » 2009-06-07, 7:26

This is going to be where those of us who want to learn the Tzotzil Maya language can come to chit chat.

The first thing I'm going to discuss is the subject of a sentence.

Like in English, the Tzotzil use a word for "the", however there are several of them, though.
li = The
li' = The/Here
ti = The distant (in space or time)
le' = The/There
te = The/There

I will use the first one and the second, li and li'.

I am speaking
jk'opoj: j- is the subject, first person singular.
k'opoj li vo'one: Instead of the first person singular being added to the verb as a prefix, this time the first person "vo'on" is used with "li".

The dog sees a rabbit.
li tz'i'e chyil t'ul.
chyil t'ul li tz'i'e

The man is already on his way here.
li' vinike, chtal xa.
chtal xa li' vinike.

If you notice I added 'e' after the subject in each sentence. It has no special meaning, it is only added after ti, li, le', li', te.

Did your father die?
mi chamem xa l atote?
mi l atote chamem xa?

In these last two sentences, li drops the i before the 2nd person pronoun prefix.

li jkotoltike, Us all
l akotoltike, You all.


Pr = Pronoun
C = Consonant
V = Vowel



j = I, My
a = You, Your
s = He/She/It, His/Hers/Its

Prefixes with Suffixes..
j+tik = You and I (perhaps others, too, I am not 100% sure on this one, but it is used with jbatik, lets go), We, Our
j+otik = You and I, We, Our
j+otikotik = Our (Not yours)
j+tikotik = Another and I, others and I, we (Not you) (Used with transitive verbs)
a+tik = You (two or more)
s+tik = They, their



Prefixes with suffixes

Suffixes: (Intransitive forms, and I don't know the correct term for the other)

-on, Me, I am a (tz'i'on = I am a dog)
-ot, You, you are a
-oxuk = You plural (This one is a bit different and I don't know it all that well, however it can be used as such Mi lekoxuk? How are you all?)

li jtote = My father
l atote = Your father
li stote = His/her/its father

li jtotike = Our father
li jtotikotike = Our father, not yours
l atotike = Your father (More than one of you)
li stotike = Their father

li keale = My mouth
l aveale = Your mouth
li yeale = His/her/its mouth

li kealtike = Our mouths
li kealtikotike = Our mouths (not yours)
l avealtike = Your mouths
li yealtike = Their mouths

jk'opon = I am speaking to him/her/it
jk'oponot = I am speaking to you

jk'opoj = I am speaking
jk'opojik = We are speaking
jk'opojotik = You and I are speaking
jk'opojotikotik = We are speaking, Not you

And a couple of different forms.
ajk'opon = I am speaking to you (Note the pronoun a preceding the pronoun j).
kak'opon = You are speaking to me (Again, note the pronoun k preceding the pronoun a)

(Note: These translations should not be considered 100% correct. This is just a precursor, a beginning)

That's it for now...

xtz'ibaj noxtok. Until I write again...
Last edited by Mol_Bolom on 2009-06-21, 6:09, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Sean of the Dead
Posts: 3884
Joined: 2008-10-11, 17:51
Real Name: Sean Jorgenson
Gender: male
Location: Kent
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Batz'i K'op

Postby Sean of the Dead » 2009-06-07, 18:14

Tzotzil looks and sounds so cool. :D

Does the first word in sentence not begin with a capital letter? :?:
Main focuses: [flag]kw[/flag] [flag]he[/flag]
Sub focus: Plautdietsch
On my own: [flag]is[/flag]


Re: Batz'i K'op

Postby Mol_Bolom » 2009-06-07, 18:36

Sean of the Dead wrote:Does the first word in sentence not begin with a capital letter? :?:

I've seen it both ways, however I do believe that it should be capitalized.

Chtal xa li vinike.
'A li vinike, chtal xa.

User avatar
Sean of the Dead
Posts: 3884
Joined: 2008-10-11, 17:51
Real Name: Sean Jorgenson
Gender: male
Location: Kent
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Batz'i K'op

Postby Sean of the Dead » 2009-06-07, 18:43

Ok good, because it looks weird when it's not capitalized. :lol: :P

I might start learning, but I'm trying not to do too many languages at once, and I absolutely must learn Norwegian, and so far I like Basque a lot. But it's first in my possibilities list! 8-)
Main focuses: [flag]kw[/flag] [flag]he[/flag]
Sub focus: Plautdietsch
On my own: [flag]is[/flag]


Re: Batz'i K'op

Postby Mol_Bolom » 2009-06-08, 1:48

jayib lo'iletik lek schan o.
Some phrases for practicing...
jayib = How many? several, however many.
lo'iletik = discussions
lek = good
schan = One learn
o = is/exists.

oy li oxlik jvune. I have 3 books. Literally, Exists the three-paper my book.
oy = Exists
li = the
oxlik = three papers
    lik is what is called a numerical classifier. It is used with number to represent paper or books.
jvun = My book, my paper.

k'u xi. Hello, Hi
(Actually, there isn't an easy way to say Hello in any Mayan language. Most of the times one should probably use spanish. This is what a Tzotzil might say to another person as they pass each other along a road).
k'u, k'usi = What? thing. what.
xi = Say

x'il jbaik ta yan k'ak'al
We'll see each other at another day, at another time...Goodbye.
il = See
jbaik = One another (inclusive first person plural)
ta = at, in, on, to
yan = another

ta jtakbot ta akotolik jun spatobil avo'ntonik li' to (ta slumal <your city name>) e.
I send you greetings from here (your city) to you.

ta jtakbot ta akotolik jun spatobil avo'ntonik li' to ta slumal Garden City e.
ta = marks the verb as transitive.
jtakbot = I send to you
ta = At, in, on, to
akotolik = You all
jun = A, one.
spatobil = Greeting(s)
avo'ntonik = Your hearts.
li' to = From here to there
ta = at, in, on, to
slumal = City

buch'u abat? Where are you going?
chibat jk'opon li jtote. I'm going to speak with my father.
buch'u = Where? where.
abat = You go
chibat = I am going.
jk'opon = To speak to
li = the
jtot = my father.


Re: Batz'i K'op

Postby Mol_Bolom » 2009-06-10, 1:07

Li atoletike

    1. jun
    2. chib
    3. oxib
    4. chanib
    5. vo'ob
    6. vakib
    7. vukib
    8. vaxakib
    9. baluneb
    10. lajuneb
    11. buluchib
    12. lajcha'eb
    13. oxlajuneb
    14. chanlajuneb
    15. vo'lajuneb
    16. vaklajuneb
    17. vuklajuneb
    18. vaxaklajuneb
    19. balunlajuneb
    20. jtob
    21. jun scha'vinik (The first digit of the second man)
    40. cha'vinik (The second man)
    41. jun yoxvinik (The first digit of the third man)
    60. oxvinik (The third man)
    61. jun schanvinik (The first digit of the fourth man)
    80. chanvinik
    90. lajun svo'vinik
    100. vo'vinik
    110. lajun svakvinik
    120. vakvinik
    130. lajun svukvinik

    381. jun sbok'al
    400. jbok'al
    420. jtob scha'bok'al
    421. jun scha'vinik scha'bok'al

    7601. jun spikal.
    8000. jpikal
    8001. jun scha'pikal
    8020. jtob scha'pikal
    8021. jun scha'vinik scha'pikal
    8400. jbok'al scha'pikal
    8401. jun scha'bok'al scha'pikal
    8420. jtob scha'bok'al scha'pikal
    8421. jun scha'vinik scha'bok'al scha'pikal

    152000. balunlajunpikal
    151999. balunlajuneb sbalunlajunvinik sbalunlajunbok'al sbalunlajunpikal

The easiest way to think of numbers in Tzotzil is like this...

Eng. = Tzo. (Using base 10 numbers for easier understanding)
10 = 10
11 = 21
12 = 22
13 = 23
14 = 24
15 = 25
16 = 26
17 = 27
18 = 28
19 = 29
20 = 20
21 = 31
22 = 32
23 = 33
24 = 34
25 = 35
26 = 36
27 = 37
28 = 38
29 = 39
30 = 30

Why would I write the numbers like that? Well to be honest, it was the only way I could figure it out when I finally understood how numbers are used in Tzotzil.
Instead, when you count to 20, jtob, it means something like 'all digits of the first man', and when you count to 21 'the first digit of the second man'. Since the Tzotzil counted, probably, on all fingers and toes, therefore a whole man would consist of 20 digits. When you had another man beside that first man, then to count to 21 you would have all the fingers and toes of the first man, then one finger of the second man, thus, jun scha'vinik (The first digit of the second man).

(Note: If that didn't make sense, please let me know. I have been trying different methods of explaining this, but I haven't really found a decent description.)


Re: Tzotzil

Postby Mol_Bolom » 2009-07-04, 8:37

Some links to groups who sing in Tzotzil...

Sak Tzevul web site.

Sak Tzevul singing Muk'ta Sotz'.

Tonana singing Vayan Olol Vayan (Sleep child sleep)


Return to “Central and South American Indigenous Languages”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest