Honoria wanted to leave her abusive husband of 11 years, but like many domestic violence survivors, she lacked the support and financial means to do so. Thankfully, Voces Libres Foundation in Bolivia gave her a chance to rebuild her life through counseling and job training, and now she’s helping other survivors.

“I tell them that I lived with violence, but not any more, and I feel free,” she says.

Read more via The Guardian

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30 days - 30 languages
Our world is and has been home to thousands upon thousands of languages. This 30 days 30 languages blogpost project is to celebrate those languages that I personally find interesting, the commonplace ones and the more far-found, the extant and the extinct.

Day 29 - Quechua
Linguonym: Runa Simi
Family: Non-Indo-European, Quechuan Family
Location: Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador (main)
Status: Extant with ~8,900,000 speakers
Personal Knowledge: Acquaintance Level

Quechua isn’t entirely a language alone per se, it is much like Serb-Croatian covered earlier in this series, acting as a large linguistic body made up of multiple dialects. Quechua is the largest spoken native language of the Americas at roughly 9 million speakers and spanning most of the western seaboard of South America with Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, and parts of Argentina. As you may have noticed the very rainbow flag which looks like it’d be more home at a gay pride parade, this rainbow flag is actually the flag of the Cuzco region which is the old capital of the Incas and perhaps the most central location of modern Quechua speakers. Quechua is an old language as it was also the official language of the Inca Empire of the 14-1500s, but actually Quechua is older than even the Incas as they were just a group of Quechuan speakers. As is known about the Incan and Quechuan cultures, writing was not utilised after the Spanish conquest of South America. Before then, these cultures recorded their histories and numerical based events with quipu which were many knotted strings all strung along one cord, the knots in the strings signified numbers as did the colours of the strings. The first Quechuan writings emerged from Spanish missionaries in the mid 1500s as they endorsed Quechua language as the administrative language and the diplomatic one used to communicate with the native Quechuan people. The Quechua language is hypothesized to be possibly related to the nearby Aymaran language, yet there are still discrepancies preventing outright evidential proof.

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Quechua is written using a modified Latin alphabet consisting of roughly 34 letters to represent its 24-25 consonantal sounds and its 3 vowels with their allophones. The script for Quechua is very influenced by Spanish script, and as such sees letters such as LL for a Y-type sound, and Ñ for an NY-type sound. The phonology of Quechua involves a small sound register with most consonants centralising on air patterns, this means that one consonantal letter may have a pulmonic sound, as well as an ejective sound, and also an aspirated sound. For example, Quechua distinguishes between T (regular T-sound), Th (aspirated T-sound), and T’ (ejected T-sound). This triple set of air patterns exist only on affricate and stop sounds, so only on the letters T, K, P, Q, and CH. Quechua also does not contain any voiced sounds aside from nasals, so there is no B, D, G, Z, ZH, J, or V, though some dialects do contain a Z. As mentioned before, Quechua only holds three vowels, but each of the vowels have allophones in certain scenarios, the vowels standard-wise are an A which makes the æ-sound like “cat” in English, an I which makes the ɪ-sound like “fit” in English, and a U which makes the ʊ-sound like “book” in English. The allophones occur when these vowels come after the Q-sound (think of the Q-sound as a deep K-sound further back in the throat) so in these scenarios A is then pronounced with an ɑ-sound like “father” in English, I is then pronounced with an ɛ-sound like “egg” in English, and U is then pronounced like an ɔ-sound like “law” in English. Due to these allophones however, sometimes an E is used to represent the I allophone, and an O to represent the U allophone, but do note that these alphabet letters are not part of the general Quechua alphabet.

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The Quechua language is overall agglutinative, which like German means that words are made with much compounding of suffixes to infuse different meanings, nuances, and possibly grammatical natures like parts of speech. Normally, Quechua is subject-object-verb in its word order with adjective always coming before the nouns they modify. Verbs in Quechua reflect both the subject as well as the object if there is one, they also mark for evidentiality (noting the source of the statement), benefactorship (who benefits from the verb), the attitude of the speaker, amongst other things. Some other suffixes also added to verbs are the marking for causative (end result), reflexive (doing something unto yourself), mutuality (doing something to one another, this is also shown in Japanese), and progressive (is the action ongoing). Note that evidentiality is marked in numerous ways in Quechua, one is by marking what is hearsay, another is by marking what is inferred or implied information, and another is by marking information that is directly affirmed like eyewitness testimony. 

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Quechua lacks a gender system like as is seen with European languages and nouns and adjectives are non-committal to such information for the most part. However something that is very important in Quechua is case and role of nouns, Quechua holds 20-some odd suffix possibilities to determine a noun’s role in a sentence, this number of suffixes only refers to them as unstacked, in reality there are tons more due to Quechua’s agglutinative nature making suffixes able to be stacked. The stacking of suffixes is not uncommon to English either, yet it is limited strongly to only about a maximum of 4 or 5. The 20-some odd suffixes of Quechua determine case, as well as personal relationship to a noun, whether it is of my possession, or your possession, or ours, or his, and so on. The cases of Quechua are extensive and are as follows: nominative (subject), accusative (direct object), dative (indirect object), instrumental (using something), abessive (lacking something), genitive (possessive/belonging to something/one), causative (because of something/one), benefactive (for the purpose/benefit of something/one), locative (at someplace), directional (towards someplace/thing/one), inclusive (including something), terminative (up to/until something/time/place), perlative (through something/place), ablative (off of something), comitative (along with/together with someone/thing), intrative (between something/place), exclusive (excluding someone/thing), comparative (compared to someone/thing), and immediate (starting with someone/thing). As you can see, Quechua is highly informational and distinctive about how it conveys said information in nouns and verbs especially.

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Some words in Quechua…

Rimaykullayki - Hello
qhari - man
warmi - woman
sach’a - tree
yaku - water
quyllur - star
liwru - book
solpayki - thank you
wasi - house
yuraq - white
urqu - mountain
apuyaya - god
ñawi - eye
allqu - dog
yuyaychakuy - thought
rumi - rock/stone
mama qucha - ocean
killa - moon
rimay - language
~ sutiymi - my name is ~
Piruw - Peru
Buliwya - Bolivia
Ikwadur - Ecuador
munayki - I love you (platonically)
kunayki - I love you (romantically)

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Quechua is a titillating language surviving from an ancient world-renown empire of indigenous glory. Now, a flourishing language native to millions, Quechua has fortunately remained alive and thriving in its homelands to continue telling its story and establish its ever-advancing culture. Quechua is a gift of a language, conveying deep ideas with a sense of accuracy and able to weave wonderful forms of communication, if you’re interested, check it out sometime
As always, check here for more… 

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Be sure to check out the 30 Days 30 Languages Masterpost to catch all of the languages and the updates for future ones in this series.

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[Day 28: German] - 30 Days, 30 Languages - [Day 30: Latin]

Today in labor history, January 10, 2005: The Bolivian Federation of Labor (COB) calls a general strike demanding the resignation of President Carlos Mesa and the nationalization of the gas industry. At the end of the year, Evo Morales was elected president of Bolivia and on May 1, 2006, Morales signed a law to nationalize all aspects of the production and sale of hydrocarbons in Bolivia.