Quechua Has Friends in High Places

Quechua is the language of the Incan Empire and is spoken by roughly 10 million people throughout South America, the majority of whom live in Peru and Bolivia.

Recent developments suggest that this “minority” language is not going gently into that good night.

Google currently supports Quechua with a localized search engine.
Google Quechua

And it is not the only software company to support this language.

I read this morning, via Michael Kaplan’s blog, that Microsoft now supports Quechua in Windows and its Office software. It will be announcing this language support with the newly elected president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, who is an Indian. I should note that this level of support only applies to menus and commands; I don’t expect to see a knowledgebase translated anytime soon. Still, a little support is much much better than no support.

In addition, The Economist features an article on Quechua, noting that a recently elected member of Peru’s Congress is now speaking Quechuan instead of Spanish.

This high-level support for the language will help ensure that multinational companies provide support as well, a positive sign for the one of the world’s oldest surviving languages.

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.