Why learn Quechua?

Quechua is a gateway to another worldview

Learning Quechua offers an Indigenous perspective on South American culture, language, and history, allowing you to see an entire continent through a new lens. For example, in English we think of the future as in front of us and the past as behind us. In Quechua, it’s the other way around! Differences like this can help us rethink the perspectives we take for granted and see the world in a new way.

Quechua is a great complement to many majors

Does your major deal with society, culture, language, environment, medicine, or art? If so, Quechua would be a great addition to your studies and give you a new perspective on your field few other students have! Majors as diverse as language, literature, linguistics, anthropology, international studies, arts, music, public health, political sciences, natural resources, and biology have connections to the Quechua-speaking world.


Listen to our students’ and professors’ own experiences taking Quechua and learn how it has shaped their academic careers and personal lives.

Estelí Puente Beccar

Latin American Cultural and Literary Studies, OSU


Devin Grammon

Hispanic Linguistics, OSU


Alexandra Castillo

Political Science, OSU


Megan Hasting


Anna Babel

Associate Professor of Hispanic Linguistics, OSU


Justin Pinta

Hispanic Linguistics, OSU
Photo of Justin PintaI took six semesters of Quechua at Ohio State, and it was an incredible opportunity which I am very grateful for. I became interested in Quechua via my own research as a linguist who works on minority languages spoken in Argentina. I started studying Quechua for two reasons: (1) in order to facilitate linguistic research on the variety of Quechua spoken in Santiago del Estero, Argentina, and (2) to take advantage of the wonderful opportunity to study an indigenous language of the Americas at Ohio State with a native-speaking instructor. My interest soon blossomed beyond just the language itself, and over six semesters I learned a great deal about life and culture in the Andes. My time studying Quechua at OSU has served me academically and personally, and my connection to Quechua and its speakers will no doubt span the course of my career and beyond.

Julianne Stamer

Anthropology, OSU
Photo of Julianne StamerI started taking Quechua during my junior year of undergrad at Ohio State. I knew that I wanted to do bioarchaeological work in the Andes, so I took Quechua in order to better understand Andean culture and to better communicate with the indigenous people of the Andes. In classes as well as at Quechua community activities, I found a community of peers and a professor who made learning enjoyable. During my senior year at Ohio State, I applied for and won the Foreign Language Area Studies fellowship in order to continue my studies of Quechua with a masters in Latin American Studies. I was also able to win the FLAS again for the summer of 2019 to continue my Quechua studies in Cusco, Peru! It was a fantastic experience that allowed me to visit the Andes for the first time as well as learn the Cusquenan dialect of Quechua. Studying Quechua has helped me expand my professional interests as well as enrich my personal college experience. I can’t wait to see where studying Quechua will take me next!

James Leow

Hispanic Linguistics, OSU
Photo of James LeowMy experience at Ohio State has slowly been pushing me to learn Quechua since I began the Hispanic Linguistics PhD program. Five years ago, I decided to enroll in the Andean Music Ensemble where I was first exposed to the Quechua language. Through outreach experiences, I taught high school students about Andean music, language, and culture, so when the FLAS fellowship program was made available to Ohio State students, taking advantage of the fellowship to study Quechua was a no-brainer.

Noah Diewald

Linguistics, OSU
Photo of Noah DiewaldI began studying Ecuadorian Kichwa as a linguistics undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin — Madison due to an interest in indigenous languages of the Americas. I traveled to Otavalo, Ecuador for private lessons and fell in love with the country. When I came to OSU I began studying Bolivian Quechua in order to continue with the language family. During the summers over the last two years I have also done work with Lowland Ecuadorian Kichwa in the Amazonian region. I’ve had the privilege to study under multiple instructors from a wide variety of backgrounds and regions in South America. Elvia Andina, here at OSU, is the most skilled of them all by far. Her approach takes you far beyond simply learning the grammar and truly puts you on the road to fluency.

René Zúñiga

Linguistics, Purdue University
Photo of René ZúñigaThe main motivation to take Quechua language course was a personal one. I had always wanted to connect with my Amerindian roots (I am originally from Costa Rica) and Quechua helped somehow to draw that connection. Besides that, I had the opportunity of fulfilling the requirement of less-commonly taught language from my program (PhD in Linguistics). We took the class from Purdue University four days a week via video conference. The fact the instructor was not physically present in the classroom did not interfere with the language learning process at all. The things I liked the most about the course were the Fridays where we always had a cultural session and the trip we made to OSU for the Quechua Day. Finally, I would like to thank Mama Elvia for the great job she does in teaching the course. Pachi.