Steps to Seem More Cusqueño

The language we use in Cusco is different. It is rich in words and expressions because of our mother language, Quechua. The everyday life of the Qosqorunas, the people of Cusco is fascinating because of the different expressions you hear.

Some words of quechuañol, a mixture of Spanish and Quechua spoken in the city of Cusco:

  • When the cusqueños feel cold we say, “alalaw!” The mamacha, traditional woman, of the neighborhood says “aaaaalalauuuuuuu” and then raps herself more with her mantle.
  • When we feel fear we say, “Atacaw! What is that!”
  • When we feel pain we say, “Achakau! Qué rico!”
  • When something is beautiful and you like it a lot you say, “Ananau! How pretty”, though some prefer to say, “Añañau!”
  • When you do not like something and it is ugly: “Atatau!”
  • When you do not have any money: “Manan Kanchu Qolque!”
  • When we say thank you: “Añay!”

Quechua is a paradise of words that transmit meaning and feeling. Now they are fused with Spanish. Nevertheless, they maintain their spirit and can spring out at any minute from the people of the Andes.


Walter Coraza Morveli

Hi. I live in Cuzco and I am very proud of having been born in this ancient land. I feel part of all the culture of Cuzco and it makes me feel alive amongst our mountains. Above all, I love to immerse myself in our history and be able to write about our ways of life, as well as document them through photography.

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