Cuzco Quechua is a variety of Southern Quechua spoken by about 1.5 million people mainly in the city of Cuzco and the Department of Cuzco in southern Peru. There are also speakers of Cuzco Quechua in the nearby departments of Apurímac, Moquegua and Puno. It is spoken by people of all ages in rural areas, but mainly by adults in urban areas.
Cuzco Quechua is also known as Cusco Quechua, Cuzco, Cuzco Quechua, Qheswa, Qheswasimi, Quechua Cusco, Quechua Qosqo-Qollaw, Quechua de Cusco-Collao, Qusqu qhichwa simi, Qusqu runasimi. Native speakers call it Runasimi or Runasimi Qusqu Qullaw. Dialects include Caylloma Quechua, Eastern Apurímac Quechua and Puno Quechua.
Much of the literature in Quechua from the the colonial period is in classical Cuzco Quechua. Various spelling systems have been used. These days the Academia Mayor de la Lengua Quechua in Cuzco uses a Spanish-based system with five vowels, for example, while the Ministry of Education of Peru prefers a slightly different system with three vowels.
Cuzco Quechua is taught in some primary schools, and used on the radio and in literature.
Download an alphabet chart for Cuzco Quechuan
Hear the Quechua alphabet:
Llapa runan kay pachapi paqarin qispisqa, "libre" flisqa, allin kausaypi, chaninchasqa kausaypi kananpaq, yuyayniyoq, yachayniyoq runa kasqanman jina. Llapa runamasinwantaqmi wauqentin jina munanakunan.
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 Cuzco Quechua | Phrases | Numbers
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Diccionario Quechua - Aymara al español
Ancash Quechua, Ayacucho Quechua, Cajamarca Quechua, Classical Quechua, Cuzco Quechua, Huallaga Quechua, Huaylla Wanca Quechua, Kichwa, Santiagueño Quechua, South Bolivian Quechua
Languages written with the Latin alphabet
Page last modified: 13.07.22
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