Aymara and Quechua

In South American countries like Bolivia, Peru (and part of Chile and Argentina too), Aymara and Quechua are also recognised as official languages, like Spanish. Not wanting to fall short of his language challenge, Lewis the Lion talked to many local people who taught him the “magic words” in these Andean languages too.


Here are some photos of him learning Aymara on la Isla del Sol, Bolivia:

Jorge writes the “magic words” in the sand

Lewis learns Aymara from Jorge’s writing in the sand

Jorge and Lewis with the magic words in Aymara

Here is a sign on the Floating Islands in Peru with one of the magic words too!

Kamisaraki – Hello in Aymara!

They magic words in Aymara are:

Kamisaraki – Hello (It really means “Hello. How are you?”)

(To which you usually reply “Wallaki” – “I’m fine, thanks!”)

Chup-Amshy – Please

Ja-llalla – Thank you

Jorge’s top tip for learning Aymara is that some of the words sound a bit like Japanese!

Lewis the Lion also liked listening to the sound of Aymara as it had a strange series of clicks in the language.

Lewis poses with Jorge his Aymara teacher, along with Helen and Aurelie

Updated: July 17, 2012


Lewis the Lion particularly enjoyed learning Quechua when he stayed on the Peruvian Island of Amantani, where the family he was staying with taught him the following magic words:

Allillancho casanve – Hello (which to Lewis sounded like “Ayi-yanshu cashanki”)

Apamuy – Please

Yusparasunqui – Thank you

Lewis and the view from his family’s home on Amanatani

Lewis found that when practising these new words, it helped him to break them down into syllables first, e.g. the word for “thank you” in Quechua “yusparasunqui”, he learnt it by sounding out the different syllables and sounds:

“yous -para-sunki!”

What would help you remember these new words?

Here are some animal words that Lewis the Lion also learnt in Aymara and Quechua too. Notice that some of the animals are particularly important in South American culture!

English.                  Aymara.              Quechua

Alpaca                      Allpachu.                Allpaqa

Donkey.                   Ch’tu.                       Burru

Dog.                           Anu.                         Alqo

Pig.                             Khuchi.                   Khuchi

Condor.                    Mallku.                   Kuntur

Llama.                       Qawra.                   Llama

Chicken.                   Chiwchi.                Wallpa

Cow.                           Waka                    Waka

If you would like to learn more about the Aymara language, click on the link.

If you would like to learn more about the Quechua language, click on the link.

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