Itza’ language

Spoken in


The Itza language or Itzaj is the language of the indigenous people of Petén Itzá on Itzá lake in the Guatemalan department of Petén.


Itza is one of the Mayan languages ​​and is closely related to the Mayathan in the Mexican Yucatán and the Lacandon in Chiapas, most closely related but with the Mopan language in Belize.

The relationship of the Itza and the Maya of Yucatan Than can be compared with that between Spanish and Italian. This means that an understanding has certain troubles.


In the past, the Itza Maya was the language of a large part of the population of Petén and in parts of Belize. Today it is extinct in Belize and is spoken by only a few, mostly older people in Petén.

In the census of 2002 in Guatemala gave 1094 people Itza as a mother tongue; 1983 people identified themselves as Itza. SIL International is for 1986 even only 12 fully competent speakers and 1991 a total of 60 mostly elderly, no longer fully competent speakers on, living in San José ( Ixtutz ) on the north bank of the Petén Itzá lake.

The village of San José ( Ixtutz ) is the last place where the Itza language can be heard. While in other villages, the language was not passed on to the children since the 1930s, began this process in more isolated San José a later date.