Throughout Peru today, a day of recognition for native languages is pervading everyday routines. Such as the homepage of local news portal, Perú21, who slyly changed headlines into the native tongue, Quechua.
Approximately 7.9 million native speakers of Quechua remain in South America in Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina. The language is spoken in more than 10 dialects across the continent that are categorized in four different branches. Despite this large population of native speakers, Quechua, similar to a large number of native languages are under threat of extinction.
Ethnologue, an active research project for the last 50 years, has recorded 104 languages in Peru. Of these 93 are living and 11 are extinct; of the living languages, 15 are dying.
As speakers of English, and Spanish, and other widely spoken languages, it is hard to imagine the significance of losing one’s native language. Therefore to promote the beauty of native language and the preservation of national native languages, Peru celebrates Native Language Day today.
News agency Perú21 has put together an entire day of features, homepage variations including multiple native languages, and informative, fun videos to promote and give life to the variety of native languages spoken in Peru.
Click HERE to see special features with native speakers of Quechua, Aymara, Shipibo, Awajún, and Ashaninka from Perú21’s series entitled, #Todaslasvoces.
This article was brought to you by Inca Rail, a rail company loyal to sustainable tourism and quality service. Inca Rail is one of the founding members of TursimoCuida, an organization devoted to preserving Peru’s heritage by way of innovative projects.