Greetings and Goodbyes
Hello | Mi li oyote! (literally, “Here you are!” | mē lē ō-yō-TĀ

(This is the general greeting used for hello, good morning, good afternoon, etc. and is always given by the newcomer to the scene, ex. the person who is just entering a room.)
Response: Here I am! | Li oyune! | lē ō-yu-NĔ
Hello (to a group) | Mi li oyoxuqe | mē lē ō-yō-shoo-KĀ
Response: Here we are! | Li oyunkutiqe | lē ō-yun-koo-ti-KĀ
Goodbye | Taxi bat (literally, “Now I am going.” | tă-shē BĂT
Response: Go then | Batan | băt-ĂN
What is your name? | C’usi a’bi? | k’-OO-sē ă’-BĒ
My name is ____ | Ja’ jbi ____ | hhă’ hhbē _______
How are you? | C’u avelan? | k’-OO ă-vĕ-LĂN
I am well | Lek oyun | lĕk ō-YOON
May God give you blessing | Kajvaltic cha ya’kbot slekilal | kăhh-văl-TĒK chă yă’-k-BŌT slĕ-kē-LĂL

Etiquette
Please – Abokoluk (ă-bō-kōh-LUKE)
Thank you | Kolaval | kōl-ă-VĂL
Thank you very much | Oj toj kolaval | ōhh tōhh kōl-ă-VĂL
You’re welcome | Muyuk c’usij vocol | moo-YOOK k’-OO-sēh vō-CŌL
Excuse me | Taxi jelav (literally, “Now I pass.” | tă-shē hĕ-LĂV

Shopping
How much does this cost? – C’uxi stojol. (k’-OO-shē stō-HŌL)
Numbers are the same as in Spanish

Other Useful Phrases
Yes | Tana | dă-NĂ
No | Mo’oj | mō’-ŌHH
How old are you? | Jayi’im ja’bil a bich’oj? | hhă-YI’-im hhă’-BĒL ă bēch’-ŌHH
I am ___ years old | Kich’oj ___ | kēch’-ŌHH ___
C’usi sbi li’e (k-OO-sē sbē lē EY) –What is the name of this?
I don’t understand | Mu xca’i | moo shkă’-Ē
What are you doing? | C’usi cha pas? | k’-OO-sē chă păs
Nothing | Cha’bal | chă’-băl

Pronunciation Guide
The vowels are pronounced the same as in Spanish:
“A” is always as in “father”
“E” as in “hey” and sometimes as in “pet”
“I” as in “machine”
“O” as in “hole”
“U” as in “glue”

The letter “J” in Tzotzil is pronounced as a hard “hhh”, like the hissing sound a cat makes when it is scared.

The glottal stop is a stopping of the flow of air through the throat and is marked by an apostrophe. To get the idea, try saying “curtain” without pronouncing the “T.” The slight pause between syllables is same effect as a glottal stop.

The letter “X” in Tzotzil is a Mayan X. It is pronounced “sh.”

Would you like to put these phrases to use? Check out the ministry team to Chiapas!
For survival phrases in other languages click here.

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