Recent Post
INCA PALACES IN CUSCO
INCA MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS: THE BEST GUIDE
3 IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT THE COCA LEAF: BACKGROUND, PROPERTIES & STIGMAS
CUSCO FLAG VS PRIDE FLAG
THE "7 STREETS" IN CUSCO
CUSCO HOLIDAYS CALENDAR: WHEN AND WHERE
THE INCA GODS
INCAS IN OCEANIA: AN EXPLORATION ACROSS THE PACIFIC OCEAN
THE AMAZING POWER OF AYAHUASCA RETREATS IN PERU
MACHU PICCHU'S CRISIS SPOTLIGHT: PROTESTS IN PERU EXPLAINED
A SIMPLE WAY TO LEARN QUECHUA BASICS

A SIMPLE WAY TO LEARN QUECHUA BASICS

Learn Quechua with Natourandes's tips.

Would you like to learn Quechua in the simplest way, at home and in your free time, but don’t know where to start? Follow the instructions and steps outlined in this guide, and you’ll see that learning this sweet language won’t be as complicated as you think.

Natourandes is aware of the interest that many have about the Inca laguage that has survived through the ages’ ebb and flow. This has led us to create this basic tutorial to facilitate learning of Quechua on its most fundamental level.

We emphasize that the process to learn Quechua is similar to learning any language; it depends a lot on the time and effort you put into it, but it’s not impossible or too complicated. The learning of this ancient language won’t depend on the teacher, but on those who want to learn, their willpower, effort, and genuine interest.

With the previous said, our advice is not to ask someone to teach you but simply learn on your own by following the steps outlined below. There are thousands of tools on the Internet that now make it easier for us to learn at home and in our free time.

So, let’s use all of that to our advantage.

Quechua is the most representative language  that has its origin in Peru.
Quechua is the most representative language that has its origin in Peru.

But if you are just trying to familiarize yourself with this ancient language, it may be somewhat complicated at first, but I advise you not to give up and continue with the exercises I will recommend below. After a few weeks, you will see good results and realize that it’s not so complicated.

FIRST STEP

Before starting any exercises, the first thing you should do is understand what Quechua is, to have a basic knowledge of the language you are trying to learn. This step is mandatory because I have read so many absurd and incoherent comments on social media that are completely ignorant of the real historical concept of our language.

To learn more about it, I invite you to visit this link.

SECOND STEP

In this step, we will begin by deciding which variant should you pick to learn Quechua, because if you read the article in the first step, you already know that there are many variants, all of which are equally important, none is more or less than the other, therefore, the ideal is to learn them all, although experts recommend learning at least three variants: Cusco or Collao Quechua, Southern or Chanka Quechua, and Northern or Chavin Quechua.

But in this tutorial, we will learn Quechua from the South or Chanka Quechua. Why? Because it is the most widespread and, according to experts, it lends itself to quick learning. But that doesn’t mean you should stop learning the other variants.

If you want, you can learn Quechua on two variants or even three at the same time because it is very important to learn at least the three mentioned above to understand each other among all Quechua speakers.

Why is it important to learn at least three variants of our Quechua?

To answer that question, let’s set us in a common hypothetic experience: Understanding Cusco‘s Quechua speech of the Inca at each Inti Raymi festival, and similarly, understanding the famous Chanka Quechua songs of the group “Alborada”. Frustration could be enormous by trying to engage only in one variant since you won’t be able to appreciate the many things that people say in different way throughout Peruvian territory and outside.

Understanding that if only one specific variant of our Quechua is taught and learned throughout our territory, the other variants will be at risk of disappearing; and if each variant is taught only in its respective region, we will continue without understanding each other.

As with the process of learning of other languages, listening music is recommended, yet, music is also subject of variants.
As with the process of learning of other languages, listening music is recommended, yet, music is also subject of variants.

The most appropriate thing is to teach and learn all variants to know the respective differences of each one and at the same time enrich our knowledge. So, if we go to Ayacucho, we can speak and understand Chanka Quechua; and say, if we go to Ancash, we can speak and understand Chavin Quechua; and if we go to Cusco, we can speak and understand Imperial or Collao Quechua.

THIRD STEP

To start with the exercises, I recommend having at least three notebooks at hand (don’t use Word). One where you will write down all the words in Quechua and their translation that you will find in the links I will provide here for pages where Quechua is taught (take in account that the majority of resources are found in Spanish, so if you have that covered, you’ll be already on a good foot for your learning process), another where you will write down all the phrases you find.

Don’t let anything escape, take note of everything. And finally, a sketchbook for your exercises, where you will rewrite (with its respective translation in English) each word you find about 40 or 50 times and always review those exercises in your free time.

Remember that this is an exercise we were assigned as homework in school and it works wonders. After that, try to remember those same words or phrases that you noted and rewrote in your daily activities. Start by looking for the most common words, those we use daily, such as greetings, personal pronouns, days of the week, colors in Quechua, names of utensils, numbers in Quechua, kinship terms in Quechua, or simply the word you are particularly interested in. But don’t forget that today we have objects that didn’t exist in pre-Columbian Andean culture such as bicycles, telephones, or cars.

Quechua Dictionary: This in an online tool that helps to translate to both Spanish and Quechua simultanously.

Glosbe: Same as above, this outlines literal translations, so comparing could be useful for you.

Languages with Wilf: This blog helps to order the basics for Quechua and so on, checking it out has no loss for your learning process.

Learn Entry: This page will help you to control your progress by putting you to test with its quizes.

Admiradores del Quechua: Hands down to this blog that covers many aspects of the language, unfortunately, resources are limited by language barriers (Spanish is recommended or an external translator), for this link in particular you’ll be able to appreciate images with their meaning in Quechua so it won’t be too difficult for you to get something out of it.

FOURTH STEP

Goals and Challenges In any endeavor, it’s good to set short-term and long-term goals and challenges. For example: We suggest setting a goal to learn the first words in a couple of weeks, then learn the first phrases in Quechua within a month, and so on. To achieve these goals, you must be consistent and have self-demand and dedication in your learning.

Learn Quechua

FIFTH STEP

Evaluation to check if your effort to learn Quechua is yielding good results, you should self-assess. And how do we do that? Write down a word or phrase from what you have already learned, from memory, and post it in our groups asking if what you have written is correct. With the responses you receive from fellow Quechua speakers, you can assess your progress. However, always clarify that you are a beginner in Chanka Quechua who requires evaluation and consider the opinions of the more experienced.

One gains a new life for every new language learned. Whoever speaks only one language has only one life” Czech Proverb

Join Natourandes for a visit in the epicenter of the language itself and improve your learning experience.