Quechua-speaking fans of Peru’s national football team recently were able to enjoy an important World Cup qualifying match with Quechua-language commentary thanks to efforts by two radio stations sharing their broadcasts on YouTube.
Quechua might share the word for “goal” with Spanish, but the two are distinct languages. Quechua is the most widely spoken indigenous language in South America, including spoken by more than 3 million Peruvians.
Taking one step closer to qualifying for the World Cup Russia 2018 with a 2-1 away victory against Ecuador on September 5, 2017, Peru has only two matches left in the qualifying cycle. Peru currently sits in 4th place that comes with an automatic berth ahead of other traditional regional powers like Argentina.
These efforts were the work of the Indigenous Audiovisual Association – Inkari and Interactiva Medios, fans could relive the match through a YouTube video summary with play-by-play in the Quechua language.
Another radio station, Radio Peruana Unión, broadcasted the entire match bilingually in Quechua and Spanish over its airwaves and online, uploading a behind-the-scenes clip showing the emotion displayed by the announcer calling both goals. There is also a video with a Quechua announcer of an earlier full match between Peru and neighboring Bolivia where Quechua is also spoken.
What a great thing that Quechua speakers, and there are LOTS of them in Peru, could hear what was going on in their own language. I applaud the ones that made this possible. I served in the Peace Corps in Arequipa in the 60sand I remember that in the barriadas where I lived and worked there were a lot of people from the altiplano who were Quechua speakers. I learned just a few words and when I went to a market near Puno one time and spoke the words (imnia cachanki (sp?) they all were so excited and wanted to talk more with me…but that was all I knew but we smiled at each other at least in friendliness.