Quechua, Cusco


A language of Peru

Alternate Names
Cuzco, Cuzco Quechua, Qheswa, Quechua Cusco, Quechua de Cusco-Collao, Quechua Qosqo-Qollaw, Runasimi Qusqu Qullaw

1,500,000 (1989 UBS). 300,000–500,000 monolinguals. Total Quechua in Peru 3,500,000–4,400,000 including Quechua I 750,000, Quechua II 2,680,000 (2000 W. Adelaar). Ethnic population: 1,500,000.


Cusco, half of Puno, and northeast Arequipa regions.

Language Maps
Language Status

3 (Wider communication). Language of recognized nationality (1993, Constitution, Article 48).


Caylloma Quechua, Eastern Apurímac Quechua, Puno Quechua. Some dialect differences, but not as distinct as elsewhere. Substantial phonological and morphological differences with Ayacucho Quechua.



Language Use

City people generally want children to speak primarily Spanish [spa]. All ages. In rural areas 65% also use Spanish [spa]; urban areas 90%–95%.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 1%–5%. Literacy rate in L2: 62%. Taught in primary schools. Poetry. Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1988.
Latin script.
Other Comments

Christian, traditional religion.