As you have likely deduced, Perú is a Spanish-speaking country. Perú has another language, Quechua, that a large percentage of natives speak, but it is not a written language. The people were also called the Quechua before the Spanish conquered their land and killed the last of the Incas.
The Quechua never raised another ruler, but they have kept their language, perhaps as a final defiance against their conquerors. The modern generations are choosing not to speak it, however, so I would not be surprised if it eventually dies out. Spanish and English are the popular languages to learn.
I am more than a little grateful they learned Spanish. Quechua is a difficult language to catch on to and sounds a lot like when I’m choking on Sprite–I recently had a chance to compare. The language uses a combination of unvoiced plosives, nasal and glottal consonants, and guttural sounds that tend to seem angry. (not completely unlike German: Schmetterling!)
Spanish is far simpler in composition. It is easy to learn to pronounce Spanish words. Having discovered their language had an easy element, the Spanish cruelly added innumerable conjugations. Otherwise, it may have already taken over as a universal language.
I have been forced to use the language a lot more than the rest of my family, and I sometimes feel I’m learning it. But it is always such a relief to use English when I’m home, that I haven’t been pushing the others to speak Spanish like I should.
[Enter Spanish school]
I had heard there was a good Spanish school in Cusco, which is about an hour from us. Jolynn helped us find the name through a friend of theirs. I made contact a number of weeks back and set up a time to go in for placement tests, which was this past Saturday.
With Jolynn gone (I’ll catch you up on that another day), Steph and I have decided not to take classes together. She and Anne will go this coming week, and Abbey and I will go the following, Lord willing. We are taking five days of classes each.
I’ll be home next week with the younger children, excepting Walter who will be learning Spanish for free with Steph. Currently, I am unemployed again. That means that I am free to stay home and give Steph this opportunity. It’s times like these I’m glad my mom taught us boys how to keep house. I’m looking forward to it.
It would be fun to take classes with Steph, but I think she’ll be required to talk more and learn more this way. It will be even more fun to be able to talk to her in Spanish. We should never misunderstand each other after these classes because we will have two languages with which to communicate. #lifehack
Anne is already picking up the language quickly, more so than any of the other children. I expect this week will be a great experience for her, and she will eagerly teach the others everything she learns. I have Spanish curriculum for the oldest three that we will be starting after this.
Being unemployed also means being unpaid. The classes will end up costing us about $1,000. We do have savings in the States to draw from, and we felt it was well worth it, so we decided to make the investment.
Amazingly, we received several surprise donations the past few days that covered the cost of the classes. (Thank you for giving!) These people did not know we had this extra expense, but God moved them to share. Isn’t that incredible! It is humbling to see how He takes care of us.
Since God is paying for the language study, I feel compelled to study harder. I hope He can use our acquisition of the language to bless our neighbors. It is humbling in a different way to be such an ignoramus. Being laughed at is a regular occurrence; I think I’m learning to laugh at myself.
Pray for Steph and Anne in Spanish school this coming week; I hope they can pass me up. Also, pray for the rest of us holding down the fort without Mamita, as Dane calls her.