Barry Brian Werger's

Quechua Language Homepage

NEWS! See the world's only Quechua Robotic Theater Troupe
and Robotic Soccer team... Ullanta Performance Robotics!

  • About the Quechua Language
  • Live Quechua Lessons in the Los Angeles area.
  • Internet Quechua Lessons Study on the web!
  • Quechua Language Resources
  • About Your Host

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    About the Quechua Language

    Quechua ("qheshwa") is an indigenous language of the Andean region, spoken today by approximately 13 million people in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Northern Chile, Argentina, and Southern Colombia. It was the official language of Tawantinsuyu, the Inca Empire.

    Quechua is a perfectly regular language, which makes learning the basics quite easy. However, a large number of suffixes and infixes can be added to words to change both overall significance and subtle shades of meaning, which leads to a rare expressiveness. Above the beginning level, Quechua requires some vast changes of mind-set as learners try to master bipersonal conjugation, conjugation dependent on mental state and veracity of knowledge, spatial and temporal relationships, and numerous cultural factors.

    Live Quechua Lessons

    I teach live Quechua lessons in the Los Angeles area on an informal basis. When possible we form classes of a few people for a richer learning experience, though individual lessons are always available. Lessons are usually once a week; short-term intensive training can be arranged. Classes focus on either Bolivian or Cuzco dialects. Some live instruction (at least one or two lessons) is essential to understandable pronunciation!

    For details write to or use the contact information listed here.

    I am currently trying to put together a beginning group in Los Angeles. Get in touch ASAP to participate and let your scheduling needs be known!

    Internet Quechua Lessons

    Now, just to get things started, the soon to be much improved... Bolivian Quechua lessons. Soon to come are Cuzco Quechua and Ayacucho Quechua versions...

    Internet Quechua Lesson 1

    Internet Quechua Lesson 2

    Internet Quechua Lesson 3

    Vocabulary for Internet Quechua Lessons

    I'm also beginning to add some grammatical bits that are easier to post as html than as email text... these will soon move to a separate page, but for now...

    Bipersonal Conjugation of the Present Tense

    Quechua Language Resources

    I assisted Luis Morató Peña in producing a series of Quechua textbooks in both Spanish and English, for the study of both the Bolivian and Cuzco dialects of Quechua. For information on these, and Quechua classes at Cornell, contact him at:

    Latin American Studies Program
    190 Uris Hall
    Cornell University
    Ithaca, NY 14853

    ---- MORE COMING SOON ----

    Please also send any Quechua texts you have! Songs, jokes, stories, with as much information as possible about their origins, to further our linguistic research.

    About Your Host

    I have studied and taught Quechua with Luis Morató Peña at Cornell University and in Cochabamba, Bolivia at the Instituto de idiomas "Tawantinsuyu." Since then, I have been teaching informal lessons in Boston and Los Angeles, translating texts to and from Quechua (for researchers, writers, and politicians), and have occasionally provided live translation service. I am also translating some ancient Quechua plays from the colonial era, and planning productions of these.

    Much as I love the Quechua language, it is not the center of my life; I spend most of my time as a robotics researcher and director of the robotic theater troupe Ullanta Performance Robotics, named of course for the lead character of the famous Quechua play, "Ollantay".