Quechua, Cusco


A language of Peru

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

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.


Apurimac, Arequipa, Cusco, Moquegua, Madre de Dios, and Puno 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. Most also use Spanish [spa], especially in urban areas, but also in rural areas. 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. Literature. Radio. Dictionary. Grammar. Texts. Bible: 1988.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Christian, traditional religion.

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