In recent years,
Bolivia have revised the official spelling
for place-names originating from Aymara and the Quechuan languages. A
standardized alphabet for Quechua was adopted by the Peruvian
government in 1975; a revision in 1985 moved to a three-vowel
The major changes are to replace the digraph hu with the single letter
w, and to replace the consonants c/q[u] with either k or q, as
appropriate in the word in question. K and q represent different
sounds in most Andean languages: k is a velar stop, as in Spanish and
English; q is a uvular stop [q]. As Spanish does not have uvular [q],
traditional spellings lose this distinction (although sometimes a
double cc was used to represent the k-like sounds of Quechua that
differed from the "plain k" sound known in Spanish; e.g., in place
names such as Ccarhuacc, Chopcca, Cconocc, Llacce, Manyacc,
Chihuilluyocc, Chilcahuaycco, etc.), and Quechua or Aymara sources
must be consulted to select the right consonant. For instance, the
Temple of the Sun in
Cusco is called the
Qurikancha in Quechua, with
both sounds (quri "gold", kancha "courtyard, enclosure"), and is
spelled Coricancha in hispanicized spelling.
Additionally, the phoneme inventory of Quechua and Aymara includes
just three vowels, /a/, /i/, and /u/. Older Spanish transcriptions (as
well as the 1975 standard) used the letters o and e as well; this is
because the pronunciation of /u/ and /i/ opens to [o] and [e] adjacent
to a /q/, an instance of allophonic variation. For instance,
Quechua qucha 'lake' sounds to Spanish speakers like cocha, as in the
sample Huiracocha below. Some sources, such as dictionary published by
the Academia Mayor de la Lengua Quechua, still use the five-vowel 1975
Bolivia and Southern Peru, including Cuzco, there are three
versions of all the stop consonants: the basic unaspirated sounds (p,
t, ch, k, q), an aspirated series spelled with an h (ph, th, chh, kh,
qh); and finally an ejective series spelled with an apostrophe (p',
t', ch', k', q'). In Aymara and Southern Quechua, these are distinct
sounds, making a total of 15 stop consonants, and these differences
must be shown in the spelling: in the example words below, the kh in
khipu is not the same as the k in Inka or in Tiwanaku; nor is the qh
sound at the start of "qhapaq" the same as the q sound at the start of
"Qusqu". In most regions north of Cusco, these variants do not exist,
and only the basic unaspirated sounds are used.
These changes are considered to be part of a general process of
spelling standardisation and reassertion of the right of these native
languages to their own spelling system appropriate for their sound
systems, which are very different from that of Spanish. This
accompanies a growth of pride in the Andean heritage of these
countries, and moves to recover the prestige of their indigenous
languages. These spelling changes are part of the official alphabets
for Quechua and Aymara in Peru,
Bolivia and Ecuador, though debate
continues on the extent to which they are to be used when writing in
Today the wrong spellings are in conflict with the Peruvian law.
According to Article 20 of Decreto Supremo No 004-2016-MC (Supreme
Decree) which approves the Regulations to Law 29735, published in the
official newspaper El Peruano on July 22, 2016, adequate spellings of
the toponyms in the normalized alphabets of the indigenous languages
must progressively be proposed with the aim of standardizing the
namings used by the National Geographic Institute (Instituto
Geográfico Nacional, IGN) The IGN realizes the necessary changes in
the official maps of Peru.
The following table shows examples of modern spellings of Aymara and
Quechua expressions according to the normalized alphabets, their
meanings and common wrong spellings.
ch'iyara "black", juqhu "muddy place", "black muddy place"
Chearoco, Chearaco, Chiaroco, Chiaraco
janq'u "white", uma "water", "white water"
Ancohuma, Jankho Uma, Jankhouma
Wila Quta or Wilaquta
wila "red", quta "lake", "red lake"
Vila Cota, Wila Kkota, Wila Khota, Wila Kota, Vila Ccota, Vilaccota,
Wilaccota, Wila Ccota, Vilakkota, Vilakota, Vilacota
qiwlla "gull", rahu "snow, ice, mountain with snow", "gull mountain
Caullaraju, Jeulla Rajo, Jeulla Raju, Queulla Raju, Queullaraju
wayna "young, young man", qhapaq "sovereign, the mighty one"
Huayna Capac, Huayna Cápac, Huayna Ccapacc, Guayna Capac
wira "fat", qucha "lake", wiraqucha or Wiraqucha "mister, sir,
gentleman / god"
Huiracocha, Huiraccocha, Viracocha, Wiracocha
Quechuan and Aymarans are also a good example of using of
the modern spelling.
^ Bruce Mannheim, The Language of the Inka since the European
Invasion, University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas,1991, p. 235
^ Rodolfo Cerrón-Palomino, Lingüística Quechua, Centro de Estudios
Rurales Andinos "Bartolomé de Las Casa", 1987, p. 255
^ "Decreto Supremo que aprueba el Reglamento de la Ley N° 29735, Ley
que regula el uso, preservación, desarrollo, recuperación, fomento y
difusión de las lenguas originarias del Perú, Decreto Supremo N°
004-2016-MC". Retrieved July 10, 2017.
^ Transcripción del Vocabulario de la lengua Aymara Biblioteca del
pueblo aymara. Author, Ludovico Bertonio. Publisher, Radio San Gabriel
^ Teofilo Laime Ajacopa, Diccionario Bilingüe Iskay simipi
yuyayk'ancha, La Paz, 2007 (Quechua-Spanish dictionary)
Ima hinataq runasimita sumaqta qillqay How to write Quechua well.
Quechua and Aymara Spelling With many more details and integrated
sound files to listen to the pro