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Yucatec Maya

Yucatec Maya

Mayan languages belong to a family of indigenous languages spoken in Mesoamerica. Often when people think of the Maya, they think of an ancient people with no modern representatives. Today the Maya number in the millions and have an incredibly diverse culture and language family. Four million people speak one or more of 28 Mayan languages descended for a proto-Mayan ancestral language spoken before 1500 B.C. Yucatec Maya, also called Maya t’aan or ‘Maya Speech' is the most widely spoken Mayan language, a dialect of Maya which is spoken today in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Guatemala, and Belize. Yucatec Maya is a gateway to the world of Mayan Civilization. Many aspects of modern Yucatec Mayan culture and worldview are encoded in the language, including many interesting folk tales and oral histories recorded in Yucatec Maya that remain relevant today.

Majors & Certificates 

Sarah Ripp,

Student Organizations 

Browse the Wisconsin Involvement Network for more information.


Consider an internship where you can use Yucatec Maya, either in the US or abroad. An internship in any field can complement your language study and can provide valuable professional experience.