Aymara (Aymar aru)

Aymara is an Aymaran language with about 2.2 million speakers in Bolivia, Peru, where it is an official language, and also in Chile and Argentina. The majority of Aymara speakers, about two million, are found in Bolivia, several hundred thousand live in Peru, and a few thousand in Chila and Argentina.

The Aymara originally used a collection of symbols, mainly pictures of people or things, as a mnemonic device. The symbols represented the things they portrayed or similar sounding words but never developed into a complete writing system. The symbols were originally written on animal skins using plant or mineral pigments but paper was substituted after the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century. The symbols were never standardised and there was considerable variation in the way they were used among different Aymara groups.

Under the influence of the Spanish, the Latin alphabet was adopted to write Aymara. Many different spelling systems have been divised over the years. In 1985, the Peruvian goverment introduced a new spelling system known as the Aymara Official Alphabet or Unified Alphabet.

The Aymara Official Alphabet

Aymara Official Alphabet

Sample text

Taqpach jaqejh khuskat uñjatatäpjhewa munañapansa, lurañapansa, amuyasiñapansa, ukatwa jilani sullkanípjhaspas ukham uñjasipjhañapawa.

Translation

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Information about Aymara | Numbers in Aymara | Tower of Babel in Aymara

Links

Information about the Aymara language
http://aymara.org
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aymara_language
http://www.native-languages.org/aymara.htm
http://web.archive.org/web/20010412184258/aymara.org/arusa/qillqa_eng.html

Diccionario Aymara-Castellano (Aymara-Spanish dictionary)
http://www.lenguandina.org/

Аймара (information about Aymara in Russian)
http://www.lingvisto.org/aymara/

Other languages written with the Latin alphabet