Machu Picchu, Peru
How to Use this Site

The materials included within this site may be used by individuals interested in learning the Quechua language or as a supplement to classroom study. Students in Quechua language courses will benefit from reading the grammatical explanations presented throughout the site as well as by working through the lesson activities.

Since Quechua is a "Less Commonly Taught Language", it is not surprising that few Quechua language instructional materials (including multimedia and printed matter) exist at present, in comparison with the large variety of instructional materials that one may find for languages that are more commonly taught, such as Spanish. Although a small number of textbooks for teaching Quechua do exist, they are usually aimed toward a Spanish-speaking audience and sold only in South America. Due to these facts, many universities in the United States that offer Quechua courses require that students learn Spanish before beginning to study Quechua. At present, there is very little in the way of English-Quechua instructional materials.

Therefore, the Spanish language may be an obstacle for English-speaking students of Quechua who are not fluent in Spanish. The following three truths are often put forth as reasons why students of Quechua should learn Spanish before learning Quechua: (1) Quechua-speaking populations live in Spanish-speaking countries (Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru-where Quechua and Spanish are co-official languages), (2) Many Quechua speakers are bilingual in Spanish, and (3) Those students who learn Quechua and wish to interact with Quechua-speaking populations must usually have some knowledge of Spanish in order to travel to Quechua-speaking populations. While these three facts are true, it doesn't necessarily follow that students of Quechua should acquire their Quechua through the means of Spanish instruction. Students of Quechua who have more proficiency in English than they do in Spanish may learn Quechua more easily while receiving Quechua instruction through the means of English rather than through the means of Spanish.

With the above reasoning in mind, I have created this Quechua Language Instructional Website- a work in progress. The purpose of this site is to offer basic instruction in the Quechua language to English speakers with Internet access. It is my hope that, upon completion, my site will serve as a much-needed English-Quechua resource for students of Quechua. Users of my site will be presented with Quechua vocabulary, Quechua grammatical explanation and presentation, and interactive exercises that engage the user in practicing the grammatical concepts or vocabulary presented.

On this site, I include introductory information on how best to use the site, a fully-elaborated preliminary lesson including information about the Quechua phonemic inventory and the human vocal system, four lessons including sections on grammar and vocabulary, information about me, the web author, information about the images found throughout this site, acknowledgements, and a short list of resources. At present, only Lesson 1 is fully elaborated. Lessons 2, 3, and 4 are only partially-elaborated at present. The goal of Lesson 1 is to provide the user with the necessary tools for introducing him/herself in Quechua in a very basic way. Topics to be covered in Lesson 1 are Basic Quechua Expressions, Subject Pronouns, Present Tense Conjugation, Suffixes, Question Words, and Verbs. Lessons 2, 3, and 4 will allow the user to master a variety of vocabulary domains (colors, food, animals, family, body parts) and a variety of grammatical concepts (verb tenses, suffixes). Also, for more advanced learners, Lesson 4 contains the texts of three traditional songs in Quechua.

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