Thursday, July 08, 2010

New Quechua phrases

So I have learnt a few Quechua words/phrases that are crucial for navigating life in the Andes. I suggest using them yourself in any country. (Please remember that whenever a word includes an apostrophe in its spelling you are required to pronounce the letter before it with a popping/explosive sound.)

1. Q'ara chupa: This is the word used for white person in Quechua. It means a tail without hair. They use it to describe someone who has come with nothing but leaves with everything. Now that I know that word, I have heard several Quechua speakers using it while offering to sell products to white people in the local market. Of course, the tourists are oblivious to this and smile back at them the entire time.

2. Supaypa(q) wachasqa kanki-- It means "you are the child of the devil".When used, it sounds almost like "You Daughter/Son-of-a-b*tch!" I know you find this confusing. I don't mean that it literally sounds like they're speaking English. I'm referring to its equivalent meaning in English. Clarity first!

3. Supay apasqan: "Go to hell!" (I swear no one has said this to me)

4. Ch'oto mat'i siki--"You're a tight ass" or "You have something stuck up your ass!" I have found this phrase to be useful when vendors refuse to give me a discount on products I wish to buy.

5. waqachiy--I've only included this word because I like its translation. They use this word in Quechua as the verb for "to play an instrument". Its literal translation is "to make [others] cry."

1 comment:

Jaquanda Rae said...

I love the last expression too.