Two lines written in a social network can awake a sleepy language and cause deep feelings inside of people. Under the name of tweets, published five times a day through various phrases made up with one hundred forty characters, a language that may sound distant and preterit becomes close and present, living in the realms of Twitter.
That is happening with the account @hablemosquechua
. "We are taking a language that is a bit asleep to instant language technology that is Twitter, like a robotic memory aid"; says Kiko Mayorga, codirector of Escuelab
, laboratory that develops technologies to meet local needs.
When they started over a year ago, they used only 4 words: water, fire, sea and sun. Then Irma added fluency to her native language that she learned in Apurimac, and which she had to combine with the Spanish when she moved to Arequipa, forced by terrorist violence.
"Quechua does not adapt easily to technology terms, as it is the Spanish language, it is harder”, says Irma. Five years ago she started working in the free software translation self-taught, advised by the American historian Amos Batto. Even though there is Office in Quechua made by Microsoft, its collective Runasimipi translated Abiword into Quechua, a free program. She likes that her work can integrate more people.
"Before, I always found softwares provided in English and Spanish but not in Quechua. I am happy that it exists now; it is like having the right to walk freely in the streets. Now there is a strong rebound in learning the Quechua language and should give the right to learn this language to everybody", says Irma.
(Source: Newspaper El Comercio