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Quechua has been spoken in Peru since it became the unifying language of the Inca Empire 6oo years ago. As the most widely spoken autochthonous language, it is considered to be an official language along with Spanish. However, in spite of this prevalence and the antiquity of Quechua, Spanish is the language of power in all regions of Peru. Unfortunately, many Quechua speaking Peruvians are conditioned to learn Spanish in order to function, as the latter is the language of commerce, education and opportunity.
The attitude many Spanish-speaking Peruvians have toward Quechua and those who speak it makes matters worse. Many view Quechua as an archaic and useless language spoken only by Indians. There is this strange dichotomy between the pride in the history and legacy of the Inca Empire and the disdain in which the living descendants of this same Empire are regarded. The sad result of this attitude is that many Quechua speakers today hide their linguistic roots and no longer teach their children Quechua out of fear of discrimination and a desire to assimilate.
We hope this site helps reconcile such dichotomy.
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