What Languages are spoken in Peru: Spanish, Quechua and Aymara

language spoken in peru

Thinking about traveling to the Inca Lands? There are many different aspects you must consider for your Peru travel. How do you get to Peru? How will you travel around? Where will you stay? What type of accommodation is on offer? What will you see? Is it safe to travel around without an organized tour? These are all valid questions you will need to ask when planning your trip not only in Peru but also in all parts of the world. However, in this article, the team of Machu Travel Peru will speak about another subject that is equally as important, what language is spoken in Peru?

quechua language spoken in peru

The main language in Peru is, of course, Spanish, spoken in all parts of Peru. Spanish is the official language of the country. Peruvian Spanish is mostly straightforward and easy to understand if you have some knowledge of the Spanish language.

There is a lot of slang, which is only spoken in Peru such as “chibolo” for “muchacho” or boy in English, or “churro” and “papasito” for “guapo”, or good looking in English. Peruvians tend to add the suffix “-ito” on the end of a world as a term of affection, as “papi” becomes “papito” for your father and “mami” becomes “mamita”, the term you would use for your dear mother.

The Inca word for mother earth Pachamama also makes an appearance in conversation in Peru. You may also hear the word “pata”, which means someone from your group of friends, mostly used with the younger generation or a group of men talking about a workmate.

The Spanish in Peru is divided mainly into Coastal, Andean and Amazonian Spanish, for example, the Spanish in the Cusco region is influenced by some of the local dialects, spoken in that region of Peru. Therefore, you may hear different words than the ones typically spoken in Lima.

Recently, the Inca language of Quechua has been given the status of an official language of Peru, the Quechua language was spoken by the Incas and is spoken around widely in the Andes. A spoken language as the Inka had no written language; Quechua is full of wonderful sounds but is extremely hard to speak.

quechua native language spoken in peru

Quechua and Spanish are often mixed to form a funny mix of words that the local people only understand, the language has survived for more than five hundred years. When the Spanish arrived, they tried to wipe the language out but through persistence, it still remains today.

Quechua is spoken by one-third of the population of Peru and mainly in the highlands. The language is not popular among the people in the large cities, who seem to feel that language is for the poor and uneducated.

Previous president Alejandro Toledo led a campaign to have the language taught in schools, which was successful as most schools teach some Quechua today. The former president gave an inaugural speech in Quechua at the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu even his wife, who was born in Belgium gave her speech in Quechua.

A little bit of Quechua to try, Yes -> Riki, NO -> Mana, Madam -> Mama, Sir ->Tayta, and Thank You -> Añay.

Another common language in Peru is Aymara, which is used in Southern Peru, mainly around the areas that surround Puno and Lake Titicaca. This language is also strong in Northern Bolivia and Northern Chile, in all these areas there are around three million speakers of the language.

uros aymara language spoken in peru

Although a similar language to Quechua, Aymara has many differences, the main being the pronunciation which is very distinct. There have been many attempts to create a written language, but this has proven to be complicated, to say the least.

The language was originally a series of symbols, mainly pictures of people or things, these symbols represented the things they portrayed. The symbols were never standardized and there were many variations in the way they were used. This also depended on the region. There are also many other languages including Jaqaru, Ashaninka, Aguaruna, Axinica, Caquinte and Machiguenga to name a few. These languages are from many different parts of Peru but are not as spoken as Spanish, Quechua or Aymara. We hope we have given you some insight into the languages of Peru and where they are spoken.

ashaninka language spoken in peru

So when you buy your vacation package to Peru, there will be many considerations but if you are thinking about learning some Spanish, you will get by. Most people who work in tourism speak some English and this includes the staff that works in hotels and restaurants.

Travel to Peru on your next vacation, the country is one of the most biodiverse nations on the planet, come see the fabulous ancient sites, natural beauty, and meet warm and friendly people. Take the next step and book your Peru Holiday today.

Peru has so much to offer, it can be hard to know where to start. With many years of experience in the tourism sector, Machu Travel Peru is happy to help with anything regarding your trip to Machu Picchu and any tours around it. Make your Machu Picchu experience an unforgettable one!