Quechan is a Yuman language spoken along the Colorado River and in the Sonoran Desert in southeastern California and southwestern Arizona in the USA. The majority of Yuma people live on the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation in Imperial County in California and Yuma County in Arizona. According to the 2015 census, there are 290 speakers of Quechan, which is also known as Kechan, Quecl or Yuma.
Yuman is related to Mohave and Maricopa, which are also members of the River branch of the Yuman language family.
Most Quechan speakers are over 60 years old. However, the Quechan tribe does have a language preservation program which involves teaching the language to children and adults. They are also working on a dictionary of their language.
A practical orthography for Quechan was developed in the 1990s with help from Quechan-speaking elders.
Pa'iipáats nyaváyk suuváa.
Pa'iipáats 'atáyk nyaváyk viivák,
aváts 'ashéntək alyuuváapətəka.
Tsam'athúlyəm éevtək uuváat.
tsam'athúly kéek a'ét.
Someone was over there.
Someone was living over there.
A lot of people were living here,
that this (person) was the only one (who did it).
He bothered ants.
When the sun came up,
he got up,
and as for the ants' nest,
he was going to stir up the ants.
We say that.
Part of "The Man Who Bothered Ants", a traditional Quechan story.
Information about Quechan
Page last modified: 02.03.22
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