a quechua

  • polynesians: have oral history that references a faraway land of andes-like mountains in the east, cultivated sweet potato (a plant native to central america, not the pacific), literally call sweet potato by the same word used by the quechua and aymara people indigenous to the andes, left physical remains on islands a few km off the coast of chile, have genetic links with native south americans
  • white academics: hmmm it's very doubtful polynesians contacted south america.. they probably just stopped permanently at easter island for some reason after systematically navigating the entire south pacific. the sweet potatos floated to them across the ocean
Language Learning Styles

You can have 1 or more styles combined, that depends on what you like or works for you. I tried to think of every style that i know.

Ant Style

The person who has this style is most probably that organized langblr who actually knows what they are doing. They have certain periods of time when they study and nothing can disturb their routine. 

How to know if you have this style? Easy, do you know when you’re done with studying your language? If you just thought of a period of time and what you are doing in this period, you’re an ant.

How to become an ant learner: take an agenda and make a schedule, a very detailed one. You write down everything, from what you study to for how long and with what (duo, flashcards, notebooks etc.)

p.s. This learns take everything seriously, their notes are probably goals, perfection is written everywhere and they work hard, too hard maybe.

Sloth Style

This is the entire opposite of the ant learners. Masters of procrastination, but somehow they know the language better than some ants? 

How to know if you have this style?  Ask yourself what plans you have tomorrow, if the answer is “sleeping” or “no idea”, congrats, you’re a sloth.

How to become a sloth learner: Hakuna Matata. 

p.s. this kind of learners prefer to immerse themselves, they prefer watching movies, listening to music, looking at others how they explain and they observe everything, they don’t have notebooks, they are spontaneous. (that’s why they are awake at 3am playing on duo most probably.

Panda Style 

This style is a combination of a sloth and an ant. They procrastinate like 20 hours and in the last 4 they can finish a duo tree, talk with Nth natives and finish Grey’s Anatomy in their target language. 

Keep reading

Masculine words ending in -a

If you have already plunged into the Spanish grammar, even a little, you may have noted that most of the words ending in -a are feminine, like la casa (the house). However, the true is that many words that end in -a are masculine. This is a small list about some of them.

1) Words with a greek origin ending in -ma:

el problema: problem

el tema: subject, issue

el idioma: langauge

el sistema: system

el enigma: puzzle, enigma

el dilema: dilemma, problem

el fantasma: ghost

el diploma: diploma

el poema: poem

el programa: program

el drama: drama

el teorema: theorem

2) Professions and jobs of men (some of them ending in -ta have also a greek origin):

el poeta: the poet

el atleta: the athlete

el florista: the florist

el guía: the guide

el centinela: the guard, sentinel

el espía: the spy

el cura: the priest

el papa: the pope

3) Names of languages

el quechua: the Quechua language

el maya: the Maya language

el celta: the Celt language

el persa: the Persian language

4) Names of the colors (not acting like adjectives)

el rosa: the pink color

el violeta: the violet color

el naranja: the orange color

el púrpura: the purple color

5) Others

el día: day

el mapa: map

el planeta: planet

It’s important noting that if you change the gender and the article of some of this words, you will end up with a complete different meaning. For instance:

la curameans the cure, the healing, but el curamenas the priest

el rosa refers to the color pink, but la rosa is the flower, the rose.

However, regarding the profession and jobs (2), many of them are used to both men and women professions. You just have to change the article:

el atleta(the male athlete), la atleta(the female athlete)

Luz Argentina Chiriboga is an Afro-Ecuadorian writer who was one of the first writers to address the duality African and Hispanic cultures. In her poetry and novels, she writes about women in ways that challenge preconceived stereotypes. Her short story “El Cristo de la mirada baja” won first prize in 1986 in the International Literary Contest of the Liberator General San Martín held in Buenos Aires.

Beginning in 1983, Chiriboga became involved in the Congress of Black Culture, participating in the event held in Cali, Colombia and the 1985 Congress in Panama. These conventions, inspired her to begin work on her novel Bajo la piel de los tambores (Under the Skin of the Drums).[1] The novel, published in 1991,[4] marked an emergence of Afro-Latina identity into what had been either a homogenized Hispanic literary tradition or an Afro-Hispanic tradition focusing on male protagonists.[5] Not only did it introduce race, but the work encompassed topics often avoided in Hispanic literature, such as birth control, fetishism, sexual violence, and others. It received favorable critical attention, as[4] as had a short story she published while she was working on the novel, called “El Cristo de la mirada baja”.[1] The story won first prize in 1986 in the International Literary Contest of the Liberator General San Martín held inBuenos Aires.[2]Chiriboga’s works challenge the stereotypes of women’s sexuality, and looks at desire, ignoring the traditions of propriety imposed by patriarchal honor codes and religious authority.[6] She confronts stereotypical ideas of clerical purity by depicting their sensuality and lustful black women with characters who are asexual.[7] Recognizing that men writing about women tend to poeticize them, Chiriboga uses her voice to raise consciousness.[8] She also questions the duality of culture and what it means to be part of the African Diaspora in a country dominated by Latino and mestizo traditions.[3] She has been a featured speaker at conferences and seminars throughout Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe, and has had her works translated into English, French, Italian and Quechua.

Spanish-Speaking Countries & the Origin of their Names


  • Argentina comes from the latin word for silver, argentum. The first use of the word appears around the time of when the Spanish conquistadors arrived at the Río de la Plata (River of Silver, Silver River) between Argentina and Uruguay. 


  • Bolivia comes from the name of a leader during the period of the Spanish American wars for independence, Simón Bolívar. 


  • The valley of the Aconcagua was called “Chili” by the Incas (according to Diego de Rosales) due to a corruption of the name Tili (a tribal chief). 
  • Another theory is that there was a town or valley called Chili in the Casma Valley in Peru, which has a resemblance to the valley of Aconcagua. 
  • Chile could come from an indigenous word meaning “ends of the earth” or “sea gulls." 
  • From Mapuche, "chilli” meaning “where the land ends." 
  • From Quechua, "chiri” meaning “cold” or “tchili” meaning “snow” or “the deepest point of the Earth." 
  • There is a bird that shouts "chile” when flying; they are in all the valleys from the center of the country to the Southern regions. These birds are called Queltehues or Treiles.


  • Colombia is derived from the name Christopher Columbus. 

Costa Rica

  • Costa Rica means “rich coast” in Spanish. Christopher Columbus was given credit for discovering this country and called it Costa Rica because he believed there to be precious metals. 


  • Cuba is Taíno for “where fertile land is abundant” (cubao) or “great place” (coabana). 

Dominican Republic 

  • The Dominican Republic shares an island with Haiti. 
  • Before the whole island was called Haiti, the Taíno word for mountainous land. Christopher Columbus comes to the island and renames it Hispaniola, meaning “little Spain” because its beauty was comparable to that of Spain’s. 
  • The French arrive on the island, naming the current-day Haiti St. Domingue and the Spanish refered to the Dominican Republic and Santo Domingo. 
  • After its independence, they renamed it to the Dominican Republic 


  • Ecuador means “equator” in Spanish, and Ecuador lies on the equator. 

El Salvador 

  • El Salvador means “The Savior” in Spanish. 


  • Guatemala comes from the Nahuatl word Cuauhtēmallān, which means “place of many trees." 
  • Another theory is that the country’s name is a alteration of the Nahoa word which means "land of the snake-eating bird.”


  • Honduras means “depths” in Spanish. It is said that Columbus said, "Gracias a Dios que hemos salido de estas Honduras"(Thank God we have left these depths). 


  • The Nahuatl word Mexica means “place of the Mexica” (the Aztecs). 
  • In Nahuatl, a combination of three words creates the meaning similar to “in the navel of the moon” because the position of lakes resembles a rabbit; therefore alluding to the navel of a rabbit. 


  • At the time of the Spanish arrival in Nicaragua, Nicarao was the current chief of the indigenous tribe. Nicarao, combined with the Spanish word for water (agua) due to it’s geography, makes Nicaragua.
  •  Another theory is that it means “surrounded by water” in an indigenous language. 


  • Panama comes from a word of the indigenous language meaning something similar to an “abundance of fish” (due to the country’s geography). 


  • Coming from Guaraní, Paraguay is believed to refer to a river despite many versions of its origin. It means something similar to “river that flows through the sea” (French-Argentine historian Paul Groussac), “river crowned” (Antonio Ruiz de Montoya), or refers either to an indigenous tribe that lived along the river or a chief named Paraguaio (Félix de Azara). 


  • The original name of Peru was Birú, Birú being the name of a ruler who lived close to the Bay of San Miguel, Panama. He was visited by Spanish explores where, at the time, was the southernmost region of the New World. 
  • When Francisco Pizarro arrived in Peru, he asked locals the name of the place. Their answer was “Viru” because of the Viru River in northern Peru (where the Spanish arrived). Instead, they heard “Peru” and since that moment, Pizarro called the land Cusco Peru. 

Puerto Rico 

  • Puerto Rico was originally called San Juan Bautista by Christopher Columbus, after the Catholic saint, Saint John the Baptist, while the capital was called the Ciudad de Puerto Rico. As time went on, gold was found in the river and the country began to be referred to as Puerto Rico. 


  • España (Spain) comes from the Roman name Hispania, though the origins of this word are unknown. 
  • Hispania could have stemmed from the Greek word Hesperia, which poetically means “western land” or “land of the setting sun” (in reference to Italy), which would then make Spain (further west) Hesperia ultima
  • Antonio de Nebrija (Renaissance) thought that Hispania is derived from the word Hispalis, which means “city of the western world.”
  • Another theory is that it comes from I-Shpania (Punic), meaning something similar to “land of rabbits” because the Roman coins were adorned with a female figure with a rabbit. 


  • Uruguay is a Guaraní word, which means “river of shellfish” or “river the uru birds come from." 


  • The indigenous people living in Venezuela during the 1500s built their living quarters on stilts over places like Lake Maracaibo; this reminded a Spanish explorer of Venice (Italy), in which the name Venezuela means "little Venice.”  
  • From the same place in the Maracaibo Lake, the indigenous community that lived there already had a name for the land, Veneçiuela, which meant agua grande (big waters). The Spanish spread that around and assumed that it was the name.

Please correct me if any of these are incorrect! Some of these have multiple histories and I have no way of knowing which one is correct. 

The origins for some of the countries are difficult to find or too fuzzy in my opinion to write it down, but I tried to provide an explanation for the meaning (e.g. El Salvador, Honduras, etc.)

Getting to know Quechua

Here, some of the most common questions regarding the language of the Incas, a language that you may have not even heard its name in your life. So, why not some facts before starting with the vocabulary lists?

What is Quechua?

Actually, Quechua is not a single language, but a family. We are not going to discuss how linguistics have classified it, but it’s important to know that are two main groups: Quechua I or central, and Quechua II or peripheral. The last one is the most spread but contains multiple dialects. I’ll be focusing in the southern dialects of Quechua II, especially on those called Ayacucho Quechua and Cusco Quechua.

Where is Quechua spoken?

Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and part of Chile and Colombia. It has official status only in Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador. As you see, it is spoken through the areas that once formed part of the Inca Empire.

How many people speak Quechua?

The real data is unavailable due to the lack of a census in the last years. But according to our last sources and linguistics works the total number would be over 10 million people today.

How do you write it?

The Incas did not develop a script for their language. Today, Quechua was adapted to fit in the Latin alphabet, common to many European languages.

Unfortunately, a problem is that there is not a single way of writing the different sounds, and there have been many attempts to unify the orthography, but many have failed. On my case, I will try to use the “Standard Quechua”, created by the linguist Rodolfo Cerrón Palomino.

Does it look like any other more spread language?

Quechua grammar and vocabulary is not alike any European language, nor Asian, nor African. The closest family is the Aymara languages, which were and are also spoken in South America.

However, a lot of vocabularies have entered to Quechua from Spanish and vice versa. In Bolivia, particularly, Quechua words are used extensively even by non-Quechua speakers.

How does it sound?

Quechua’s phonology varies between the different dialects, but as I’ve said, I’m focusing on the Southern Quechua.

From my point of view, Quechua shares many sounds with Spanish, and thank the new rules of orthography, one could say that every sound has only one way to be written. That is, pronunciation can be determined from spelling.

Some Quechua features:

Quechua is a highly-agglutinative language. Eg:

Buwis: ox

Buwisninkukunapaq: for their oxes

Quechua has not articles.

Quechua has various cases, and uses them instead of prepositions or postpositions.

All the nouns have a regular declination, and all the verbs have a regular conjugation.

Like English, adjective lack gender and number, and are placed before the noun.

There are plenty of suffixes, and many of them aren’t directly translated to other languages.

There are topic and comment suffixes.

Many of those suffixes show the speaker intentions or moods, so Quechua becomes a very expressive language.

Usually, the common word order is SOV.


Renata Flores “House of the Rising Sun” sung in the Quechua language of Peru.

A Strange Loss

I just saw a post that mentioned the Quechua language, and for a moment I felt proud and then I felt lost because oh,

It’s not mine anymore. I don’t get to feel that way.

I grew up thinking I had Quechua blood. It was part of my family history, one I was quite proud of. And then my father’s brother did a DNA test, and we learned that my great-grandfather wasn’t Quechua after all. He was actually German-Portuguese, adopted by what I believe was a Quechua family. It’s actually a tragic story, the result being that the older members of the family didn’t talk about it, and the truth was confused somewhere along the way.

I didn’t realize how important this had been to me. I look a little different from the rest of my family. Where my eyes are brown, theirs are blue and grey and green, Swedish eyes. English and Welsh genetics cause their skin to burn when mine tans, gives some of them red highlights when my hair is so dark it is almost black. And for a long time, I thought I knew why. My eyes were Quechua eyes, my skin and hair Quechua hair. It’s almost as though I don’t know my body the way I used to.

Most of all, though, I mourn the loss of a culture I loved. I know that it is still okay for me to love it, but it is no longer mine in the way it used to be. I went to South America a few years ago and brought back music and clothing and art. I listened to the street performers playing pan pipes or flutes or guitars, I watched the dances, the women with swirling black skirts and the men with ponchos, spinning round and round, and I rejoiced in it all and knew that, in some small way, this was mine to love. A couple of Quechua ladies got on to my bus to sing and sell hair wraps and scarves. I told them mi abuela es Quechua, and they wanted to speak to me in Quechua and were disappointed when I couldn’t. I couldn’t tell them that now. Then, it was my heritage. Now, I look back, and I’m just a tourist.

This is not to say that I’m unhappy that I have a little Portuguese and German inside of me. Already I’m finding roots in it, especially when I look at certain Portuguese women and see the shape of my eyes, the arch of my eyebrows, and most of all my thick dark hair. But it can’t replace the loss I feel when I touch the traditional clothing I brought home with me, the sense of identity I had when I wore them: the heavily embroidered shirt, colorful belt wrapped around the bottom, black skirt, gold necklace around my throat, hair wrapped tightly. They are still mine, but a little less so than they once were.

It’s a strange loss, and I’m not sure if I know how to mourn it.

graatrunk  asked:

are there any languages that don't have irregular verb forms, pronunciations, etc.? where all rules are followed always? or does the nature of language just exclude that rigidity


There are some languages that are unusually regular, but I don’t know if they’re completely regular. The usual example is Quechua.