Quechua 6WC – Week 3 Recap

Slight set back this week with a migraine over the weekend when I had planned to have a quiet one studying. Sad to lose that time, but not much to be done about it.

I’ve ordered the 3 books by Clodoaldo Soto Ruiz in the Quechua manual de enseñanza series, since I need more access to information about the grammar and they were recommended to me. They probably won’t arrive til after the 6WC though, but it will give me something to look forward to and continue my studies after the challenge is over.

I found the bilingual English/Quechua book Phuyup Yawar Waqaynin / The Bloody Tear of a Cloud (PDF link) by Gladys Camacho Rios. Although it’s Bolivian Quechua I’m finding it quite similar to Ayacucho so it’s an invaluable resource! Not only is the story interesting so far but it’s a great way for me to test if I understand each sentence and give me a feel for more creative use of the language. It’s also a very interesting story so far 🙂

I received the DVD of Qayna, Kunan Paqarin which looks helpful – it contains recordings of all the dialogues and 3 supplementary videos. It is good to hear the dialogues pronounced because at this stage I haven’t tried speaking out loud very much. It’s interesting how the intonation of Quechua sounds to me like it has influenced the Spanish pronunciation of Peruvians. They have one of my favourite varieties of Spanish, it sounds very beautiful to me, so it’s quite cool to hear a similar musicality / sound in Quechua.

Progress has felt a little slow this week and I’m finding my perpetual issue – that I can understand a lot more than I produce. I’m struggling to produce grammatically correct sentences at the moment. I hope this will settle down soon because it’s a little discouraging. However that’s my usual progression with learning languages – I take quite a while to internalise the grammar but my comprehension and listening skills progress quite quickly. With luck I’ll have some more time to iron out some of my most egregious errors in week 4!

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Quechua 6WC – Weeks 1 & 2 Recap

So far so good! I’m starting to recognise words and basic phrases when I watch the news. I’ve also been dreaming in Quechua, so it’s certainly getting into my head.

I’ve learnt over 300 words! Aiming for about 400 by the end of this week. It is time consuming but rewarding, I’m not mixing up similar words as often.

I finally found a live radio show in Quechua, streamed live over the internet. Sapallan Urpi has a radio show between 5 and 7am Peruvian time on Radio Taki. From Huancavelica region the Quechua sounds very clear to my ears and he has a beautiful voice. Great resource for learners, having a balanced mix of speaking and music. Quite an exciting find 🙂 I imagine there are more out there but searching hasn’t turned up many who stream online.

I may have tracked down the DVD for Qayna, Kunan Paqarin! There is one copy of the book in all the libraries of Australia. I’ve ordered it in and waiting for it to arrive. The metadata says it has the DVD so with luck it will! It wasn’t even catalogued properly (no dewey decimal number) although they found it pretty quickly for me 🙂 I will look forward to that arriving next week!

Week 2 I spent consolidating what I’ve learnt, making some great connections online (it’s exciting to receive messages in Quechua!) and organising my word list so I can continue learning after I hit 400 words. I’ve made some brief forays into reading and writing and using Quechua more actively, however disastrous it seems to be at the moment, it’s satisfying to begin to understand more.

6 Week Language Challenge – Quechua

I am participating in the language 6 week challenge which started on August 1st. The idea is to concentrate on one of your languages which is at a lower level and make as much progress as you can in 6 weeks. I of course chose (Ayacucho Peruvian) Quechua to improve, trying to get to a basic conversational level by November. I’m using @Simikuna on twitter for this challenge

My wordlist already contained 400 words taken from the textbook Qayna, Kunan Paqarin and the functional Quechua-English-Spanish dictionary by Clodoaldo Soto Ruiz. For each word I have been adding a sentence from the dictionary but with additional words it will get harder, I will need to trawl through other texts looking for sentences I can use for context. I found a great vocab list on runasimi.de – I had seen the site before but no idea how I missed the list with over 20,000 headwords! This week I’m working on making a more manageable list of 4,000 words or so that I’d like to learn. During the challenge my stretch goal is to learn 1,000 although it’s more likely I’ll end up with around 500. By the end of this week I’d like to be approaching 200 words learnt though! (Current count 130)

I am doing the following tasks, aiming for 1-2 hours daily:

Studying around 30 new words a day and editing my word list (15 – 30 min daily) I will have to see if I can keep up with the reviews – previously I have been doing 5 words a day and sometimes the words seem so similar to me that I struggle to remember them.

Watching Ñuqanchik (news in Quechua) each weekday (30 min daily)

Reading social media posts in Quechua (5 min daily)

Study from Qayna, Kunan, Paqarin textbook (2-4 hours weekly)

Writing / chatting (2-4 hours weekly) – would like to find a Skype partner and I’m working on it but it’s tough with the time zone difference between Australia and Peru.

The only caveat here is that I will not be completely neglecting all my other languages so the additional reading / podcasts / speaking may cut into my Quechua time a little. I’m taking a Gaelic class every Wednesday evening so there will be some study for that happening too. But I’m really trying to focus on Quechua, a dedicated 6 weeks to improve seems like a great idea. So far in 3 days I have spent 5 hours on Quechua, so that’s a decent 1.5 hour per day. Whether I can keep it up is another question! Rai and I already started our unofficial 6 week challenge before this and I was struggling to do 30 minutes daily. But I think that prepared me to give this a go, now I have my routine down and my vocab list more prepared. My trip to Peru in November is highly motivating me 🙂