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


Cusco, Arequipa, Apurimac, Madre de Dios, Puno, and Moquegua regions.

Language Maps
Language Status

3 (Wider communication). Recognized language (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. A member of macrolanguage Quechua [que].



Language Use

City people generally want children to speak primarily Spanish [spa]. All ages. 1,000,000 also use Spanish [spa]. In rural areas 65% also use Spanish; in urban areas possibly 90%–95%. Used as L2 by Arequipa-La Unión Quechua [qxu].

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 [Latn].

Other Comments

Christian (Roman Catholic), Christian (Protestant), traditional religion.