There are very few Poqomchi' resources in English, so if you want to learn Poqomchi', it is helpful to know Spanish. It's worth noting that many older resources use the SIL orthography, where velar [k] is represented as 'c' or 'qu' and uvular [q] as 'k'.
Many of the following resources (where noted) can be downloaded for free from the Comunidad Lingüística Poqomchi' page of the website of the Academia de Lenguas Mayas de Guatemala (ALMG).
My personal go-to resources are Dobbels' (2003) dictionary and Mó Isém's (2006) thesis. For getting natural input, I mostly rely on the Comunidad Lingüística Poqomchi's YouTube channel, Facebook page, and podcast, as well as the Sociedad Bíblica de Guatemala audio Bible. Note that I originally learned K'iche' which has a very similar structure and a lot more learner-friendly resources, and I am familiar with Mayan languages in general as a linguist, so I had a leg up on the grammar by the time I started learning Poqomchi'. I would probably tell a beginner to start with Ramirez and Ramirez's (1994) manual or Mó Isém's (2010) pedagogical grammar, if you can find either of them, though you'll quickly find you need to supplement with other resources.
Books about Poqomchi'
- Boris and Elizabeth Ramirez's (1994) Pokomchí: Manual Trilingüe de Frases y Expresiones is the only learner-friendly resource that has explanations in English as well as Spanish. Includes an explanation of the grammar, a dictionary, and a phrasebook that covers several situations (including medical, education, church).
- Gramática pedagógica estándar Poqomchi' (2010) by Romelia Mó Isém, published by the ALMG, available through university libraries. This is designed for pedagogical use, divided into lessons with clear learning objectives and exercises, and with accessible Spanish explanations.
- Ilhujb'al Poqomchi' (2016), published by the ALMG, is mostly designed for native speakers who already know the language to learn reading and writing, so it's entirely in monolingual Poqomchi' and not accessible to a beginner, but I've found it useful for reading practice. Available from the ALMG website.
- Qatijej kiq'orb'al aj-Poqon ("Let's learn the Poqomchi' language") by Alfonso Buc Choc and Marcel Dobbels (1997), available through university libraries. This has one of the more thorough discussions of verb classes, with full conjugations for 40 verb stems (think of the classic 501 Spanish Verbs), and includes several model conversations. This is more of a grammar presentation than a pedagogical grammar as such; it is organized by topic rather than in a progression of lessons, and does not contain exercises.
- Cholb'al iib' Poqomchi' - Poqomchi' autoaprendido (2019) is a 6-volume course for Poqomchi' learners, published by the Comité Pro-Educación Maya Lemna' and Maya' Wuj. Uniquely, this course has an audio component. These are not quite as well organized as Mó Isém's (2010) pedagogical grammar, but have a wide variety of exercises, including listening exercises. Maya' Wuj sells the books for Q130 (about $17) per volume, but I have no idea if they deliver internationally. UT-Austin's Benson library has the first three volumes. Each comes with a QR code (visible on the product page) that links to the online audio material:
- Dobbels' (2003) dictionary is by far the most useful and my go-to reference. It's fairly complete, shows all the derived forms of verbs (passive, antipassive, infinitive, perfect participle), and gives example sentences for most words. Poqomchi'-Spanish entries only, so it's helpful to have the searchable PDF, available from the ALMG website.
- Vocabulario Poqomchi' (2001) is the official ALMG dictionary, available on their website. Not as thorough as Dobbels, but reliable and includes both Poqomchi'-Spanish and Spanish-Poqomchi' entries.
- Elizabeth R.V. de Sedat's (2001) dictionary is hard to find except through university libraries; I haven't found an electronic copy of it. Thorough, but it's Poqomchi'-Spanish only, and the entries are not completely in alphabetical order, so it's hard to use.
- Actualización Lexical Idioma Maya Poqomchi' (2001) presents novel Poqomchi' vocabulary for technology or other cultural concepts that people would otherwise switch to Spanish to express. Available on the ALMG website.
- Rub'ihnaal Ruyuq'ul aj Poqomchi' - Toponimias maya poqomchi' (Vásquez Gómez et al. 2001) is a reference for place-names in the Poqomchi' area. Published by the ALMG, available through university libraries.
- If you're interested in reading colonial Poqomchi' texts (for which see my page on Colonial Poqom resources), then Lawrence Feldman's (2004) A Dictionary of Poqom Maya in the Colonial Era helpfully compiles the colonial vocabularies in one place. Unfortunately out of print, but can be borrowed through university libraries, and an abridged PDF is available through FAMSI.
- Romelia Mó Isém's (2006) licenciate thesis from Universidad Rafael Landívar, Fonología y Morfología del Poqomchi' Occidental, is the standard reference that covers the phonology and morphology. PDF can be found through university libraries.
- Mó Isém's (2007) book Derivación de palabras en Poqomchi', published by OKMA, covers derivational morphology (ways to make words from other words). Most of this information is also in her thesis, but it's a helpful reference since it's all in one place.
- Malchic Nicolás et al. (2000) Variación dialectal en Poqom is a thorough study of dialectal variation in Poqomchi' and Poqomam.
- The ALMG's Gramática Normativa Poqomchi' (2012) is a normative grammar - that is, more about standardizing the language and how it is written, rather than describing the way people speak - but is still helpfully organized. Available from the ALMG website.
- Linda Brown's (1979) doctoral thesis Word Formation in Pocomchi (Mayan) is one that I use less often but occasionally mentions data not found in other sources.
- Lindsay Weichel's (2006) master's thesis The Grammatical Structure of Western Pokomchi' discusses Poqomchi' grammar from the perspective of Case Grammar Theory, a particular linguistic framework. She has more discussion of semantics (meaning) than other sources.
- Marvin K. Mayers and Igor Vinogradov have written academic articles about more specific aspects of the Poqomchi' language and its history.
Reading material in Poqomchi'
Narrative text collections
- Pocomchí Texts with Grammatical Notes (1958), compiled by Marvin Mayers
- "El tesoro no recibido por miedo" (2016), two texts published in the journal Tlalocan by Igor Vinogradov
- El espíritu del cerro (2019), compiled by Igor Vinogradov
- Ley de Idiomas Nacionales - a translation of Decreto 19-2003, a landmark law that establishes Mayan languages (as well as Xinka and Garífuna) as national languages of Guatemala. Available from the ALMG website.
- Several Bible translations - see below.
- Peet rukamanjiik ruwií tijinik iib' pan ki'ib' wach q'orik by Armando Najarro (1996) is a book about bilingualism and the process of learning a second language, written entirely in Poqomchi'. It appears to be designed for a class on bilingualism: it has readings, exercises, and discussion questions. Published by the Universidad Rafael Landívar; available through university libraries.
- The YouTube channel of the ALMG Comunidad Lingüística Poqomchi' (currently called Canal 5 TV Maya Poqomchi' -ALMG-) is the most active producer of Poqomchi' content. They have a mix of short language learning videos, informational notices, and occasional long-form documentaries. They have some older videos on a second channel.
- The Comunidad Lingüística Poqomchi' posts videos on their Facebook page. Some overlap with the YouTube channel, but they also host live streams of special events.
- Francisco ICAL JOM is a native Poqomchi' speaker from Belejú who makes videos about Mayan culture and immigration. He has several videos in Poqomchi', including a series where actors roleplay everyday conversations (with and without subtitles).
- Marta Isem has a few short videos from a Poqomchi' course.
- The Prodigal Son, entirely in Poqomchi', filmed in and around San Cristóbal Verapaz. About 40 minutes. I watch this every so often to test my progress.
- Carlos y María Part 1 and Part 2 - As far as I can tell, this is an original story produced by the same people who filmed The Prodigal Son. About 40 minutes.
- I have compiled as many videos as I can find in a YouTube playlist.
- The Comunidad Lingüística Poqomchi' publishes a podcast of the same name, available on Spotify. Most of the episodes are about the importance of using and teaching the language, with a few episodes about place-names and dialectal variation. They also have a few short fables in Poqomchi'.
Faith Comes By Hearing has audio Bibles in several translations. These include the written text, which makes it easier to follow along or pause to look up a word. These are also available on the Bible.is mobile app.
New Testament only:
- Sociedad Bíblica de Guatemala (Eastern Poqomchi', modern orthography - whole Bible is available in print)
- Wycliffe Bible Translators (Western Poqomchi', old orthography).