Quechua, Cajamarca


A language of Peru

Alternate Names
Kichwa, Lingwa, Lingwa, Kichwa

30,000 (2000 D. Coombs).


Cajamarca region: Chetilla and Los Baños districts; western dialect: Chetilla district, eastern dialect: Porcón and Cajamarca valley areas; La Libertad region: small area on west bank of Rio Marañon.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing). Recognized language (1993, Constitution, Article 48).


Western Cajamarca, Eastern Cajamarca. Relatively minor dialect differences. Lexical similarity: 94% with Lambayeque [quf] (most similar), 92% with Pacaraos [qvp]. A member of macrolanguage Quechua [que].



Language Use

Relatively strong use in 8 to 10 communities. Strong pressure from Spanish in all communities due to secondary schools and gold mining in the area. Many deny its existence (2000 D. Coombs). Home. Mainly adults. Negative attitudes. Also use Spanish [spa].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 5%–10%. Literacy rate in L2: 25%–35%. Series of basic primers and graded readers in Quechua. Some Quechua reading classes in a few rural schools. A few Quechua reading and grammar classes in rural high schools. Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 2004–2008.

Latin script [Latn].

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