Kichwa (Kichwa Shimi / Runa Shimi)

Kichwa is a Northern Quechuan language spoken in southern Ecuador, mainly in Azuay, Cañar, Chimborazo and Morona-Santiago provinces. In 1991 there were about 100,000 speakers of Kichwa. There are many dialects of Kichwa, however there is a standardized language, known as Kichwa Unificado (Shukyachiska Kichwa), which has a unified orthography and is based on the Chimborazo dialect.

Kichwa is also known as Cañar Highland Quichua or Quichua de la provincia de Cañar.

Kichwa was first documented in the 17th century by a Jesuit priest. It has been taught in some schools since the 1940s.

Kichwa alphabet and pronunciation

Kichwa alphabet and pronunciation

Download an alphabet chart for Kichwa (Excel)

Details of the Kichwa alphabet corrected by Michael Peter Füstumum

Hear how to pronounce the Kichwa alphabet

Sample text in Kichwa

Tucuy runacuna quishpirihuán huiñán, pactacunahuampes, pay pura, umahuán, ayahuán chay shucuna shina, chaymantami shuclla shina causangacuna.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Sample videos in and about Kichwa

Information about Kichwa | Phrases | Numbers


Information about Kichwa

Quechuan languages

Ambo-Pasco Quechua, Ancash Quechua, Ayacucho Quechua, Cajamarca Quechua, Classical Quechua, Cuzco Quechua, Huallaga Quechua, Huaylla Wanca Quechua, Kichwa, Santiagueño Quechua, South Bolivian Quechua

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 10.05.22


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