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.
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
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.
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".