The Editor Suggests :

To fully reap the benefit of this document, I recommend that you read the Intro before you begin the glossary. The contents will assist you in navigating the glossary and enhance your understanding.

 

Glossary of Terminology
of the Shamanic & Ceremonial Traditions
of the Inca Medicine Lineage

as Practiced in the United States

CAUTION: The inclusion of herbs, symptomatology and treatments for disease within this glossary
is not meant for diagnosis of, nor prescription for treatment of, any medical condition.
This information is included for anthropological and historical study only.


 

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APPENDICES
INDEX


ALPHABET:

A
B
C
Ch, Ch' & Chh
D
E
F & G
H
I
J
K
K' & Kh
L
Ll
M
N &
O
P
P', Ph
Q
Q', Qh
R
S
T
T' & Th
U
V
W
Y
Z
 

    NAVIGATION TIP:

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    GLOSSARY NEVER TO BE SOLD

    Appendix A

    Pronunciation Guide

    VOWELS

        This is the modern Quechua alphabet and the order of entries in the glossary:

    A

    B

    C

    Ch

    Ch'

    Chh

    D

    E*

    F

    G

    H

    I

    J

    K

    K'

    Kh

    L

    Ll

    M

    N

    Ñ

    O*

    P

    P'

    Ph

    Q

    Q'

    Qh

    R

    RR

    S

    Sh

    T

    T'

    Th

    U

    V

    W

    Y

        The letters in this color are not in an alphabet constructed from original pronunciation. They have been added to common pronunciation, gradually, from Spanish.

        Although Sh is a letter from original Quechua pronunciation, I have found no words beginning with it, therefore there is no entry in the glossary for this letter.

         paint.tiff In 1985, the Peruvian government approved of an official system of writing Quechua that contained only three vowels (a, i and u). However, like with most human languages, practice does not always follow the rules! The e and the o are found in many Quechua words in various dictionaries and glossaries.  Pronunciation of the three official vowels has five sounds:

    Written Quechua

    Vowel Sound

    ... As in ..

    i, iy

    ee

              as in bee

    i, e

    e (before or after q, q', or qh

              as in set

    u, uw

    oo

              as in loot

    u, o

    o (before or after q, q', or qh)

              as in dot

        Dipthongs are indivisible vowel sounds created by combining a vowel and a consonant, such as the English toy. The Quechua system combines w and y with a, i or u to form the following dipthongs:

    Written Quechua

    Dipthong Sound

    ... As in ...

    aw

    ow

              as in wow

    ay

    ai

              as in aisle

    ay

    ay (before or after q, q', or qh)

              as in pay

    iw

    yoo

              as in you

    uy

    ui

              as in gooey

    uy

    oy (before or after q, q', or qh)

              as in boy

    CONSONANTS

        In the official Peruvian system, consonants are pronounced pretty much like they are in English, with a few exceptions which are not in English pronunciation.  There are two types of exceptional consonants: aspirated and ejective, which we will go into further down.  

        There are three varieties of Quechua: Cusco, Puno and Bolivian. They are defined by their pronunciation of aspirated and ejective consonants.  It is important to master the difference because the meaning of a word can change depending on how you pronounce it, just as in English. For example, the word chaka pronounced as you would an English word means hip in Quechua. Pronounce it with the aspirated sound, chhaka means big black ant; pronounce it as an ejective and ch'aka means hoarse. Practice, practice, practice, and keep in mind that context will probably help you get your meaning across.

        Here follows a guide to Quechua consonant sounds that are roughly equivalent to English:

    Written Quechua

    Consonant Sound

    ... As in ...

    ch

    ch

              as in cherry

    g

    g

              as in get

    h

    h

              as in how

    k, q

    k

              as in skull

    k, q, p
    (at the end of a word)

    ch
    (very soft, at the back
    of the throat)

    as in Scottish word loch
    (like Loch Ness monster)

    l

    l

              as in luck

    ll

    lya
    (middle of the tongue against roof of the mouth)

              as in scallion

    m

    m

              as in merry

    n

    n

              as in never

    ny

              as in canyon

    p

    p

              as in pin

    ph

    f

              as in ferry

    r

    soft r

              as in roll

    rr

    trilled or rolled r

              as in Span. word terraza

    s

    s

              as in soup

    t

    t

              as in top

    w

    w

              as in well

    y

    y

              as in yet

        Aspirated consonants are pronounced with a soft puff of air, like the p in pretty as opposed to the p in speech.  They are marked in written Quechua with the addition of the letter h after the consonant.

    Written Quechua

    Aspirated Consonant Sound

    ... As in ...

    chh

    ch-h

              as in fetch him

    kh, qh

    k-h

              as in back here

    ph

    f in Cusco area

    p-h in other areas

              as in phone

              as in tip her

    th

    t-h

              as in met him

        Ejectives are pronounced by abruptly stopping the airflow outward at the back of the throat, thus compressing the air, and then just as abruptly letting go and ejecting the sound with a short, hard compression of the diaphragm.

    Written Quechua

    Ejective Consonant Sound

    ... As in ...

    ch'

    ch (sharp, abrupt)

              as in achoo!

    k'

    k (made with a click
    at the back of the throat)

     

    p'

    p (close lips and then
    make a popping p sound)

     

    q'

    k (like the ejective k', but stronger)

     

    t'

    t (sharp click at tip of the tongue)

              as in buttress

    STRESS

        An accent mark over a vowel means that syllable is stressed. However, as a general rule, words are stressed on the next to last syllable.  If the word is two syllables, the first one is stressed. If a word has more than three syllables, the first syllable is also stressed.

    INTONATION

        Intonation in Quechua is very different than in English.  English questions give a rising lilt on the last word to indicate a query.  Quechua questions are spoken like statements, but use specific words or prefixes that indicate a question is being asked.  Exclamations are also different, with an increased stress on the particular syllable emphasizing what is being stated.

    To hear a native speaker, click here.
    To hear the colors spoken in Quechua, click here.
    To download a PDF of a primer in Quechua, click here.

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First Edition (c) 2007 Patt O'Neill. All rights reserved. This site was originally published 6-13-07
Second Edition (c) 2008 Patt O'Neill. All rights reserved. Published Jan. 2008.
Third Edition (c) 2014 Patt O'Neill. All rights reserved. Published April 2014
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