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Aymara Indian Language (Aimara, Aymará)

Language: Aymara is one of the major languages of South America, spoken by more than two million people in the Andean region of Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Argentina. Aymara holds the status of an official language in two countries, Bolivia and Peru, where most of the Aymara population is located.

Actually, depending on the linguist doing the counting, there are somewhere between two and eight different Aymaran languages, each of which can be difficult for speakers of the others to understand. (The difference of opinion on the exact number is because some of the varieties are considered to be dialects by some people and considered to be distinct Aymaran languages by others.) Some linguists think Aymara may be distantly related to Quechua, but this has not been conclusively shown. There are many lexical similarities between the two languages, but that may be due to vocabulary borrowing -- the structures of the languages are radically different from each other. Aymara is an agglutinating language with SOV word order.

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Names: The origin of the name Aymara is unclear. It may have been a tribal name passed down from an earlier Andean language. Other spellings used include Aimara, Aymará, Aimará, Aymararu, Aymaraes, Aimaraes, Aimaras, and Aymaran. There are two main dialects of Aymara, known as Central Aymara and Southern Aymara. Jaqaru and Kawki are the names of two closely related languages that are considered dialects of Aymara by some linguists. Names of important Aymara subgroups include Colla (also spelled Qolla, Kolla, or Qulla,) Lupaca (also spelled Lupaka or Lupaqa,) Canchi (also spelled Kanchi or Canches), Caranga (also spelled Caranca or Karanka,) Charca (also spelled Charka or Charcha,) Cana (also spelled Kana), Pacasa (also spelled Pacaxe,) Quillagua (also spelled Quilaco, Quillaga, or Killaka,) Ubina, Aullaga, Omasuyo, Chichas, and Ayaviri. Another term that was originally used for an Aymara group, Lari Lari, is no longer preferred by Aymara people because it is considered derogatory.

Aymara Language
Aymara language samples and resources.

Aymara Tribe Culture and History
Information and links about the Aymara Indians past and present.

Aymara Indians Fact Sheet
Our answers to frequently asked questions about the Aymara people, their language and culture.

Aymara Legends
Introduction to the mythology of the Aymaras.

Aymara Language Resources

Our English-Aymara Language Materials

Aymara Words:
    Our list of vocabulary words in Aymara.
Aymara Pronunciation Guide:
    How to pronounce Aymara words.
Aymara Picture Dictionary:
    Illustrated glossary of animal words in the Aymara language.
Aymara Colors:
    Worksheet showing color words in the Aymara language.
Aymara Body Parts:
    Online and printable worksheets showing parts of the body in Aymara.
Aymara Numbers:
    Learn how to count in the Aymara language.

Aymara Dictionaries, Audio Tapes and Language Resources
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Vocabulario de la Lengua Aymara:
    Spanish-Aymara dictionary for sale online.
The Aymara Language in Its Social and Cultural Context:
    Collection of essays on Aymara language and culture.
American Indian Language Dictionaries:
    Aymara and other Native American dictionaries and language materials for sale.

Aymara Language Lessons and Linguistic Descriptions

Aymara Language Distribution * Language Map of the Andes * Quechua-Aymara Map:
    Maps showing the areas in South America where Aymara is spoken.
Aymara Alphabet:
    History of Aymara writing, with a phonological inventory and example text.
Aymar Arux Akhamawa:
    Aymara language lesson files for free download.
Aymara Alphabet Unico:
    Overview of the official Aymara writing system, including audio clips of different Aymara sounds.
Diccionario Aymara-Español:
    Online Spanish-Aymara dictionary.
Central Aymara * Chilean Aymara:
    Linguistic chart of phonemes in two Aymara languages.
Bolivian Aymara Language * Aymara Description * Aymara Numbers * Aymara Grammar * Aymara Phonology:
    Aymara Syntax * Aymara Text:
    Scanned-in Central Aymara language materials from the Rosetta Project.
AILLA: Aymara:
    Archive of Aymara language recordings available for download.
Aymara and Quechua : Languages in Contact:
    Linguistics paper on the interplay between the Quechua and Aymara languages.
Logical and Linguistic Problems of Social Communication with the Aymara People:
    Sociolinguistics article on the connections between Aymara language and worldview.
Human Rights: Aymara:
    Translation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into the Aymara language.
Aymara Prayers:
    Aymara translation of the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary.
Language Museum: Aymara:
    Central Aymara language sample.
Lake Titicaca Folk Songs:
    Video of Peruvian Aymara women singing traditional folk music in Aymara and Quechua.
House of Languages: Aymara
     Information about Aymara language usage.
Central Aymara * Southern Aymara:
    Demographic information about Aymara from the Ethnologue of Languages.
Central Aymara Language Tree * Southern Aymara Language Tree:
    Theories about Aymara's language relationships compiled by Linguist List.
Aymara Language Structures:
    Aymara linguistic profile and academic bibliography.

Aymara Proper Names

Andean Placenames:
    Chart of place names in Quechua and Aymara.
Names of Aymara Indians:
    List of Aymara names with their meanings in Spanish.
Native American Dog Names:
    Our new fundraiser offering names for dogs and other animals in American Indian languages (including Aymara).

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Links, References, and Additional Information

Endangered Languages Project: Aymara:
Bibliography of Aymara language resources.
Wikipedia: Aymara:
Encyclopedia articles on the Aymara language.
Idioma Aimara * Los Lenguas Aymaras * Lingua Aymara * Instituto de Lengua y Cultura Aymara:
Escritura Aymara * Aymara Uta:
Information about the Aymara language in Spanish and Portuguese.
Aymara language links.
Aymara Tribe:
Aymara Indian books.

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