This site is designed for students beginning to learn Kichwa and those entering the venture of the wonderful Andean Kichwa world. Kichwa, Quichua, Quechua or Runa shimi is the name of one of the indigenous languages spoken in the Andean Region. It was the language of the Inca from Tawantinsuyu (the four quarters) and is currently spoken in the Andean heartland of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, parts of Argentina, Colombia and the western Amazon.
With some 11 million speakers, Runa Shimi means the language of the human being. Kichwa shimi, Quechua shimi, Quichua, or Runa Shimi is the largest indigenous language of the Americas. In Ecuador more than 2 million people speak Kichwa. Kichwa is spoken in all of the Andean provinces of Ecuador (except Carchi). In the Amazonian region the language is spoken in the following provinces: Napo, Pastaza, Sucumbios, and Orellana.
Although Kichwa and Spanish are not grammatically related, they have been sharing the Andean environment for more than 500 years. The majority of Andean Spanish speaking people have ancestors who once spoke Kichwa. Hence Kichwa has deeply influenced Andean Spanish as a substrate. The influence of Kichwa is pervasive in the pronunciation of Andean Spanish as well as in the distinctive grammar and semantics of Andean Spanish.