Quechua: Quick overview and Benny speaking it with natives

So here it is! Ending the year on a positive note of another successful language mission completed! :D I had only aimed to learn the basics of Quechua in the few weeks I was here, and I think this video shows that I did indeed get something out of my experience with it!

Like with the previous Quechua video, this has subtitles (captions) in English throughout, and the last minute where I’m speaking Quechua with the natives is also captioned in original Quechua. Hopefully you like my quick analysis of an example Quechua sentence and to hear me use some basics with locals.

You can also see in the introduction that I did indeed make it to Machu Picchu! In January I’ll edit the video about my adventure to get there.

Today I’ll be heading back to Ireland to spend Christmas with my family (after almost two whole days worth of travelling), then on to Poland for two days (Gdansk) to celebrate the New Year with some Esperanto speakers, and on January 2nd I fly to my first 2012 destination where I will be learning an important non-European language to fluency in three months. To find out which one that is, join the email list (top right of the site) to get notification the day I fly out, several days  in advance before I announce it on the blog!

I’ve got some fun videos/posts to summarise the year coming up before I get started on the next one! I hope your language missions go well in 2012, and of course I plan to share some tips in the new year to help you (including a video series I just recorded here in Lima, being edited professionally similar to how this Quechua video was, about how to speak from day one, which I’ll also make available on January 2nd).

Let me know your thoughts on this Quechua mission and the videos in the comments below! Thanks!



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  • Johanna

    Quechua actually seems to work a bit like my native language!    ‘Puhu-t-ko suome-a?’ 

  • http://www.theinnerpathonline.com Carolynn

    I’m really curious to know how you learned so much Quechua.  It had to have been more than a Lonely Planet guide :) I met a Quecha-speaking gentleman years ago and he was always laughing.  He said Quechua was the sort of language that made you want to laugh.  I never understood him when he spoke Quechua, naturally, but he certainly sounded bubbly!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      Yes of course I used more than LP – I also used the most important learning resource of all fi3m.com/hb !

  • Kirstin Plante

    verrrrry nice!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis


  • http://www.mezzoguild.com/ Cardinal Mezzofanti

    Whoever did the video editing did a fantastic job on this.

  • http://yetanotherlanguage.blogspot.com/ CrnoSrce

    Nice videos, Benny.

    So, did you understand anything that was said to you, or were you just “faking it till you made it”? :-)

    I think it’s great that you added the idea of speaking a bit of the local language to your trip. I imagine not many people hiking to Machu Pichu bother with even the basics…

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Sorry but I consider TV to be old technology. The Internet is the future. I have no interest in working for National Geographic unless they pay me to contribute to their online stream.

  • http://twitter.com/travelforlove Laura

    Very impressive! Quechua seems like such a daunting language and quite different from English or Spanish. Great video!

  • http://twitter.com/ClaireM24 Claire M

    Very interesting and well-made video – congrats on the progress you made with Quechua. I can’t wait to find out which language you’ll be learning next. 

  • jose david campos salinas

    Increible!! Yo soy boliviano y no tube la oportunidad de aprender este idioma :((. Es ironico saber q ahora hablo noruego e ingles pero no Quechua o Aymara, como mi abuela lo hacia.
    Gracias… un video genial!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    If you search Amazon, there are a few decent books about its grammar. I got one to download onto my Kindle and studied it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Charles.Shwarzenegger Saldaña Charlee

    Wow My respets ! That’s cool you should learn Nahuatl and come to Mexico

  • Eric Lixey

    Any chance of the full Quechua subtitles for the fabric dyeing video being available separately? It would be a little easier to look up some of the vocab and study it a little more. Great videos! Thanks!

    • Joe Gabriel – Fi3M Team

      Hey Eric! This video is a few years old so we won’t be adding any subtitles to the clip. BUT! I found some cool Quechua resources on this site if you’re interested ;)

      • Eric Lixey

        Thanks! I appreciate it. I was actually referring to the almost 15 minute video with Quechua subtitles in Chinchero Peru where they were explaining how to dye fabric all in Qeuchua. Thanks again!