Jaza's World Trip

Taxi-driver slash Quechua teacher

Cusco is the heartland of the ancient Incan Empire, and of the Quechuan race; and as such, the majority of people in the Cusco area still speak Quechua as their native tongue. When I got a taxi across town today, my driver decided to share a bit of basic Quechua with me. It's a bloody hard language, and I couldn't really remember any of the phrases he taught me. But at least he was trying to teach me, and I was trying to learn.

With the help of my Lonely Planet Quechua Phrasebook, this is what the driver was trying to teach me:

English: Hello.
Español: Hola.
Quechua: Rimay kullayki.

English: How are you?
Español: ¿Como estás?
Quechua: ¿Imaynallan kashanki?

English: Fine.
Español: Bien.
Quechua: Allillanmí.

English: Goodbye.
Español: Adiós.
Quechua: Tupananchiskama.

Note: written Quechua (generally) follows the pronunciation rules of written Spanish, e.g. a double "l" (i.e. "ll") is pronounced with an English "y" sound.

Well, after this experience, it's clear to me that Quechua is a pretty damn weird and challenging language. I'm busy enough learning Spanish; I think I'll stick to one language at a time.