Quechua & Aymara in This Week's Economist
Allinpunchay / Kamisaraki!
The Economist includes an article this week about Peru's initiatives to promote use of its indigenous languages, in particular Quechua and Aymara (by far the two most spoken):
Quechua, we recall, was the official language of the Inca Empire and thus the predominant language in western South America prior to the arrival of the Spanish. It is still widely spoken in Peru, particularly the mountain regions, as well as in neighbouring countries. Aymara is today spoken more in southern Peru (around Lake Titicaca) and Bolivia.
I just came back from a three-week trip to Peru and got to hear (and even use, in a limited way) both languages, including giving a short speech in Quechua (which I have posted on my Facebook page if anyone is interested :-) ) The hard part was pronuncing the "ejective consonants", which don't exist in any Indo-European language.
There is a discussion group already calling for Duolingo to offer a Quechua course: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/5373851. It will make, hopefully one day soon, a wonderful addition!
Noone seems to started a formal thread for an Aymara course on Duolingo. Anyone want to be the first?
I just learnt from our guides, who taught us such expressions like "Sulpayki" (thank you), "Allinpunchay" (hello), "Yapa k'oni unu, por favor" (more hot water, please) and so forth. We saw some Quechua and Aymara textbooks (written for Spanish-speakers) for sale in Puno as well, although we didn't pursue them.
My partner and I took part in a trek along the Inca Trail, and on the fourth day, we had a ceremony thanking and tipping the support team. Our job was to thank the porters, who were all native Quechua-speakers from the village of Huilloc.
More info (and the speech itself) is posted here: https://www.facebook.com/mlubetsky/posts/10155497622615903