The most widely spoken Mayan dialect is K’iche with nearly a million speakers. Other large groups are Kaqchikel with about 1/2 million and Mam with nearly 700,000. By some accounts there are 22 separate Mayan ethnolinguisitc groups in a country the size of the state of Tennessee. Other groups include:
These distinct dialects isolate the people if they don’t also learn the national language of Spanish. Children learn Spanish when they attend school but if a child doesn’t attend school or only goes for 1-2 year it is difficult to learn another language. It is necessary to learn Spanish to be able to get a good job and support a family.
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