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Tïjonïk 14 Jas uwach la’? (What is it?)


In this lesson you will learn a number of wh-words, also known as interrogative pronouns. Unlike English, K’iche’ does not need an auxiliary verb “do” to form wh- questions (what, when, which, whom, how).


Al To’n Alo
A Lu’: Alo, saqirik al To’n. La k’o ri a Si’s?
Al To’n Maj, maj le a Si’s.
A Lu’Jawi le xb’e wi?
Al To’n Pa tijob’al xb’e  wi.
A Lu’E k’u ri atat, ri anan. La ek’olik?
Al To’n E maj, ri a’re’ pa tyox xeb’e wi.
A Lu’Jachin k’u k’o kan pa le iwo’ch?
Al To’n Xaq xew in cherma pa jub’eq’ kinb’e pa le tinamit.
A Lu’Aaaa Je chuq in kinb’e pa le tinamit pa jub’eq.  La kawaj junam kojb’ek?
Al To’n Utz la’ junam kojb’ek we maj kub’an chawe keb’e le ewachi’il quk’.
A Lu’Maj kub’ano, utz la’ al  To’n kinb’e iwuk’.
Al To’n Utz la’ a Lu’ kaqariq qib’ pa jub’eq’ pa le wo’ch, chi’ nab’e kepe wi le ewachi’il.
A Lu’Ja’e al To’n kaqil qib’ pa jub’eq’. Jeb’a’.
Al To’n Jeb’a.

Show/Hide English translation

Al To’n Hello.
A Lu’: Hello, good morning Antonia. Is Francisco home?
Al To’n No, Francisco isn’t (here).
A Lu’: Where did he go?
Al To’n He went to school.
A Lu’: And your parents, are they home?
Al To’n They are’nt. They went to church.
A Lu’: Who is at your (you all) house, then? 
Al To’n Just me, but I am going to town in a bit.
A Lu’: Aaaa I am also going to town in a bit. Do you want to go together?
Al To’n Ok, we’ll go together if you don’t mind that my classmates come with us.
A Lu’: No problem. Good, I will go with you (all).
Al To’n Ok, we’ll meet at my house in a bit. My classmates are coming here first.
A Lu’: Ok, Antonia. See you soon. God bye!
Al To’n: Good bye!


Questions in K’iche’

Jachin? Who…?
-Jachin xtikow le tinamit Nawalja’?
-Are le nima q`atal tzij  Wel Tzo’k.
 Who founded the town of Nahualá?
The governor Manuel Tzoc.
Jachin chi-E-e(ch) Who among us? Which of those/these?
– Jachin chikech la’ le altomab’ xch’akow le uq’apoj qatinamit?
-Are le al Ska’ xchakowik.
 -Which of those girls won the Reina del Pueblo pageant?
-It was Francisca that won.
Jachin che? To whom?
-Jachin che xuya wi kan le upo’t ri qati’t?
-Chech le uk’e’x, ma are nab’e’ al.
-Who did grandma give her huipil to?
-To her tocalla (namesake), because she’s the first born.


Jas? What?
-Jas ub’i’ le atinamit?     
-Nawalja’ le ub’i’.
-What’s the name of your town?
-Nahualá (is the name).
Jas uwach? What (quality/kind?)
-Jas taq uwach le rikil katij pa Nawalja’?
Katij le kinaq’, le ichaj, le uwa’l ik ruk  lej.
 -What kind of dishes are eaten in Nahualá?
-Beans, herbs, soup with tortillas are eaten.
Jas ub’anom? How is someone/it doing?
Jas ub’anom le a Si’s che le uyab’?
Xaq junam, nakakunataj taj.
 -How is Francisco doing with his illness.
-The same, he hasn’t healed.
Jas ub’antajik? What is it like?
-Jas ub’antajik le qatinamit Nawalja’?
Sib’alaj je’l.
 -What is our town Nahualá like?
-Very pretty.
Jas ub’anik? What is it made of?/What is it like?
– Jas  ub’anik le kami’x?
-Kaq le upam, k’o uta’k, qo’tal le uwi uq’ab’.
 -What’s the shirt like?
-It has a red background, a collar, and embroidered sleeves.
Jachike? Which one?
What (when picking from among many?)
-Jachike   ik’ le unimaq’ij le qatinamit Nawalja’?
Pa le ik’ noviembre.
-Which month is the feria of our town Nahualá?
-In november.
Jas che? Why?
Jas che xechaqij le ab’ix?
Komala’ maj le jab’.
 -Why did the cornfields dry out?
-Because there is no rain.
Jas chemna? (the following verb is not negated) Why not?
Jas chemna le al Xe’p  are ta kukoj le koxtar chwach le uq?
Komala’ le koxtar xaq xew le achi kakojowik.
 -Why doesn’t Isabel use the koxtar instead of the corte (skirt)?
-Because only men wear koxtar.
Jawi? (+wi) Where?
– Jawi  kake’x wi le tirko?
-Pa le ke’b’al.
 -Where is wheat ground?
-At the mill.
Jawi at k’o wi? -Where are you?
Jampa? When?
-Jampa katzalij la le ak’ajol le k’o kaq’ax ja’?
-Pa oxib’ junab’.
 -When will your son that is abroad return?
-In three years.
Janipa How much?
Janipa rajil jun su’t pa Nawaja’?
O’k’al  Q’uq.
 -How much is a (traditional) kerchief in Nahualá?
-A hundred quetzales.
E janipa? How many? (talking about animate entities)
E janipa le awalk’wal e k’olik?
-E k’o oxib’: e keb’ alabom, jun ali.
 -How many children do you have?
-Three: two boys and one girl.

Translate the following phrases into K’ich’e’:

1. Who went to the library yesterday?
2. What did you (formal) say?
3. What is your town like?
4. What did you not understand?
5. What do you think?
6. Where is the cat?
7. Where did she go?
8. How many children do you have?
9. How much is this?