Welcome to episode 5 of Language Stories. This time we’re in Mérida, Mexico and we’re talking all things Maya, Yucatec Maya to be precise.
Why Yucatec Maya?
Ok, time to be totally honest here. Before we started researching for this video, I thought that Maya was one language. Turns out, Maya is actually it’s own branch of languages with around 30 different languages. Yup, the shame.
But, it’s not really my fault! You see, I’d been given a book by Kate (who you’ll remember I thanked a gazillion times in the Montreal episode) called ‘Spoken Maya’ and everytime someone had spoken about the language to me in Spanish so far, they’d called it ‘Maya’.
Confusing, huh? We’ll talk more about this in the episode…
But why an episode about Yucatec Maya?
After changing our plans for Mexico we were spending a lot of time in Mérida, Mexico. One of the more prominent languages besides Spanish in the region is Yucatec Maya.
As soon as we saw the odd trilingual street sign here and there in the centre of the city, we knew we’d found the next episode of Language Stories, and what happened as we began to explore and find people to speak with? Wow!
What we learnt from making this episode really opened my eyes.
Take a listen and a watch to see why Maya isn’t dead.
Further Reading + Resources
Photos of the Yuya nests Mirna mentions – take a look and see how the description fits the language.
National Geographic – The more in-depth explanation for the supposed “end-of-the-world” preditctions in 2012
Vicente Canche Moo – take a look at all the projects Vicente has worked on/is working on on his website.
Ko’one’ex kanik maaya – the project in the region teaching Yucatec Maya in schools.
Xiimbal Kaaj – my favourite Pat Boy song featuring Yazmín Novelo, who also volunteers with Radio Yuuyum.
ADN MAYA – Pat Boy’s record label YouTube channel.
Vice/Noisey – an interview with Pat Boy (in Spanish)
Radio Yuuyum – check their official website to see everything going on!
Global Voices – an article about Radio Yuuyum
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