Mayan language ( Yucatec ) - Màaya t'àan

I didn't see Yucatec Maya listed in the post that Duolingo made but I've seen others mention Yucatec in the comments and get a lot of votes so I think this is something others want as well.

Here is a animated short video of a story told in Maya (yucatec) with English subtitles -

Yucatec Maya, called Màaya t'àan (lit. "Maya speech") by its speakers, is a Mayan language spoken in the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico and Guatemala) and northern Belize. To native speakers, the proper name is Maya and it is known only as Maya. The qualifier "Yucatec" is a tag linguists use to distinguish it from other Mayan languages (such as K'iche' and Itza'). Thus the use of the term Yucatec Maya to refer to the language is scientific jargon or nomenclature.

Approximately 6 million people speak a mayan language today. ( that is more than their are people who speak Finnish)

In the Mexican states of Yucatán, some parts of Campeche, Tabasco, Chiapas, and Quintana Roo, Maya remains many speakers' first language today, with 800,000 speakers. There are 6,000 speakers in Belize. These speakers identify themselves as Maya, not Yucatec Maya or Mayan.


The Maya were literate in pre-Columbian times, when the language was written using Maya script. The language itself can be traced back to proto-Yucatecan, the ancestor of modern Yucatec Maya, Itza, Lacandon and Mopan. Even further back, the language is ultimately related to all other Maya languages through proto-Mayan itself.

Yucatec Maya is now written in the Latin script. This was introduced during the Spanish Conquest of Yucatán which began in the early 16th century, and the now-antiquated conventions of Spanish orthography of that period ("Colonial orthography") were adapted to transcribe Yucatec Maya.

A little hollywood fact about Yucatec Maya - The 2006 film Apocalypto, directed by Mel Gibson, was filmed entirely in Yucatec Maya. The script was translated into Maya by Hilario Chi Canul of the Maya community of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, who also worked as a language coach on the production.

here is a video of a man telling a story in Maya -

and here is a trailer for a tv show that was also done in Maya but the subtitles are in spanish -

February 2, 2018


I think maya would probably be put in spanish first and would be easier that way but I wouldn't mind. I'd just like to see the language up in duolingo. Would be practicing spanish and learning a new language while I'm at it.

February 2, 2018

Yeah. I believe it would be better to put Maya in the Spanish category like they did Guarani and Catalan, as more Spanish-speaking people have Mayan relations or relatives.

February 3, 2018

Sounds great, do you know anyone who can create this course? Someone who knows both this language and another language to learn it from. Please have that person apply to create the language here:

If you don't know native speakers and it will actually take more than one person, hopefully someone will see this discussion and apply.

Also, please let Lrtward know about this so he can add this discussion to his list:

February 2, 2018

thank you~

I'm not too sure how to message people on here though @Lrtward

February 2, 2018

Sadly there is no way to message someone directly. I saw Michael.Lubetsky's comment in though and I've updated the GUIDE to include this request.

March 8, 2018

oh thank you! that's great. ya messaging was the only issue but at least you did get to see it eventually

March 9, 2018

I'd love to learn Yucatec!

February 3, 2018
February 3, 2018

Oh wow! this is very cool and exciting! thank you for sharing :D I went to a museum recently that showed laser technology at work in Mayan areas and it spoke about doing this new form of research. it's really cool to see the outcome of it.

February 3, 2018

( they already were doing this before[just to correct myself on saying new.] and i saw some of the pathway/highways they describe in that article but it seems they found even more now)

February 3, 2018

Yucatec Maya must be added to Duolingo as a language to learn from English & Spanish as it is spoken in Guatemala, Yucatán & Belize

March 31, 2019

I’d really like to see it added

March 31, 2019

Maya would be great

May 16, 2019

Wish I could learn Yucatec Maya in homer of my heritage

June 28, 2019
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