About language tips and phrases


Cusco, as it was the center of the Inca Empire, adopted the only language of the Incas called Quechua or Runa Simi. During the conquests, the Incas were in charge of imposing their language on all the peoples, extending to the southern countries (Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina). For this reason, there are currently more than 12 million Quechua-speaking people in Southamerica. While in Cusco and surroundings there are more than 500 thousand Quechua speakers, which expresses the care that has been inherited for thousands of years.

Every year thousands of travelers from all over the world visit Cusco to learn about and experience the culture and history. Therefore, knowing a few words when you are in Cusco visiting a community or having contact with a local will be of great help. In Cusco, hospitality is a big part of everyday culture, so it is good to try to speak a few phrases-words that your host will understand.

Here we share with you some very used phrases/sentences/words and above all easy to learn that will help you to have a conversation with a Quechua-speaking local, if you plan to visit Cusco soon.

Quechua – English:

Rimaykullayki / Napaykullayki: Hello
Allillanchu?: How are you?
Allillanmi, Qamrí?: Well, and you?
Imataq sutiyki?: What is your name?
Maymantan kanki?: Where are you from?
Ñuqapa sutiymi Rimber. Qampaqa??: My name is Rimber. And yours?
Ñuqa limamanta Kani: I am from Lima
Qamqa: And you?
Allin P’unchay: Good morning – Allin Sukha: Good afternoon
Allin Tuta: Good night
Asllakama: See you later
Tupananchikkama: Until our next meeting
Iskay Uya: Two faces
Anay: Thank you.

Quechua numbers:

Ch’usaq: Zero
huk: one
Iskay: Two
Kinsa: Three
Tawa: Four
Pisqa, Phisqa: Five
Soqta: Six
Qanchis: Seven
Pusaq: Eight
Esqon: Nine
Chunka: Ten

If the pronunciation is difficult for you, don’t worry, once in Cusco your guide will teach you some words with their respective pronunciation.

The good thing about Peru and Cusco is that we are always willing to teach you more about our culture, customs and of course our language. Plan your next trip to Peru and experience its culture.

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